Tuesday, December 11, 2018

WRITING A PROPOSAL FOR TENNIS SPONSORSHIP



When tennis players begin to compete internationally the expenses involved in traveling overseas to events such as airfares, accommodation and food are quite high and put a significant strain on most family budgets. Players and their parents often try to off-set some of this financial burden by looking for sponsorship. 

Here are some important points to consider when approaching companies or individuals for tennis sponsorship.

It's important to put yourself in the shoes of the head marketing person of a big company. He/she are busy and any proposal you develop should be clear in what you want to happen. Don't presume that they know what you want. You need to tell them in a clear and precise way.

This marketing manager has a yearly marketing  budget which they have put together to gain maximum positive branding exposure for their company. 

This marketing budget will include advertising their companies services or products in newspapers, television and increasingly in the most popular social media platforms. This is essentially your competition... you are competing against these businesses for a piece of the company's marketing budget.

There may however be a part of the companies marketing budget set aside for sport, even perhaps specifically tennis.

I was lucky enough once to approach the car manufacturing company Volvo, very soon after Volvo distributors worldwide had been directed by their head office in Sweden to include tennis in their marketing efforts. This was just luck on my part but it's an illustration that you need to approach companies that already have an existing interest in sponsoring tennis or a history of sponsoring  tennis.  Also do some research as to what type of tennis sponsorship they participate in. Is it sponsorship involving individuals or events?

Once you have done this type of research and have identified a company involved in tennis sponsorship already it's still your responsibility to create a good proposal to help them decide whether you are a good "fit" for their marketing efforts.

Your proposal should include 3 important sections

  1. WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
  2. HOW MUCH MONEY YOU NEED 
  3. WHAT YOU WILL GIVE THEM IN RETURN
Here's what to include in each section...

  1. WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
In tennis terms this should include the number of tournaments you will play in for the following year (most sponsorship will be for a 1 year period), and the corresponding expenses involved in traveling to these events such as airfares, hotel accommodation, food and local transportation.

You can also include other expenses involved in travelling such as visa fees, tournament entry fees, stringing costs etc. Coaching fees and gym membership are other cost that you may want to include.

It will depend on how financially involved you feel the company wants to be in your tennis career.
  1. HOW MUCH YOU NEED
You don't have to be exact here. Try to find an average amount of all the above expenses and multiple by the number of tournaments you have decided to play in.

Once this has been done, round the figure up. Don't try to leave an exact amount to the last cent and certainly don't settle on an amount that could possibly run out before the end of your tournament year. If you have spent all the sponsorship money early it will be almost impossible to go back to the company asking for additional funds!
  1. WHAT YOU WILL DO FOR THEM IN RETURN
This will be important information for the marketing manager to take to his Board. He needs to show others within his company that there is value in you as a part of the company's marketing effort for the year.

You need to come up with ways in which you can promote the company through your tennis career.

Company logo's on your tennis shirts and shorts/skirts will give the company visibility at the tournaments you play in. 

Social media outlets such as Facebook. Twitter, Youtube and Instagram are excellent tools to get the message out about your results and your sponsors. Decide which social media outlet to use based on the companies customer demographics.   Include a social media presence in your proposal.

You should also be prepared to create written reports on a quarterly or half yearly basis. These reports need to demonstrate exactly how you are helping to promote the company's brand within the tennis community and your progress as a player (results).

Following this format outlined above will help you clarify your thoughts and allow the marketing manager to make an informed decision of whether you and the company are right for each other.