Monday, August 5, 2013

Sponsorship for college fests II

My First post about sponsorship at college fests which I wrote when I was just out of the role of marketing head for the fest, when I had no experience in the corporate world, still after 3 years of working at 3 of the worlds largest tech companies (Cisco, Amazon, Microsoft) I see that most of that article is very relevant and applicable to the present world. Having said that I have learned a few more things meanwhile which I was not aware then and will add as a supplement to that article. I am going to talk about them very briefly (You see, I have a job now consequently less time :) ).

Types of sponsorships.

Now, I am not aware of the technical term for this, but there are various reasons why a company / Organization sponsors a college fest. One very obvious reason is for marketing their product, and I hope you understand what that means. One point to note here is that not every product can be marketed to a college audience. A BMW or Audi would not be interested to put any money in a college event for this reason. But there are many other reasons a company can give you money for.

Brand marketing is one such reason, though the company might not have a product to sell to your audience but it might still want to be associated with it, for making its brand visible among college students, may be this can help attract future employees or they want to have an association with your college or if your college is old and has a big alumni base, your alumni base can be what the company might be interested in (here you promise that you would be reaching out to your alumni for the event and the company’s logo will feature in such a communication). For example, if you are a tech college, IT services companies like TCS, Infosys etc might fall in this category.

Next kind of sponsorship companies provide fall under various initiatives which the companies do for their CSR (corporate social responsibility), where they promote some events, like Youth connect, Green Earth and other fancy names. The agenda here is, the company has some budget each year to give away as part of CSR, it makes the company look friendly to the society.
Most of the government run firms sponsor just for this reason like NTPC, BSNL etc.
There are some government schemes (both state and central)  which fall in this category, various government agencies tasked with promotions of some initiatives like science, arts, folks etc also provide money to college fests and can be sponsors or partners for relevant events in your fest.

When you approach a company / institute for sponsorship you must do enough research to be very sure on what is the intent of this company to sponsor you and accordingly send them a proposal just for that intent. So if you think the company is looking for CSR opportunity, then send them a proposal which highlights how sponsoring you can be a good CSR initiative by the company (read on the company website what its CSR goals are and tailor your proposal so that it aligns well those goals).

Some other important stuffs:

Here I would give you some small things which might be good tools for your endeavor (which are not covered by the previous article):

> Which companies are more likely to sponsor ?

Look through the sponsors of the fests in your region and your category (tech institutes, MBA institutes etc), these companies will be much more likely to sponsor your fest. See in what categories have they sponsored previously and what colleges, try to tailor your proposal such that it shows similar outcome for the company.

Lookout for the companies which are not the top companies in their product segment (you can approach them in the CSR category though). For example approaching Apple to promote Iphone in your fest is a waste of time, rather you can approach Samsung to promote Galaxy, it is more likely to be in mood and need for marketing than Apple would be.

> Some absolutely do’s :
Always mention all the contact info, your phone number, email (preferably @yourcollegedomain or @yourfestdomain), mention your fest website address (also make sure to have a gallery of previous sponsors of your fest on that website).

I am re-mentioning it here, because it is such an important thing, always get to the right person in the company, the right person here would mean is a person who has the authority and jurisdiction for sponsorship of events or college fests in your region. Generally a company divides a country in regions and each region had its own marketing manager who is charged with the task of taking all marketing decision for that region.

I hope this helps. Would add whenever I learn something new. Please provide your comments on the chat box on this page.

1 comment:

  1. There are various reasons why a company / Organization sponsors a college fest.
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