3 Tips for Boosting Corporate Sponsorship

May 09, 2016 - By: Sarah Hovis

For the past 16 years hearty souls have taken the Polar Plunge into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan to help raise money for Special Olympics Chicago. In addition to drawing 6,000 participants, including celebrities like Taylor Kinney and Lady Gaga, the event took in a record-breaking $1.5 million this year. As the event has grown, so has the sponsorship. Today, we’re taking a look at three tips Katie Hardiman, senior development manager for Special Olympics Chicago has for attracting corporate sponsors.

Maximize sponsors' involvement in the cause.
In addition to sponsoring the Polar Plunge, Peoples Gas and Chicago Athletic Clubs are also involved in other Special Olympics Chicago initiatives that take place throughout the year. Hardiman says this type of long-term involvement helps “create even more deeply rooted and mutually beneficial friendships with corporate sponsors.”

Know your event's selling points.
To help create those mutually beneficial partnerships, when approaching sponsors, Hardiman and her team highlighted their event’s strengths: a unique opportunity to connect with the local community, a chance to build brand awareness, improve employee engagement, and transform the lives of 6,000 athletes.

Communicate R.O.I.
Transparency goes a long way in building trust and getting a sponsor to commit to future events. After the Polar Plunge, the team compiles sponsorship fulfillment reports for each sponsor, with analytical details and anecdotes. The report includes details regarding the exposure each sponsor received pre-event and onsite, as well as traditional and social media coverage for the overall event.

For more sponsorship tips, check out our post on how they can be more than just a name on a sign.

Tell us in the comments any tips you have on boosting corporate sponsorship.