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Thread: sponsor $ levels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7

    Default sponsor $ levels

    What are appropriate and realistic sponsorship dollar levels for a small, but growing race. We had 250 in our second year and expect to go to 400 - 500 next year, with the addition of a second short course (5K) to be held simultaneously.

    I presume that local conditions are a major factor. The race is sponsored by the local town (they provide lots of support for free), and the main purpose of the event is to promote the village and its downtown area, which is currently undergoing a major redevelopment.

    We obviously market and expose sponsors to a larger number than the actual participants.

    We have professionally collected and analyzed marketing and demographic data about our past customers that can be used to show potential sponsors how our customer base fits their marketing objectives.

    FYI -- The event is not intended to make a profit, just break even aftre all expenses, race management fees, etc.

    Here is what I was thinking:

    Title Sponsor:

    $2,000 Cash Only (maybe $2,500)

    Exclusive to One Sponsor
    Named the event: “NAME OF CO” XXXX 10 Mile & 5K
    Premier Placement on Website
    Logo & Link to Company Website on Our site
    Most prominent name on promotion materials & race day banners
    Logo and Most prominent name on T-Shirt
    5 Free Entries to the Race

    Top Level:

    $1,000 Cash or Cash & Equivalent In-Kind (Must be something of value that the race would normally have to buy)
    Prominent Placement on Website
    Logo & Link to Company Website on Our site
    Prominent position on promotion materials & race day banners
    Logo On T-Shirt
    3 Free Entries to Race

    “Official” Sponsor Level:

    $500 Cash + Product / Certificates for Post Race Awards & Raffles
    Targeted at sports / sports related specialty business: Running Store, Multi-Sport Store, Training / Coaching Program, others?
    Named Official “XXX” of the XXXX Race.
    Example “Joe’s Running Store, the Official Running Store” of the XXXX Race
    Prominent position with “Official” designation on promotion materials & race day banners
    Prominent Placement on Website
    “Official” designation and Logo & Link with to Company Website on Our site
    Logo On T-Shirt
    3 Free Entries to Race

    Mid-Level Level:

    $500 Cash or Cash & Equivalent In-Kind (Must be something of value that the race would normally have to buy)
    Prominent position on promotion materials & race day banners
    Logo & Link to Company Website on Our site
    Logo On T-Shirt
    2 Free Entries to Race

    Low Level:

    $250 Cash or Cash & Equivalent In-Kind (Must be something of value that the race would normally have to buy)
    Name of Company on promotion materials & race day banners
    Name of Company and Link to Company Website on Our site
    Name of Company on T-Shirt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default sponsorship

    On your official level of sponsorship (targeted toward running stores, etc)... so would this offer industry exclusivity then? Since you can only have one "Official running store of ....". If it is in fact the only running store- to me that comes at a premium, especially when the levels just below it are reasonably close in price.

    I appreciate the post- it is something I have debated over as well as a new race director.

    Best of luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    190

    Default

    A couple of important things to consider are how many sponsors can you adequately service and at what point is there sponsor overload? In other words take a look at the time and energy you will need to put in delivering what you promise to a $250 third or fourth level sponsor and decide if it is worth your time. If you are just putting a logo somewhere than it may not be much effort on your part, but if there are numerous requirements on your part just be sure to measure the return versus your investment of time.

    We certainly see plenty of t-shirts with 20 or more tiny sponsor logos on the backsides. I think these shirts are apt to gravitate to the bottom of runners' drawers, and it is hard to imagine what value the sponsor is getting from being one of twenty logos on the shirt.

    You will find differing opinions among race directors on this topic. Certainly Scott Keenan of Grandmas marathon is the champion of small, in-kind sponsors. Scott simply looks at every expense line item in his budget and sees if he can swap out the cost for credit as a sponsor at some level.

    By the way, your chart looks quite well thought out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default is there a rule of thumb for sponsor $ to runner ratio

    Does RRM offer guidance on this metric?
    Advertisers use CPM (cost per thousand).
    If 10,000 people run w/ 25,000 spectators
    any ideas on pricing (or is it whatever market bears).

    Also any guidance on the usual revenue split between
    runner entry fees and sponsor $. Again is there a rule of thumb
    or ideal revenue mix to aim for? I know RRM offers 'best practices'
    information and am hopeful race directors can share useful data.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    198

    Default Let the bidding begin

    I recently helped organize a first-time race. The people associated with it weren't runners; one was a marketing guy who came up w/ a novel idea.

    They approached potential sponsors and asked them to name a figure they'd want to donate for sponsorship $. After collecting a half dozen or so, they rank ordered them, then went back to each and said, "Your donation puts you in the silver (bronze, etc) level. It would take $xx to move up to become a gold (title, etc) sponsor. Do you want to increase your donation or stay put?"

    I'm not sure how this all worked out, since I was only involved in the logistics of the race. But a "bidding war" for title sponsorship might not be a bad idea - I'm sure it happens whenever a pro sports team sells off naming rights to a new stadium (which is why we're now beset with dozens of unwieldy sounding ballpark names - thank God the Red Sox and Yankees remain as holdouts).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    7

    Default Shoot higher

    Title...$5,000, Race of name and logo exclusive on Back of t-shirt
    Gold...$1,500, Sleeve of t-shirt
    Bronze...$500, listed on paper as sponsor.

    Sponsors are key to financial success of any event. I try to have only 4-5 sponsors for a 500-person race, but exceed $10,000 in underwriting. Develop a relationship so they return each year.

    Most smaller races do not work hard enough on sponsorship and do not charge enough. The exceptions have a nice bottom line.

    Be sure to include donations to respected local causes to generate backing.

    Good luck!
    Andy Stewart
    Finish Line Sports

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I'm just a newbie here, but those dollar amounts sound like a lot. Just curious what the needs are to bring in that much sponsorship money....

    What would a race budget of expeditures look like for the race stated above?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    261

    Default

    I think you should seriously reconsider the idea of naming your race after a sponsor. You suggested that the top sponsor would re-name the race. (“NAME OF CO” XXXX 10 Mile & 5K) I think that's probably a bad idea for smaller races.

    The only marketing tool you have that carries froward from year to year is the goodwill associated with the name of the race. Therefore you want the race name to be the same, year after year, independent of the key sponsor.

    Unless you have a sponsor entering into a long term, multi year contact, as happens with most of the big marathons, then DON'T name your race after the sponsor.

    If the direction of your event is to shocase the village, and you expect the event location to stay put year after year, then name it after the village. You can always see it this way "Village_Name 10&5K, sponsored by Gold_Sponsor".

    If the village is the reason and the venue then name the race after it. Business in the village and the surround will identify with the race because it's about their customer base. That will get you sponsorship year after year.

    I have worked with many local races that have grand dreams of Gold-Silver-Copper sponsor programs. Most of them are not filled out with sponsors. My suggestion is to find groups who you think may sponsor the event, either because some one senior in the organization is a runner, or they derive business from runners, or becuase they often sponsor local events and put the people from these organizations on the organizing board. Local people tend to sponsor events in which they are directly involved.

    If your event is a coumunity event, then get one or two comunity groups who have a sucsessful trackrecord of rasing funds to get involved with the race, as orgnizers and indirectly as fund rasers.

    I think you will be more successful in raising donations if your race is sponsored by the local Lyons Club, or some other group with a proven local track record of turning on the money, than by one Platinum title race sponsor.

    Some of our club races have been going for more than 20 years, under the same name. They have history on their side. We may change venue but we don't change the name becuase it caries with it a lot of good will. Therefore I suggest you don't substitute a sponsors name for a race name unless they have bought and paid for your soles for several years to come.

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