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Overcoming Barriers to Sponsorship Success: Research Insights

In the fast-paced world of sponsorship, achieving success is never easy. As the sponsorship industry continues to evolve, it’s crucial for rights-holders to identify and overcome the barriers that stand in their way. We recently conducted a comprehensive Sponsorship Leaders Study asking rights-holders “What are the biggest barriers to achieving success?”

Now that we’ve curated the results, it’s time to dive into the findings of the study and explore strategies to overcome these barriers. Additionally, we have exclusive data for SMA members that will further enhance their sponsorship journey.

The Changing Landscape of Sponsorship

In recent years, the sponsorship landscape has witnessed significant changes and transformations. Sponsors’ expectations have soared, especially in terms of measurement and data. They are seeking more value and looking for partnerships that align seamlessly with their target audiences, brand values, and overall business goals. This has led to an increase in spending, even as the number of event sponsorships decreases. Sponsors now prioritize quality over quantity, focusing on creative and customized programs that provide exceptional guest experiences. Moreover, there is a growing emphasis on driving business results and supporting social initiatives through sponsorship.

Rising to the Occasion

To thrive in this evolving landscape, sponsorship sellers need to deliver innovative, impactful, and measurable opportunities that effectively engage audiences. However, are we truly rising to the occasion? The SMA Study prompted rights-holders to reflect on their journey and identify the barriers hindering their success. Let’s explore some of the key barriers highlighted by the study participants:

  1. Lack of Marketing and Sales Acumen: Many rights-holders struggle with a lack of marketing and sales expertise, preventing them from effectively promoting their sponsorship opportunities and maximizing their revenue potential. To overcome this barrier, it’s essential to invest in continuous learning and development, equipping oneself with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the competitive sponsorship landscape.
  2. Insufficient Valuable Assets and Pricing Methodology: Inadequate assets and an outdated pricing methodology can pose significant obstacles to achieving sponsorship success. Rights-holders must critically evaluate their inventory and ensure they offer valuable assets that align with sponsors’ needs and preferences. Additionally, adopting a strategic and data-driven pricing approach can enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of sponsorship packages.
  3. Lack of a Compelling Value Proposition: A compelling value proposition is vital for attracting sponsors and differentiating oneself in a crowded marketplace. Many rights-holders struggle to clearly articulate the unique benefits and opportunities they offer, making it challenging to stand out. Developing a robust value proposition that highlights the value, reach, and impact of the sponsorship can significantly improve success rates.

Moving Forward

Now that we have identified the common barriers faced by rights-holders, it’s time to devise a plan to overcome them. By acknowledging these challenges and implementing targeted strategies, rights-holders can position themselves for sponsorship success. Here are a few recommendations to push past these barriers:

  • Continuous Learning and Development: Invest in training and professional development programs to enhance marketing and sales acumen, enabling you to effectively promote and sell your sponsorship opportunities.
  • Asset Evaluation and Enhancement: Regularly assess your inventory and identify areas for improvement. Ensure that your assets align with sponsors’ objectives and offer unique value propositions that set you apart from competitors.
  • Data-Driven Pricing Strategies: Adopt a data-driven approach to pricing that takes into account market demand, audience reach, and the perceived value of your assets. This approach will optimize pricing and maximize revenue potential.
  • Refine Your Value Proposition: Craft a compelling value proposition that clearly communicates the benefits, ROI, and unique opportunities associated with sponsoring your property. Tailor your messaging to resonate with the specific needs and goals of potential sponsors.

Exclusive Content for SMA Members

As a valued member of the Sponsorship Marketing Association, we have exclusive content to further enhance your sponsorship journey. Access to our full 2023 Sponsorship Leaders Study to dive deeper into the study findings and gain additional insights and strategies for success. This exclusive content is designed to empower you with knowledge and support your quest for sponsorship excellence.

Overcoming barriers to sponsorship success requires a proactive approach and a willingness to adapt to the evolving landscape. By addressing challenges such as marketing and sales acumen, asset evaluation, value proposition refinement, and embracing data-driven strategies, rights-holders can position themselves for success. With the additional resources available exclusively to SMA members, you have a unique advantage in your sponsorship journey. Let’s push aside the barriers and unlock the full potential of your sponsorship endeavors.

Join the Sponsorship Marketing Association today and access exclusive content that will propel your sponsorship success to new heights!