April 4: “Kathy’s Mailbag…Hey Kathy!”


Happy post holiday back to work time.  As teams gear up for the season, wind down from a season, or prepare for playoffs, we still have work to do daily in our offices.  Great questions this week concerning corporate partnerships and group sales. Read on!

“Hey Kathy,

I had a sponsorship sale go bad when the client said that we just weren’t creative enough with our ideas.  This made me wonder…are we underselling our product with ‘typical’ sponsorships? How much more should we be offering?”  J, west coast team

Hi J,

Oh how I love sponsorships.  It’s one of the areas you can really think as creatively as you want.   There’s “typical” sponsorship (signage, naming rights, branding a night, branding an experience, etc. and then there’s new age sponsorships (focus is on the digital/social media type) and then there’s the truly ‘let’s partner’ partnerships (year round, wins for both, and totally unusual activities).  It depends on where your client fits in. This is one of the things you need to assess on the needs analysis.  What is it exactly they are hoping to get from this sponsorship? Once we know that, we can recommend different avenues, and often I’ve explained to the client that there are these 3 areas (traditional, new age, and partnering) give a brief insight into each and then work with them to see what is most important to them.

Sometimes creative is as simple (?) as an after hours at the bank, with a player(s) or mascot, inviting season ticket holders and group leaders, and everyone who opens an account that night gets their pic with the player/mascot on a debit card.  Unique, creative, and a win.  Or, a year round sponsorship so that in the off season they are still top of mind. Hosting a STEM learning day in the offseason in their name (which includes a ticket to a game inseason where they can see the STEM of the sport in action) gives an educational component.  Or  the ‘off season sponsored by xxxx’ where a couple days a month it’s ‘family night’ at the ballpark/arena  where the doors are open, stations are set up, past games are on…an opportunity to keep the sport alive.  Mascot visits brought to you by xxx.   Arenas where the seats are wrapped and branded with a sponsor so that for all events, they are top of mind.

These are simple ideas…there are teams out there who have created some extremely creative year round opportunities to make a sponsorship stand out.  The point is, creating something unique brings in that ‘wow’ factor that makes companies want to stay, want to be part of something great.  If your sponsor is telling you the proposal isn’t creative enough, it sounds like your team needs to sit down and have a brainstorming session.  It’s amazing what you can create!


“I seem to be great at getting people to agree to groups but then they never finalize as they are waiting to see numbers.  What can I do differently?”  B, northeast team

Hi B,

I just had this conversation today, so you are not the only one with this situation.  As the specialist (remember, YOU are the specialist in your business), your presentation and recommendation needs to be clear and concise.  Something like “now that you’ve selected a date, we need to make sure you put the deposit in today so that we can lock in the seats.  You wouldn’t want the seats to be sold while you’re trying to get an exact count.  We can certainly adjust the count, but first let’s put   down your $100 deposit which goes toward the tickets and we can make sure your event is set.  Then  you can get an exact number of seats.” Speaking with confidence, making the recommendation and moving the conversation forward is key.  Do we speak with confidence or sound ‘iffy?’  If there is any hesitation in our voice, we will most likely lose the sale.  Continue moving the conversation forward and the sale will get closed.


Send YOUR sports sales mailbag questions by each Tuesday to: kathy@soldoutseating.com 

Kathy Burrows, CEO, Sold Out Seating

Sales and leadership training, assessments, and year long consulting.  Contact Kathy at :   kathy@soldoutseating.com 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s