Your nonprofit’s charity golf tournament has a unique appeal to sponsors. How? Your event gives them access to an audience of potential clients and customers, that typically represents a demographic of above-average wealth and influence, that they can’t reach anywhere else. But pitching a sponsorship—even if you have strong relationships with local businesses and companies—can feel daunting.
With the right strategies in place, your tournament will provide great ROI for businesses looking for exposure, brand lift, and association with a great cause. From the initial pitch to tournament execution, here’s how to make your tournament irresistible to prospective sponsors.
1. Offer Robust, Tailored Sponsorship Packages
Beyond access to your tournament’s audience, you need to provide enough value to the sponsor to compel them to invest in your event. Start by creating sponsorship tiers that allow businesses of all sizes and budgets to support your tournament. Use these tiers as building blocks to create customized sponsorship packages for specific partners. Customized options can make a big difference in pitching to a potential partner. Take the time to connect with the sponsor to talk through their goals and how your tournament can help achieve that, and build a corresponding package that meets both your needs.
Some common benefits to include in your sponsorship packages are:
- Logo placement on promotional materials
- Social media shoutouts
- Branded collateral, such as flyers or player gifts
- Access to registrants’ contact information
- Networking opportunities with other sponsors and registrants
- Complimentary or reduced team registration
You might consider pitching certain premium, high-visibility sponsorships to specific businesses, such as:
- Technology sponsorship
- Pin flag sponsorship
- Hole-in-one contest sponsorship
- On-course game sponsorship
- Food and beverage sponsorship
Be creative and determine what works best for your tournament and the sponsor. And when you’re making your pitch, highlight the unique value proposition your charity golf tournament has. For instance, play up the golfer demographic. According to GolfStatus, the average golfer’s net worth is over $700,000 with an average average income of over $100,000. Or propose using the tournament as a team-building activity or corporate golf outing.
2. Prioritize Collaboration & Communication
To help sponsors get the most out of their sponsorship, you need to treat them as true partners. What does that mean? You’ll want to build a collaborative relationship that includes plenty of communication and check-ins. Consider building the following touchpoints into your regular stewardship cadence to maintain a positive relationship with sponsors.
- Get-to-know-you chats. When feasible, it’s a good idea to lay the foundation for a partnership—before you’ve even made a pitch with your potential sponsor. Whether it’s a phone call, video meeting, or an informal cup of coffee, you’ll get more comfortable with your point of contact and glean valuable insights into the business’ priorities.
- Formal pitch meeting. Invite your contacts at a business to a meeting with whoever is taking the lead on sponsorships. Make your custom pitch, highlighting the win-win benefits of working with your nonprofit and sponsoring the charity golf tournament. Share metrics from previous events and stories of impact to help them understand what their sponsorship will help your organization do.
- Engagement check-ins. Once your sponsors have come on board, schedule regular check-ins with them to keep everyone on the same page about the event’s progress and engagement-specific updates.
- Post-event follow-up. After the event has concluded, have a conversation with your sponsors to collect feedback about their satisfaction with the event and their support of it. You might schedule a check-in in the days immediately following the tournament and a second a few weeks later to see if there has been any immediate impact on their business.
Another great tool is a sponsorships fulfillment packet, which essentially documents the deliverables you outlined in your pitch. If you promised a certain number of social media shoutouts, document those. If you promised logo exposure in specific places, take photos and include those in the packet. The goal is to show the sponsor the value they received for supporting your tournament.
3. Use Golf Tournament Management Technology
A golf-specific platform adds additional value to your sponsorship offerings. Sponsors can purchase their desired package via an event website and submit logos and messaging with a few clicks, instead of a time-consuming back and forth. What’s more, a web-based platform that includes an accompanying mobile app provides extended digital exposure for sponsors before, during, and after the tournament. That means more eyeballs on their brand for a longer period of time!
Some golf tournament management software solutions offer exclusive sponsorships that bring in additional funds and provide businesses with premium digital exposure. For example, you might look for a solution that offers a technology sponsorship, complete with branding on the tournament’s event website homepage, in the mobile app, via push notifications, and through various marketing channels.
Ultimately, a golf-specific option provides a more curated and streamlined experience for your sponsors. For instance, online registration lets you quickly and easily generate golfer and donor reports and send registrant contact lists so sponsors can start outreach immediately. It saves busy nonprofit tournament organizers time and provides sponsors with a professional, high-end experience.
As you start planning for your charity golf tournament and building sponsorships, start by getting your golf event management solution in place. Research options and determine which is the most cost-effective and has the tools you need for a successful event. Next, dive into sponsorships by making a list of businesses and companies that could be prospective tournament sponsors. Tap into the personal and professional networks of your planning team, staff, and board members to identify connections. Reach out to existing partners to have a conversation about their needs and goals and build custom sponsorship packages that address them.
By leveraging these suggestions, your charity golf tournament can appeal to a broad range of businesses that will jump at the opportunity to support your cause.