No matter what your business, there is a good chance you’ve been asked to sponsor a good cause.  I’m not talking about the odd £10 to sponsor a marathon runner, or your PA’s five-year old doing a sponsored silence at school.  I’m talking about the requests for serious money, goods or services.  Next time you’re asked for support, don’t dismiss it out of hand.  Stop and think … what’s in this for me and my business?

A powerful marketing tool

Sponsorship of a good cause can be a powerful marketing tool.  It puts you in touch with prospective customers who might not have heard of you otherwise.  You are perceived as a ‘good egg’ and someone who is prepared to ‘give something back’.  If the good cause is well organised, you can reap other rewards … listings and links on websites, and on promotional materials and advertising.

As a company, WORD-right is very much in favour of sponsoring good causes.  I take the view that, while a cash donation might help, offering our copywriting, Internet, and marketing skills can bring far greater benefits.

Chippy Lido Auction website a success

WORD-right and WEB-right recently created the Chipping Norton Lido Auction of Promises website, which was very successful.  The auction, with Jeremy Clarkson as auctioneer, was held in July.  Although the site is still live, our input won’t be needed for a year.  This meant our ‘sponsorship time’ was free and we were looking for another good cause.

Climbing Kili for breast cancer

Team Attitude at Altitude raising money to fight breast cancer

Team Attitude at Altitude raising money to fight breast cancer

We recently heard of four women, based in Middle Barton in Oxfordshire – Team Attitude at Altitude – who are planning a trek up Kilimanjaro in September 2010.  They were selling advertising space on the back of a promotional calendar and had some good newspaper coverage.  Their goal is to raise £20,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.  One of the team, Deb Hunt, was successfully treated for breast cancer in 2008.  Since then she has become a very pro-active fundraiser.

Sponsors of Twin-Peaks website

WORD-right and WEB-right offered to build Team Attitude at Altitude’s website FOC, and help raise their profile in the community with Internet marketing support and PR. We pulled out the stops and the website (www.twin-peaks.co.uk) went live in just a week.  In that time we also set up their blog and the template for an email newsletter.  In just the first day, the site attracted 120 visitors and more offers of help and support.  Within a few hours, the girls’ appeal had prompted a blog posting from the ‘other side of the pond’.  You can read the post here.

Does sponsorship work?

So the big question … does sponsorship increase business?  WORD-right’s answer is a resounding ‘YES’.  Not only does it generate enquiries, you are perceived to be active in the community, and it increases your business network.  But apart from all that, it’s fun!  We’ve had a very busy but hugely enjoyable week so far and already made a lot of new friends along the way.

If you’d like to get involved and use sponsorship as a marketing tool, pop along to the Twin Peaks website and take a look at their wish list … there’s still plenty more you can help with.

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

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