Author Topic: Business owners: What's your experience with event sponsorships? Yay or Nay?  (Read 898 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 677
  • Location: East Anglia, UK
Hi everyone. So, I've recently set up my own business freelancing, and I chose a name other than my own to do so (as in, I came up with a name for the business rather than just using my given name).

An opportunity has arisen to sponsor a local event for the sport I do, and I wanted to know what people's experience is with doing such things. This possibly isn't a lot to go on, and it could just be a case-by-case sort of thing where I consider what exactly I'd be getting - where my logo gets placed, how many people (and what kinds of people) it reaches and so on, but I just thought I'd ask to see what people have to say about it. Do you think that, in general, you see a good return on your investment with event sponsorships?

As for how much they'd like for sponsorship, I haven't been given a very specific answer - just "whatever, really". I wouldn't want to insult them with a low offer, but I only have so much money.

Thanks in advance!


  • Bristles
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My company has sponsored various things over the years and I can't think of a single case where there has been direct benefit that could be measured and counted as ROI. We do it for other less tangible reasons within a nominal annual budget and without any real expectation of getting anything back.

If it is as part of a sport you already do then you could regard it as a donation to something you want to support.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 25
Some marketing is very measurable and some is not so measurable. Some you can't measure at all. I run a business that in the grand scheme of things is tiny. So I only use marketing when i can measure it.

What I learned from that is that some marketing, even though it sounds great can have a return of 0. Literally 0. Some, even though it doesn't sound great at least has a positive return.

In other words, I never know ahead of time if something generates a return or doesn't. But if i start small, measure my return and then do more or less based on the data I will do ok.

I would never spend money on marketing that I can't measure. Hence I would never sponsor an event.

I would never do marketing based on what someone else told me works for them. Every situation is different and just because it worked for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you and vice versa. But I would try it out with a small amount and go from there.

Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Posts: 1838
  • Location: Ohio
I always think of these events as branding and increasing brand awareness.  So you have to ask yourself, does an increase in brand awareness lead to more sales? 

In my case, no, it typically doesn’t.  My sales come from sales work, not from branding, so I avoid paid sponsorships.  I try and increase brand awareness through free or close to free channels, like job postings, basic SEO work, having my business searchable on google maps, etc.

You mentioned sports - I’m guessing you would want to brand yourself at events that are similar to what you are doing.  If that branding drives traffic to your web page or increase in phone calls, and ultimately sales, then it might make sense for you. 

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  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 677
  • Location: East Anglia, UK
Thanks for the advice.

In terms of likeness or association, my business has nothing inherently to do with sports. I was more thinking about what sorts of people this might put me (or my brand) in front of, and the chances that they may want to use my services. Mine are very much B2B-style services that your typical laypeople might not need the use of as frequently - if at all, so I ought to target people who might own their own businesses, or be involved at their company in a capacity whereby they might land me some work there. I guess I have to gauge this against the kinds of people I expect will be spectating this event - at least in terms of what I stand to gain from it. Whether or not I just view this as a donation to support my sports school - that I expect nothing back from - is another consideration.

Heck, I suppose there's no point being too vague - you could just read my journal and start to piece things together. It's a martial arts school and they're hosting a small tournament soon. I think it's going to be quite local and quite small. I've no idea of the costs involved, but I was told the medals cost £200 (citation needed. I'm guessing from that that they aren't going to be full metal medals, rather bronze-, silver- and gold-plated, but I digress), and that's presumably just the start.

Going back to PB's comment,

You mentioned sports - Iím guessing you would want to brand yourself at events that are similar to what you are doing. 

Nothing comes to mind as for events that are similar to my business' role - except maybe networking events for my area of profession, sadly. I understand your point, though - someone selling performance supplements or energy drinks would put their lot in with sports events, local holiday companies might sponsor fayres or festivals, etc.