In-kind vs. Cash sponsors
This is my 2nd year directing a local 5K/10K race with about 1500 participants. The local running shoe store owner declined to be a cash sponsor this year, but did offer to donate 10 certificates for free running shoes (up to $100 each) redeemable at his store. Then he decided to purchase towels with the store logo on them to hand out at the finish line to cool people off. He says he's spending $2,000 on the towels, and now wants top billing on the shirt over and above our two $2,000 cash sponsors. He claims it's customary for in-kind sponsors to be recognized on the back of the shirt according to the cash equivalent of their donation. I'm of the opinion that cash is more valuable than towels. He is really giving me a hard time.
How do you handle in-kind sponsors vs. cash sponsors? Some in-kind sponsorships save us dollar-per-dollar cost off the bottom line, such as the porta-potty service taking $500 off our bill and Coca-cola giving us free Powerade, but other in-kind sponsorships are less essential to the running of the race and maybe add perks to the race but don't benefit the bottom line. Any suggestions would be appreciated!