After a company has agreed to sponsor your event, you’re on the hook for providing everything you promised in your proposal. Those are the deliverables. Make sure you’ve budgeted for all the costs associated with them! And get them in a contract. This is for your protection. Imagine if the person who agreed to the sponsorship leaves for another job. Without a contract in place there’s nothing documenting that they agreed to support you. It can also provide a level of protection if the sponsor comes back and says “I thought this event was going to be advertised during the Super Bowl and it wasn’t so we aren’t paying.” With a signed contract in hand you have the protection of that agreement.
In order to stay on top of everything you’ve sold or promised, it’s best to create a matrix of all the benefits you’ve sold. This matrix of deliverables is a really important tool. It can be in the form of a simple spreadsheet or something more elaborate, but it should catalogue:
What type of sponsorship did the brand receive: Title, Presenting, Supporting, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Official Bike, etc.
- Logo Placements
- Special Programs
- VIP Tickets
- PA Announcements
- Paid Social
- Ad placements
Going back to our section on timelines, if you have a well built timeline that factors in deadlines for production (all signage orders must be in by… in order to be delivered by…) you will also do much better in providing your deliverables to sponsors.
Finally, don’t forget the importance of sponsor approvals before going to production. If you have an official jersey sponsorship that includes use of the sponsor logo – make sure you follow their usage guidelines and get approval before going into production. Brands are very specific about how their marks are used and applied. Respect that, and you won’t end up re-doing things.
In a great sponsor/event partnership, you deliver everything you’ve promised and the sponsor walks away feeling like that was a great event, they got the proper return for the investment and they can’t wait to support you again the following year. Don't forget to send a thank you post-event.
The flip side is failing to meet your commitments to your sponsor. Don’t do that. Please. It reflects badly not just on your event, but all cycling events. Brands, once burned, are often reluctant to test the sponsorship waters again. Make sure you only promise things you can actually deliver. Promising the moon and delivering green cheese only leaves the sponsor with a bad taste in their mouth, and they won’t come back. Not to mention, they rightfully have a basis for not providing payment in full.