You’ve spent hours crafting the perfect pitch deck for your potential sponsors, but now it’s time to actually present your proposal. Beyond the key information like deliverables and payments, there are a few other details you’ll want to know about so that you can be your most comfortable and confident in your sponsorship proposal meeting. Like a good date, the meeting hour itself isn’t the only part of the process that matters. What happens before and after the meeting is also a routine you should follow, as well as what you wear and who should be in the room.
Let’s go over these key parts of your motorsports sponsorship proposal:
What to Wear
In general, business casual is appropriate for most sponsorship meetings. A business suit or a blazer and trouser combination is good. If you’re struggling to know for sure, go to their location and see what employees are wearing. If they’re a small company and wear more smart casual, like jeans and polos, go ahead and match their culture.
Who Should Be There
When you’re setting up the meeting, confirm who will be in the room. You’ll want to have:
- The person or people you’ve been in contact with
- The company’s head of marketing
- Most likely you’d like to meet the President or CEO
- Maybe a creative assistant
- Or the entire marketing team, if they offer
From your team, you should have:
- Your team owner if they are available
- Your driver that will be the face of the brand if that’s not you
- Any other managers, creatives, or marketers on the team that you think would want to hear the in-the-room conversations first-hand
Who Initiates What?
Even before you get into the room for this sponsorship proposal meeting, you will have been in 1-2 other meetings with the company. You should have a well-established relationship with your contact person.
A reminder to NEVER pitch yourself at the first meeting; you’ll be immediately turned down.
After some small talk to get this sponsorship proposal meeting going, you will have the stage to present your deck. If you’re in-person, bring an electronic copy of your proposal to present but also bring enough printed copies for people in the room. Over Zoom, you’ll do a screenshare and email the proposal to the intended parties. Make sure you have something handy to write with, since many marketing teams take this proposal as an opportunity to provide creative suggestions.
Be confident in what you have to offer! Don’t need to have an entire speech memorized, you should be really excited to talk about your race program and have some ideas of how you can help out the company: Don’t overthink it.
How to Follow Up
You are in charge here. Always schedule a follow-up meeting before you exit the current meeting unless they say it’s not going to be a good fit for them right now. Most likely, you’ll need to get back with them for the pricing of the promo items. Or, you are waiting on them to decide their budget for the next season. Set a date and time that works for all before you exit.
No matter how the meeting ends, whether good or bad, send them a care package of your merchandise and autograph cards. This makes you memorable and they can see how you use it to advertise and put sponsor logos. I’ve also sent a box of chocolates before as a thoughtful gift after meeting at a conference and that helped me secure the deal!
Before you present your sponsorship proposal, you need to make one first! Want a perfect sponsorship proposal already done for you? Grab my template!