I am trying to establish and grow a new orienteering club in Missoula, Montana, USA. We are looking at trying to get some sponsorship support from local businesses and organizations, and i am wondering if folks have ideas for what we can offer potential sponsors.
Some ideas we are already considering: printing sponsor logo on event maps (lowest tier: one event only; higher tier: full season of events); place a sponsor banner at the start/finish; place sponsor logo on website/club jersey.
Any other ideas? Has any type of outreach been particularly effective/ineffective? Would love to learn from others' experience!
Would a number of event vouchers be a thought, they could use for sending staff and family members to participate?
Another interesting group to attempt sponsorship with or look into how it works , at least sometimes down the road, is either health insurance providers of companies or the like. The reason why I am thinking of this is that through my husband's company, the health insuring company has this way of gathering "fitness" points and lowering your a annual premium based on those points. The employee and spouse can each enroll and then gather points, not all exercise related, but there is a very long list of things you can do, some being having certain apps that track your fitness/exercise linked to them, or making a call to the nutritionist.
The main sponsor of Swiss-O week 2016 and JWOC 2016 was the largest health insurance company in Switzerland, touting the healthy outdoors life, and also that it is important to start that early on.
Although might not work with the for-profit driven way insurances are here....
You have the good ideas there already Boris.
With the sponsor logo on the website give the chance for 'click throughs'.
Have you thought of developing a mid-week in town series of events and go after a pub/ restaurant to be the sponsor with you holding your wind ups and prizes for the event at the pub? We did that in Ottawa one year, getting sponsorship from a company with pubs all over town. I made a few quick maps and held the events out of pubs on their less busy nights. Their cooks and servers were really happy with the extra business and so were their bosses.
Money for nothing is hard to come by but offering something in return is better.
Get used to hearing 'Sorry no our sponsorship budget is spent' but if you don't ask at all the answer will be no by default.
Cold calls are REALLY tough. If you know someone who knows someone to do the asking the chances of a YES go way up. Also worked well in Ottawa.
Remember to ask the service clubs.
We have had good success with product sponsorship as it is easier for businesses to donate what they make instead of cash so that either lowers cost to you (e.g. food at finish line) or it adds value to events/programs through extras to your participants.
For example we partnered with a running store and an outdoor gear store to sponsor Adventure Running Kids. In exchange for links on web site to their business and logos on maps all participants in the program get a discount on gear and we get prices for races. we also held clinics on their stores after hours and has race kit pickup and registration for the kids race at their stores. If it gets people into the store then it is worth more. We also got a local car dealership to give us an excellent deal on vehicles for our employees (ARK mobiles). We provide little offers from the dealership in our email blasts to participants and even build the vehicle into some fun races as the aid station is setup by the car (and some other fun ideas I can share with you over email). A law firm sponsors us and provides pro bono services for us.
In short, view the sponsorship as a partnership. Good luck Boris. I’m looking forward to orienteering in Montana some day. (I’ve always wanted to visit the Missoula Fire Lab so with O in town there is extra incentive to make that visit).
Oh, Missoula! I always wondered if there is good terrain around there. Are there any good maps yet to share? I'm curious to see what it looks like.
ShadowCaster check out their website
for maps and some looks at great terrain.
It seems some top names in NA Orienteering are finding their way to Missoula, too.
If O-USA has a prize for best new club of the year - of the decade - GrizzO should be at or near the top of the list.
That two-day in May at Lubrecht Experimental Forest looks interesting. I may consider coming up for that.
You are very welcome! We've got some gorgeous terrain up here. And if you want to make a longer trip out of it, we can provide training opportunities on other local maps (all of which are works in progress, for full disclosure.)