Will sponsoring a team help my small business? Yes, and here’s why.

Chances are, as a small business owner, you have been approached by people, charities, institutions, or groups to sponsor something. Maybe it’s a youth sports team, a concert in the park, or an online event.

Groups assume that small businesses have a built-in audience and the financial wherewithal to help fund an event.

Although they want you, do you want them?

You should consider saying yes for six very good reasons, including good karma in your community and increased visibility. More importantly, referrals can generate leads, partnerships, and sales.

1. Sponsorship creates goodwill

Goodwill is important – vital, even – but a bit amorphous. It is essentially about the reputation of your business in the community in general and with customers in particular.

People love and appreciate a business that can sponsor an event. Sponsorship will co-brand your business with this event and, in most cases, improve your business reputation.

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2. Sponsorship can lead directly to sales

Consumers are more likely to purchase a product after being exposed to a company through a branded marketing event.

Here is some anecdotal evidence: I went to an event. One of the sponsors had a great food truck there. We are still eating at the sponsor’s restaurant 20 years later.

To continue with the restaurant example, let’s say you own a restaurant and have the option of sponsoring a youth or adult sports team. When players are hungry and looking for somewhere to eat after practice or competition, they’re more likely to come to your house if you have a relationship with them.

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3. Increased visibility is always good

. Especially in these days of short attention span drama, STANDING OUT is more important – albeit harder – than ever. Sponsoring an event helps you get noticed.

Most people have never heard of your business. But they will if you sponsor an event, and even better: if their first exposure to your business is because you’re a sponsor, that first impression will be lasting and positive.

4. It can help you reach your target market

When thinking about sponsoring something, ask yourself if the team or event caters to your demographic.

If so, your sponsorship puts your business directly in the crosshairs of your target market. It’s awesome ?

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5. It can generate good leads

Ideally, sponsorship should not be limited to putting your name on a program or website. A good sponsorship package should include some sort of lead generation mechanism. It could be an email sign-up form or a special networking event.

Either way, sponsorship can and should lead to warm leads.

6. Partnership Opportunities

By being present in your community – whether online or offline – you expose your business to more potential customers – and you put yourself in front of other businesses and professionals. Who knows what opportunities may arise from this? Probably very good ones.

The bottom line is that sponsoring an event doesn’t cost, it pays.

For even more marketing tips, check out my new site, PlanetSmall Business!

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