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The Sponsorship Funnel

Updated: May 9

Sponsorships are an important part of income in football. For most clubs, it is one of the most important streams of revenue. But not only clubs and leagues can benefit from such deals. Athlete endorsement offers athletes the possibility to earn (extra) money besides their professional sports career.

As a female football player, you might seek extra ways to earn money. A sponsorship deal could be a great way to do so.

But finding the right sponsor is not always easy. There is a whole process behind finding and closing such a deal.

In this blog we will discuss the sponsorship funnel and show you our approach in finding one.

What is a marketing funnel

Before we get deeper into the sponsorship funnel, we will explain how a marketing funnel in general works.

A marketing funnel describes the journey in which you convert a lead to a customer. It is called a funnel because most leads start at the widest part and during the steps you take towards converting someone into a customer, the amount of people and therefore the funnel will narrow.

The sponsorship process

The process of finding a sponsor can also be illustrated with a funnel. You start with a lot of potential sponsors and end with maybe just one partnership. We will explain the different stages of the funnel in this paragraph.

Valenze - The Sponsorship Funnel

Create a prospecting list

The first thing you do is identify potential sponsors. Based on your personal goal, values and interests you make a long list of brands who might be interesting to approach.

You can already split the list into different categories, like sportsgear, health, clothing or domestic appliances. This will give you a better overview and possibly more ideas to expand your list.

Create a sponsor shortlist

You are not going to contact all the sponsors on your prospecting list. There are simply too many options and not all of them are a good match. By narrowing it down and prioritizing the list to just 5 brands, you will create more focus in your approach.

The following questions can help you to cross off some of the names on your list:

  1. Towards which brand do you have a positive feeling?

  2. Do you already use any of the products/services?

  3. Do you need any of the products/services?

  4. What are the chances of this brand wanting to sponsor you?

You can always come back to the original full list of prospects, but start with the names on your shortlist!

If you have created a shortlist, you will do a more extensive research about the brand to prepare your message and the proposal you will present to them.

Set up sponsor meetings

The next step is to contact the brands on your shortlist. But before you do, you need to find out who to approach within the company. A little bit of research might help you to find the person in charge of sponsorships, or who works in the commercial department. Depending on the size of the company and the way they operate, you decide on what is the best way to approach them.

Not all companies will respond or are open for a meeting. They might not see the fit, don’t have the resources or have other reasons to say no. But other ones do and want to hear more about you and how a potential sponsorship can benefit both parties.

Close your sponsor deal!

During a sponsor meeting you get the chance to present yourself, what you have to offer and why this partnership could be a perfect match. This part of the process is important and determines if a company chooses to become your sponsor or not. There is still a chance you will lose the brand as a potential sponsor and they can still leave the ‘funnel’ at this stage. But the ones you should focus on are the companies you can convince and who do have the confidence in a partnership between you and them.

Are you curious about how Valenze can help you to find a sponsor? As additional service, on top of our authentic personal branding program, we offer image representation. Find out more about our program on our service page or contact us!

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