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Sponsorship and Event Profitability. Dr Stephen Dann Sparten R&D . To make an event profitable. Earn more than it costs to run the event Two income streams Sponsors Increase perceived value of being involved so they are willing to pay higher rates Participants

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Sponsorship and event profitability

Sponsorship and Event Profitability

Dr Stephen Dann

Sparten R&D

To make an event profitable
To make an event profitable

  • Earn more than it costs to run the event

  • Two income streams

    • Sponsors

      • Increase perceived value of being involved so they are willing to pay higher rates

    • Participants

      • Increasing volume of participation not cost of attendance

Costing less than you earn
Costing less than you earn

  • Key Business Considerations

    • Calculate break even

    • Can the Event be cancelled?

      • When do you have to make break even to ensure the event will go ahead?

      • If the event can’t be cancelled, what alternative revenue stream has been set aside to cover the shortfall?

Financial factors
Financial Factors

  • Costs

    • Knowing fixed costs (event costs)

    • Knowing fixed income (sponsorship)

    • Assess previous events variable costs

    • Assess previous events variable income

    • Calculate case scenarios

      • Worst case scenario

      • Realistic revenue

      • Better than Usual Case

Sponsorship revenue should cover
Sponsorship revenue should cover…

  • Cost of servicing the sponsorship

  • Insurance

  • Sound system

  • Venue hire

  • Printing

  • Overheads

  • Advertising

  • Any fixed event costs

Sponsorship breakeven
Sponsorship Breakeven

  • $(Sponsorship Revenue) - $(Fixed Event Cost) = $(Buffer to handle variable costs)

  • If the sponsorship handles the fixed costs, then the event is less vulnerable to the variables of the event days

Lock in
Lock in

  • Non-refundable pricing

    • Pre Sell Non Refundable Tickets

      • If they don’t show up, it’s not your responsibility

    • Offer Early Bird registrations

Different needs


Financial gain

Access to markets





Good day out

Different Needs

Both want value for money

Managing the whole of the event

Manage the sponsors

Business relationship

Non attendee sponsorship


Manage the pre-event expectations

Explain the event

Show the event from previous year

Manage the Event Day

Managing the people on the day

Controlling the event day

Event Day Hospitality

Have a place for the sponsors to be treated as VIP

Sponsor Host to look after the sponsors

Managing the Whole of the Event

Sponsorship and event profitability

  • Local bakery offers $500 in cash and $200 of buns and bread rolls

  • Local bakery won’t be attending due to work commitments

  • How do you show at least $700 of value from the event day to the baker?


  • Photographs as Proof

    • The product in context

    • The signage

    • People using the product

    • People eating the product

  • Discount Coupon Sponsorships

    • Trade $50 of event day buns for $50 of “Buy one, get one free coupons”

    • Give the coupons to the people who eat the event day buns

    • Measures how many people went to the baker after sampling the product, brings in more business. May not actual cost $50

Mandatory options
Mandatory Options

  • Standard Pre Event Day

    • Sponsor logos on website, flyers, brochures

  • Standard Event Day

    • programs, maps, any printed material

      • Be sponsored by a printing company

      • Double side photocopy

        • main information and key sponsor on the front

        • Every other sponsor on the back, including coupons and vouchers

Mandatory options ii
Mandatory Options II

  • Say Thank You

    • Before the event

    • During the event

    • After the event

  • Send them a Christmas Card


  • Post Event

    • Follow up quickly

    • Thank the sponsor in writing for their support

    • Provide the physical evidence of photographs as close to the event date.

    • Thank the sponsor again in person / on the phone

    • Ensure event staff and club delegates use the coupons as far as possible

Practical keys to success
Practical Keys to Success

  • Trust and Transparency

  • The Business Relationship

  • What does it cost to deliver the sponsorship?

  • Pre-emptive Crisis Management Strategy

Trust and transparency
Trust and Transparency

  • If transparency is the word of the day for both government and corporations, then trust is the word that defines the relationship between a corporation and an event. It’s a partnership in every sense of the word.

The essence of profitable corporate sponsorship


Transparency in event sponsorship
Transparency in Event Sponsorship

  • Promise what you can deliver

  • Separate business investments from charitable donations

  • Have clear record keeping

Promise what you can deliver
Promise what you can deliver

  • Prove your offering

  • Ensure the offer is

    • Specific, Measurable and Realistic

  • It makes it easier for you to know you’ve met the sponsor’s arrangement

The business relationship
The Business relationship

  • The key is to work with the corporation to satisfy the key sponsorship objectives:

    • To enhance image

    • To sell products or services directly

    • To reach specifically targeted market segments

    • To be involved in corporate community development and community service

    • To obtain positive media exposure

    • To enhance customer and VIP relations

    • To contribute to community economic development

Business or charity


Sponsorship is an investment


Return on investment

Extension of corporate communication

Measurable gain


Sponsorship is done for altruistic purposes


Feeling good

Giving back to the sport/event/community

Event success

Business or Charity?

Business of sponsorship
Business of Sponsorship

  • Your event is a business

  • Sponsorship is a business transaction

  • Your role

    • Give value to the sponsor

    • Work with the sponsor to deliver an outcome

    • Manage the sponsor’s expectation

Have clear record keeping
Have clear record keeping

  • Know how much was brought in on sponsorship in cash and in kind

  • Know how much was spent servicing the sponsorship

  • Ensure you know where the sponsors in kind goods are, and where they will be used on the event day.

What does it cost to deliver the sponsorship
What does it cost to deliver the sponsorship?

  • Make it clear who pays the costs involved in the sponsorship

  • Event Signage

    • Do you pay for it to be painted, or does the sponsor?

    • Or do you get a signage company as sponsor?

Pre emptive crisis management strategy
Pre-emptive Crisis Management Strategy

  • What if something goes wrong?

    • More importantly, how will you manage when something goes wrong?

    • Defending sponsorships from criticism

    • Dealing with sponsors who don’t want to be associated with you any more

Best pre emptive strategy
Best Pre-emptive Strategy

  • Have a good working relationship with the sponsor, and have clear benefits for their ongoing involvement in your event and organisation

Extending the relations
Extending the Relations

  • Transactions

    • One time, short term, single event

  • Relationships

    • More than one time

    • Ongoing series of transactions that intentionally build up over time

Sponsorship and event profitability

  • Transactions

    • Discount hire of sound system in exchange for signage on the speakers

  • Relationships

    • Multiple year sponsorships

    • Collaborative ventures and promotions which extend outside of the event time

    • Longer the relationship, the cheaper each transaction becomes

Deliverable properties
Deliverable Properties

  • Ongoing Joint benefits

    • Offering an opportunity cost (eg riding lessons) in exchange for sponsorship of the event

    • Prizes that involve participation in the organisation’s non-event day activity

    • Event and organisation information at the sponsor’s business outside of the lead up to an event