So, your sports event planning is underway.  Logistics are being discussed. Venues, technological needs, registration, branding, volunteer recruitment, training and everything else is getting hammered out. Things are clicking.

Except one thing.  Sponsorships…

This is usually the topic that hits event planners and right holders like an Igloo cooler full of ice water.  It can make the central nervous system sting.  Possibly, the most important part of the entire vision is looming or at best at a roadblock. “Stuck” seems to be the resident theme for your sponsorship strategy.

One thing, if done well and early, can help prevent the logjam that is most sponsorship campaigns and help you sell more of what you so desperately need.

Proper Development of Your Sponsorship Prospect List


If you approach your targets with a “Shoot. Ready. Aim.” mentality, you will waste precious time.  Sure, an archer can mount an arrow, point it to the sky, release and hope it falls properly to the target.  However, if the archer were honest they would tell you that their expectations were low.  Don’t be that archer. Don’t shoot into the sky. Define your target. Then clarify it. Then aim. Then shoot at it directly.

Utilize these tips/reminders in developing a list of companies that will be relevant to your initiative:

  • Identify companies who would be interested in the audience your event will attract with a list you and your team creates from memory.  Try not to get into a deep discussion about this list at first. Make it as long and detailed as possible.
  • Pull out your organization’s vendor list. Use this to help you add names to your sponsor prospect list.  Companies your organization is paying money to every month are likely looking to increase their sales and profitability. Sponsorships create great opportunities for that.
  • Refine the list.  Utilize Google and social media to help you research companies and their historical sponsorship behavior. Try to “pre-qualify” the companies. Don’t be afraid to start tossing out obvious dead ends (keep them in a dead list that you can revisit on a later date).

Armed with this list, you are ready for phases two and three, prioritizing your prospect list and identifying sponsorship sales cycles.

For more information on how to qualify a prospect, visit