||Best Practices: Two Tips For Selling Small-Market Properties
Properties Can Gain New Sponsors by Using Mobile Marketing Programs to Identify New Prospects and Offering Platforms That Provide Business-Building Opportunities
Although they may be the hottest ticket in town, properties located in small markets face a significant challenge in securing significant sponsorship revenue due to a lack of companies to draw from.
IEG SR reached out to minor league sports teams, college athletic departments and other types of events located in small and medium-sized markets to find out their approach to attracting new sponsors.
Below are two takeaways, both of which can be used by properties located in small and large markets alike.
Use mobile marketing tours to scout leads. The Taste of Buffalo presented by TOPS has seen success from leveraging companies affiliated with mobile marketing tours.
Case in point: The festival last year secured a partnership with AT&T Inc., a sponsor of the Boy Scouts of America's mobile tour.
After learning about AT&T's affiliation with the tour, the festival approached the telco’s regional office about a promotion that would enhance the company's on-site presence. AT&T inked an official sponsorship with the event, a tie it activated with a promotion that offered free food tickets to attendees that came to the festival dressed in a Boy Scout uniform.
AT&T this year has expanded its involvement with the July 9-10 festival with the AT&T Fan Favorite Food contest. In addition to recognizing the festival's most popular restaurant, the promotion dangles the opportunity for a consumer to sample one menu item from each of the festival's 57 participating restaurants.
The promotion will give AT&T incremental PR exposure and visibility on a plaque given to the winning restaurant.
"People in Buffalo are very food-centric, so the promotion will receive a lot of press," said Connie Nitkowski, president of Sell-utions, Inc. an event management and sponsorship sales agency that reps the festival.
AT&T also is activating the tie with a promotion designed to drive store traffic. The Ultimate Taste Ticket promotion dangles a grand prize that includes a trip to the festival in a limousine, VIP access and the opportunity to sample food from each of the festival’s 57 restaurants.
Consumers can enter the promotion on the Taste of Buffalo's Facebook site after receiving a password from a local AT&T store.
Offer business-to-business opportunities. California Polytechnic State University Athletics faced a challenge: How could it take its sponsorship revenue to the next level despite its location in San Luis Obispo, a city with a population of roughly 45,000 consumers and a limited corporate base?
"We're located in a small market, and we would scare the local sandwich shop by asking for a $5,000 sponsorship," said Shaun Russell, the school's assistant athletic director.
To overcome that challenge, Cal Poly is placing more emphasis on offering B2B packages that offer direct access to the school's business.
For example, the school is offering magnetic resonance imaging and other healthcare business as part of its pitch to local hospitals.
"We're a great vehicle for advertising, but we also want to refer our students and student athletics to our hospital sponsor so they can maximize dollars from the sponsorship," said Russell.
The school plans to strike similar deals with companies in the auto rental, office supply and other categories, he added.
Cal Poly last year brought on Nelligan Sports Marketing to assist its sponsorship sales effort.
(Source: IEG Sponsorship Report, 06/27/11)
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