Avoid These Sponsor Recognition Mistakes:
Sponsor-seekers, here are a few mistakes to avoid...
#1: Logo Mistakes
Don't use a brand’s logo in your proposal, pitch slide deck presentation, or sponsor “pitch” materials. If the brand is not yet a confirmed sponsor, they have not given you permission to use their logo. Wait until they physically provide you with their logo and any conditions around its use.
We see sponsor-seekers grabbing logos off the web and putting them into sponsor presentations or pitch decks, and this is a big mistake. The intent may be to impress the brand and get them excited about the prospects of being a sponsor with your project, but instead it leaves them with the impression that you may openly use other things without their permission. Additionally, some sponsors use different versions of their logo for different purposes, so this means you could be putting the wrong logo in your deck. How you treat and deal with sponsors every step of the way shows them what you are like to do business with.
#2: Follow Through Mistakes
Not keeping your commitments around recognition is a big no no. It is essential for the project, relationship, and contract that commitments are handled. If there are challenges, it will serve you well to engage the partner in discussions around solutions early. Taking ownership for follow through shows them you are a professional, a great project manager and your reputation will remain intact.
#3: Name Mistakes
Mispronunciation of names is something to avoid. If you are introducing a sponsor at an event, ensure you ask in advance how to pronounce their name and how they would like to be introduced. They will appreciate this more than you know. As well, don’t shorten their name or turn it into an acronym. Follow their lead and guidance. It shows you care.
#4: Missed Opportunities
Missing the opportunity to connect sponsors to the audience is also something you don't want to miss. If you have the chance to introduce sponsor brand representatives attending your event to the audience, this will be appreciated and shows you are a pro.
#5: Proof & Impact Mistakes
Not “showing“ the sponsor the results and impact of their support can hurt you in the future with the brand. Often the decision-makers of the company that is sponsoring you are not at the event or involved personally in your project. Involvement may be delegated to one of their team members. What if the team member doesn’t attend the event or isn’t actively engaged? Photos, evidence, and videos are so powerful. How does the sponsor “see” how amazing it was?
Here are a few ideas you can plan in advance to get the evidence of your project’s impact more visible to sponsors (but be creative and add your own):
- Take photos of every place your partners’ logos appear.
- Have your team do a group “thank you” on video (mention your sponsors’ names and one or more impacts of their support).
- Share some of the audience feedback with sponsors.
- Text sponsors from the event letting them know how well it is going (along with a photo).
Ways to Recognize Sponsors
How you thank sponsors and your sponsor recognition strategies show other prospective partners the value of working with you and what a true professional you are. Avoiding sponsor recognition mistakes and taking such considerations goes a long way in recognizing your partners the right way and creating successful collaborations.