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How to Start Evaluating Your Property

by Sylvia Allen

Editor's note: This is the seventh article in a 10-part article series on SPONSORSHIP DEVELOPMENT, contributed by Sylvia Allen, President of Allen Consulting, Inc., Holmdel, NJ.

In order to be effective at sponsorship sales, you have to ask yourself some questions before you can prepare a good inventory of "saleable" items. These questions will help you develop sound sponsorship offerings. In many instances these are the same questions your sponsor will ask so going through this exercise will help you be better prepared during the sales call.

  1. What are the basics ... where is the event being held, when is it being held, what are the times/dates, what is the estimated attendance. Basically, answer the who-what-when-where-why questions.

  2. Is it inside or outside?

  3. What are the restrictions of the site/venue? (For example, if your event were being held at the PNC Bank Center you wouldn't be able to bring in another bank as a sponsor. We recently held a concert that was sponsored by Original Coors; the band came with a Budweiser sponsor but had failed to note that in the contract; they were prohibited from hanging the Budweiser banner.)

  4. Who are your media partners and what portion of that media can be allocated to sponsors (radio, cable, TV, print, billboard, coupons, etc.)?

  5. What are the signage capabilities (on-site ... where and how many; horizontal and vertical street banners ... where and how many; other points of visibility ... stage, exhibit area, etc.)?

  6. Do you have a retail partner(s)? Who is it? What is the relationship and can they be used for cross promotion?

  7. Is the event free or paid admission?

  8. Is it a ticketed event? Can the sponsor be on the ticket?

  9. What collateral material is planned (posters, flyers, parking passes, etc.)? What visibility will the sponsor have on the collateral material?

  10. What are the on-site benefits (audio announcements, banners, signs, posters, booth space, sales space, etc.)?

  11. What are the promotional rights (couponing, bouncebacks, register-to-win, product demos, product sampling, etc.)?

  12. Are there naming rights (the SPONSOR children's area, the SPONSOR petting zoo, etc.)?

  13. Do you have a database of names that can be released to the sponsor?

  14. What are the VIP or hospitality opportunities?

  15. Will admission tickets be part of the sponsorship offering?

  16. If there is celebrity involvement, will the sponsor have access to the celebrity?

  17. Do you have insurance coverage for the sponsors?

  18. What is the sponsor history of the event (good, bad, non-existent, etc.) ?

  19. Do you have a crisis PR plan in place (particularly necessary for dangerous sports such as offshore powerboat racing, NASCAR racing, etc.)?

  20. Is there category exclusivity?

  21. If beverage company, can they have pouring rights?

These are the basics. As you look at your own events, I'm sure you can come up with more that are specifically related to your event. However, if you get these 21 questions answered you are well on your way to being able to prepare good, quality sponsorship offerings that will be attractive to corporations who could invest in your event.

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About the Author:

Sylvia Allen offers a wealth of public relations, event marketing, and sponsorship experience to her clients.

She has published several books and is the author of HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT SPONSORSHIP SALES, publishes The Sponsorship Newsletter, has just finished a 60 minute video on sponsorship, and lectures all over the country on sponsorship (IFEA, National Main Street, etc.) as well as teaching at New York University.

She has sold everything from $25 to $4,000,000 sponsorships; she can be reached at 732-946-2711 or at

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