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Developing a Sponsorship Plan

Adapted, by permission, from Directing Youth Sports Programs (Paperback Book), © 2001 by Rainer Martens, (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics), 154-155, 800-747-5698.


Success in pursuing sponsorships requires a well-constructed plan. This exercise takes you through the steps for developing such a plan for use in your community.

Step 1. What component(s) of your program has the best potential to be sponsored?

  • Team
  • Tournament
  • Awards
  • Facility
  • Food and drink
  • Others?

Step 2. Who are the best potential sponsors?


  • Check to see if parents in your program are executives in companies that might have an interest in sponsoring.
  • Watch local newspapers for ads to see what companies are spending money and might be interested in marketing their products to your participants.
  • What companies have sponsored other events?
  • Look for new businesses or ones that are expanding.
  • Target sponsors that will directly benefit from your program (i.e. sporting good stores, hotels, restaurants).

Remember that you're also selling publicity, exposure, and goodwill. Research larger businesses in your area that reveal their goals on what they've spent for promotion over the past year. Annual reports are a great place to start.

  • List companies that have the potential budget to support the dollar amount you seek. It doesn't make sense to go to a small barbershop to ask for a $5,000 sponsorship.

Step 3. Prepare a sponsorship proposal for any one of the components you identified in step 1.

For our purposes in this exercise, indicate the key points to be made under each of the four parts of the proposal.

  • The Event to Be Sponsored: Give a brief description of the event, and don't forget to list any marketing potential, including spectators.
  • Your Organization: Who are you?
  • Sponsorship Request: What specifics are you asking for?
  • Sponsorship Benefits: What do they get out of it?

Step 4. Outline how you will go about contacting the potential sponsors of this proposal to get the most favorable consideration possible.

Who will you network with? What particularly will you emphasize to one business compared to another on your list?

Other tips:

  • Deliver what you promise.
  • Keep good records of your planning and a file on each sponsor to refer back to each year.
  • Approach a company only once a year.
  • Recognize "in-kind" sponsors (printers, practice space, media) as they probably serve as a reduction in overhead costs.
  • Acknowledge and recognize sponsors in a public way.