Aug 13, 2009 at 03:17 PM
written by Ron Seaver

The Deal's Not Done Until...

I want to share with you a short story about the importance of getting the paperwork completed after you land your sponsors…

I ran into a good sponsor friend of mine a few years ago who shared with me a story that still has me shaking my head. Her employer, a well-known bank, had agreed to sponsor a professional ball club and went into the new season with high expectations for success. The negotiations had gone back and forth during the pre-season but ultimately, with both sides agreeing to make concessions, they had emerged with a six-figure deal she thought was both fair and effective.

About halfway through the season her contact person at the ball club left suddenly. In talking over the bank’s sponsorship package with the new club marketing head, she realized that a number of things her rep had promised her the team would do simply weren’t getting done.

She pressed the new marketing director about this and learned, to her chagrin, that the new marketing head had no knowledge of a good half-dozen of his predecessor’s concessions. You see there weren’t any records. Instead, stuck on the back of file folders, was a number of little yellow “stickies” with cryptic notes scrawled on them. However, stickies aside, without anything official and concrete, the ball club had failed to make good on a series of agreements and promises. This, as you can imagine, caused a great deal of embarrassment all the way around, not to mention a half-season’s worth of “make goods” the club owed the bank the following season.

That’s really a shame, but it’s not the first time a good relationship has unraveled because one side or the other failed to properly execute the paperwork.

So my advice to you is not to learn this lesson the hard way. Always remember that no sale is ever finished until the paperwork is complete! (And, on the sponsor’s side, don’t ever assume you have an agreement until you’ve seen it in writing.)

And the most important of these documents is, of course, the contract.

Ron Seaver, president of Seaver Marketing Group and The National Sports Forum, and author of "Brought to you By... - The Ultimate Sponsorship Sales System" has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of marketing and sponsorship. View all of Ron's posts here

photo credit via flickr: Gunnar Wrobel