What’s sponsor brokering? And why it’s different from sponsorship management? Two different faces of the same topic: let’s see the differences between the two services.
We receive a lot of phone calls or e-mails of riders, drivers and teams asking for help in finding new sponsors for their racing programmes. They understand that they’re not specialized in this kind of activity and they look for a specialized agency. Reasonable, no questions about that.
At first glance both services seem to be the same, but they’re not. Both of them are about working closely with companies and teams/athletes and both of them aim to build a strong relationship between the two counterparties, but there are some main differences.
Understanding the differences will allow you to save time and energies. Ready?
Talking about the sponsor brokering, the process starts from the athlete or the team: he/she wants to convince a company to invest on him/her and to bond the company’s image to his/her image. This process is quite difficult because it takes a lot of time to find a company who is willing to invest in motorsport and to convince it to spend some money.
On the other hand the sponsorship management process has the opposite direction: a company who wants to invest in motortport contacts a specialized agency to get some help in maximising its investment and to activate correctly the partneship.
Same process, opposite starting points.
Who is looking for sponsors wants to fund his/her activity, while who is looking for sponsees wants to communicate to its costumers throughout the sport. The difference is huge: from one side the counterpart is looking for money and he/she doesn’t really care about the project underlying it, from the other side the project is what they’re paying for when they decided to contact a marketing agency!
A bloke with a lot of contacts can act as sponsor broker, but without a deep marketing knowledge he can’t work on a proper sponsorship management plan! He has to know how a company works internally to decide where to allocate its budget on the different activites.
Who is able to write down a proper marketing plan can work as sponsor broker, the opposite is not always true.
…to sum up
When you call the plumber, he wants to be paid even just for the call: the time he spends in coming to your house and check the problem. You’re paying for his time.
When you call a sponsor broker, he/she pretends to be paid for his/her time too! So you’ll pay for the time he/she spends making phone calls, sending e-mails, visiting companies or attending fairs and events. Fair enough, but the negative side of this aspect is that is not sure that he/she will find some sponsors for you! So you may pay for nothing, but at the same time you can’t pretend that he/she works for free! It’s up to you: risking or not? That’s the choice.