Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sponsorship for college fests

Hello all ,

When I took the task as marketing head of my college's cultural festival I did a lot of searching for it but to no avail so I decided that I am gonna share my experience after the fest. So here it is.

First thing first, I am writing this more specifically for a cultural fest but I am sure same applies to technical fest's too. So the first thing is to, start as early as possible may be about 4-5 months prior to the event. First make a list of tentative events and stats which you plan to have during your event.

Now make a comprehensive proposal. It must be very targeted as small as possible, as people do not generally have a lot of time to spare. Better make 2 proposals one a summary kind and the other a little detailed (still a little detailed :) ). In the proposal give an intro of your college, the event, its past success, the number of participants and number of colleges participating etc. Expected gathering this time, then describe some mega events (not more than 1 line for each event and not more than 5-6 events). Then jump straight to the point. Do mention previous media associations etc, (getting media partners is easy offer them publicity during your fest and they publicize your fest in return.They might charge you little bit also say about INR 10,000).

What you are offering, how you will publicize the sponsor (say by putting up canopies, banners, logo's on posters and publicity material and merchandise of the event, video adds played in between the events, publicity by media partners, news paper adds that you will give about your event etc). Do make a tabular summary at the end of the proposal of the offerings, do mention the sizes and the number of the banners, adds, logo size etc explicitly.

After this analyze what you might expect from a company depending upon the company and site that as the expected investment. Be very sure not to put large sum or you may scare away people. And also remember that what you site you will always get about 1/4 of the amount . For example at out cultural fest at NIT Jalandhar with starts as Master Saleem, Gurpreet ghuggi, Christopher James etc. we got the title sponsorship amount of Rs 1.5 lacs, but you may expect it to be about 2.5 lacs.

Before sending the proposal always tailor it for the company you are sending to. Give offering as fashion partner or style partner or energy partner etc, this creates more impact. You don't need to make many changes to the proposal though.

You can also prepare a PPT but people generally do not see that so concentrate more on your PDF proposal.
The next step is to select the prospective companies, do think at what time of the year your event is and what products may need publicity at that time. Say if its in the start of summer send apparel companies a proposal stating that their investment in your fest can help push their summer launches etc. Look around in news papers and TV and see which companies are putting more money for marketing, analyze which company might find college students as its target audience. Remember the 80:20 principle, put your energy in just 20% of the companies and they will give you 80% of the money. Let the task of tackling not so prospective companies distributed among the juniors, you concentrate more on the prospective companies.

The next task is to get the contacts of the companies. Send your team to local outlets of the company and ask them to get the phone number of the highest possible person in the company, call him take the number of marketing manager from him, you might have to call 5-6 people before you reach the right person and this is worth the trouble, I reiterate "Getting the right person can make that difference to get the deal done or not".

Now you have the contact of the marketing personnel call him tell him about your college fest and ask him how to proceed or suggest him that you will mail the proposal and he can check it, do not just mail first call the person then mail him otherwise people will delete your mail even without reading, after you mail him call him next day and tell him that you have mailed the proposal and if he needs any further info you will be happy to send that too (this is just to remind him that he may read your mail), he might ask for some time so call him after 2 days again, please keep in constant touch else he will forget about you. He might say their is a long time to your fest and we can talk about it then, don't let that happen, later he will say there isn't much time left to finalize things or even he might forget you completely, say you need to start publicity or you need to confirm guest so you would like to get the deal done as soon as possible. Sometimes when u call he might not take your phone, be prepared for that call him again after an hour, send him messages if he doesn't take your phone, mail him etc, you must make yourself visible to him but be cautious you should not piss him off if he really is busy and this you have to decide according to the person, no one call guide you here.

One final note, if you have joined sponsorship team be prepared to get many rejections, only 1 out of 10 companies you try might fetch you something if at all but by the end of the day you would accumulated a lot of experience go tiger give it a try of luck.

I have written a follow up to this post, with the experiences I accumulated while working for corporate companies post college. 



  2. Contact for web sponsor.

  3. thanks very much.... this helps me

  4. One of the most helpful post regarding the college fest sponsorship that I have ever read! Thanks ^.^