As outlined in my last post, many sponsors rely on good luck and hope for results from sponsorships, especially smaller events like golf tournaments. While it is easy to avoid the rigor and effort required to generate value from these mini sponsorships, here are five simple ways to ensure these investments provide a return.
- Preplan. While spontaneity is the spice of life, taking the time to gather information from the tournament organizer on who is attending – organizations, specific player names and level in the organization will yield great value. Instead of selecting employees who would like the day off and are willing to represent your company at the tournament, select representatives who can represent your company the best. And request the tournament organizer place your players on teams based on your needs. While it doesn’t always work out, they should play with the executive from your highest volume customer, a prospective new client or a past customer lost to a competitor.
- Prep your players. Tournaments are social events and players should enjoy themselves. But as representatives of your company it is worthwhile ensuring they are familiar with key issues in the company. Even if they are from IT, finance, HR or other functions they need to be able to answer questions about your company – financial results, new products, your involvement in the community, or other questions your customers or prospects will ask about.
- Be innovative in the SWAG you bring. Bringing golf balls, golf shirts, hats or other promotional items as tournament prizes is so easy. But they add little value and make your company look average and not very innovative. Offer prizes that will get participants notice how unique your company is. As well, ensure your signage at the tournament represents your company well by demanding more than a logo on a sign no one read. Use your creativity to create an activation program that engages participants. It is likely no one else is doing this so your company will stand out.
- Debrief. Once the tournament is over, take a few minutes to debrief your team to discuss what they discovered at the tournament – new opportunity, unresolved complaint from a customer, misunderstanding of an issue your company is facing, competitor information and provide an evaluation of the tournament value for next year. You might be surprised what information you can pass along to your sales team, customer service group or operational managers .
- Thanks for a nice day. Once you leave the course, your day isn’t over. Following up with team members or contacts made at the tournament should be a standard operating procedure. It is helpful if you put in place a process that every representative can use to ensure they follow-up on a sales opportunity or to ensure a customer complaint is dealt with.
Good luck and serendipity do happen. But they aren’t assured. Developing a strategy for these small investments will produce tangible business results. Enjoy your tournament season and turn these investments into ones that really make a difference.
CF Marketing Group offers marketing, business development and promotion services to organizations targeting the Western Canadian marketplace. Contact Volker Mendritzki at 403.452.2699 or firstname.lastname@example.org to review your requirements.