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CAN YOU ANSWER THIS ONE QUESTION DURING YOUR END OF YEAR RECAP?

Steve DeLay's picture

YOU MAY NOT EVEN BE IN THE ROOM WHEN IT'S ASKED SO YOUR MAIN SPONSOR CONTACT BETTER HAVE THE ANSWER FROM YOU

The situation could go something like this. This is playing out across the country for NBA, NHL, AHL, ECHL teams and more as they go through end-of-season sponsor recaps and Annual Report

You think you've done a bang-up job delivering for the sponsor during the season. You're able to check off every element. You can show Repucom data for the eyeballs and impressions their courtside signage received. You can talk about TV ratings for your team that had two superstars and were near the top of the conference all season long.

You sit down with the VP of Marketing of your sponsor and go through everything you did. You slide across the Annual Report and start talking about how to make next year bigger and better, the presumptive close that the sponsor is going to renew.

Then, out of nowhere, the owner of the company pops in to say hello.

The VP - Marketing says, "Bill here was just recapping our sponsorship with the Kangaroos and all the numbers."

"Terrific. How many (insert company product here) did we sell?" asks the owner looking at you.

(There could be a variation of this question such as,

"How many people sampled our product/tried our new beer?"
"How many of your fans did we get in to our stores?"
"How did our employees like the reward/recognition program..."

or something else based on the company's goals and what the owner wanted to accomplish when they bought the sponsorship)

You fumble a little bit for an answer, sounding a bit like Charlie Brown on the phone when Peppermint Patty invites herself over for Thanksgiving dinner, "Well, I, uh, well I well it's sorta like this..." you stutter.

The owner of the company, always quick to the next subject stops looking at you and looks at his VP. "Jennifer, we need to get together on the budget next week so we know what we're doing next year. Be prepared in case we need to cut." He looks back at you and nods goodbye on his way out the door.
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Your face turns three shades of white as you realize that because you didn't know exactly how you helped the sponsor accomplish their goals, your sponsorship may be on the chopping block. Despite all your fancy graphics, numbers and pictures in your Annual Report, it doesn't answer the fundamental question, "Did the sponsorship work?"

WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU PRESENT YOUR END-OF-SEASON RECAP

Take a long hard look at the recap you are putting together right now at your desk. Does it tell a story about the success of the sponsorship? Can you quantify how it helped the sponsor accomplish their goals? Does it talk through how you think you can do even better next year? Heck, do you even know their goals? Were they realistic and tangible or was it just, "we want awareness."

Remember, the final decision maker on your sponsorship most likely isn't even going to be in the room when you present your end-of-season recap. You have to make sure the success story you are singing to the VP of Marketing is being sung in the same key to the owner, Regional VP or Co-op committee so they can know the specifics on what you helped them accomplish. Don't just bore them with numbers. Save those for the appendix.

Lead with the story about how many people showed up at the store for the player appearance and how many phones were sold that day. Talk about the number of people their dealership salespeople interacted with and developed multiple touches with during that special promotion.

Most teams I work with use the Annual Report as nothing more than proof of performance. That's a given. You signed a sponsorship agreement that said you were going to deliver on the elements. That is a minimum.

Regardless of what you put in as proof of performance, impressions, analytics and other numbers, you have to include two key steps:

1. Here's how we helped you accomplish your goals.

2. Here's how we're going to do it even better next year.

If you'd like an excerpt on Annual Reports from our upcoming Ultimate Toolkit - Sponsorships , give me a call at 702-493-2661 or send me an email at stevedelay@earthlink.net. I'm happy to help.

Steve DeLay is co-author with Jon Spoelstra on "The Ultimate Toolkit to Sell the Last Seat in the House" and the upcoming "Ultimate Toolkit - Sponsorships". Both are complete How-To systems for teams on increasing ticket and sponsorship revenue. You can see more at www.theultimatetoolkit.com."

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