Oct 28, 2010 at 04:54 PM
written by Jackie Fast, Slingshot Sponsorship

Top Ten Questions To Ask Your Sponsorship Agency

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When you’re looking to engage the services of a sponsorship agency, it’s critical that you do your homework. Whether you’re looking for tactical sponsorship or to establish more strategic sponsorships, you need to ensure that the sponsorship agency can deliver on your expectations. Before you sign on the dotted line, you need to be confident that the sponsorship agency has the knowledge, experience and expertise necessary to manage the complexities of a sponsorship relationship and is savvy enough to leverage the benefits.

To ensure that you get off on the right footing, here’s a list of the top ten questions you should ask the account managers of any prospective sponsorship agency. Remember, it’s important to find out the answers to these questions at the outset; leave it any later and you might get the answers you can’t afford to receive.

1. Where do you think we need help?

Of course, it’s in the best interest of the sponsorship agency to provide a range of services beyond your stated requirements. However, asking this question sheds light on the sponsorship agency’s range of in-house skills.

2. Why do you think we’ve been unsuccessful in the past with getting or activating sponsorship?


3. What’s the key thing you believe we’re failing in with regards to sponsorship?

The answers to both questions may be patently obvious to you, but the sponsorship agency’s analysis should reveal other aspects of the issues that you have yet to consider.

4. Do you have any clients with similar property rights to ours and how successful were you in helping them achieve their goals?

Whether you operate in the fields of sport, fashion, entertainment or B2B, you need to be confident that the sponsorship agency understands your sector and has a good contacts network.

5. How many people work at your sponsorship agency and how many of you will be working on my campaign?

It doesn’t take a team of hundreds to manage a sponsorship relationship, but you need to ensure that your sponsorship agency has the resources necessary to manage your campaign effectively.

6. Who will be our account manager at the sponsorship agency and will they be actively promoting our partnership?

Building strong working relationships with the people you’re entrusting to manage your sponsorship programme is vital to its success. If the agency person you initially meet won’t be your main contact, then insist that the account manager who will be gets involved with your discussions from early on.

7. What measures will you put in place to track the success of our sponsorship campaign?

Whether it’s ROI, brand awareness or number of engagements, make sure you understand how the sponsorship agency will measure the success of your sponsorship campaign. This is vital as measures should be discussed in the initial meetings so both parties understand what goals they are helping each other achieve.

8. Do you have experience of integrating digital marketing with sponsorship campaigns?

Email, mobile and social media marketing are now routinely integrated with sponsorship programmes to maximise engagement and response. Make sure the digital element can be centrally managed by the sponsorship agency and they have a good grasps on the basic concepts.

9. [For media rights owners only] Do you have a contacts database of prospective companies in search of sponsorship opportunities?

Any agency worth its salt should be able to sell sponsorship for your property, as well as manage the sponsorship relationship. If their contacts book isn’t bulging then make sure you find out how they’ll source prospective sponsors.

10. What are your sponsorship agency fees?

It goes without saying that the cost of the fees you’ll be charged will factor heavily in your budgeting plans. But make sure you judge what you will be charged by the potential ROI, be it in terms of sponsorship sales, heightened brand profile or increased customer response.

Jackie Fast is Managing Director at London-based sponsorship agency, Slingshot Sponsorship. Jackie offers running commentary on the Slingshot Sponsorship blog, and allows us to republish here when the subject fits.