Most races don't make money on their registration fees - they rely on sponsors to raise money for their cause or support their business. How do you engage your sponsors right now?
Step 1: Just Talk to Them!
- Reach out personally for a conversation. This means a phone call, not an email!
- Are they financially able to support the event this year?
- Are they comfortable with any risk of the event and willing to tie their names to it?
- Are they more inclined to stay involved if you offer lower tiers for the sponsorship?
Step 2: Give Them Options
- Would they be willing to support a fully virtual event? Do they understand what a virtual race is?
- Would they commit support for an event that is intended to be in-person, but could convert to virtual if conditions require?
- Is there a minimum number of participants that they need for it to be worth it to sponsor?
Step 3: Re-Negotiate
Sponsors have long-term value. Don't be shy about re-negotiating to protect your extended relationship.
- Can you maintain sponsorships by lowering financial commitment? Will you offer that up-front, or work with them on a case-by-case basis?
- What can you offer them (traffic to their store or online site) that will help their business enough to keep them involved?
- What metrics do they need to see from a virtual race - views, clicks, etc?
What Benefits Can We Offer Sponsors in a Virtual Race?
Virtual races have tons of hooks - they're just a little different if your sponsor is used to getting their exposure through an expo and a race day presence. Options include:
- Website views
- There are multiple options for where you want your sponsors to display on your site
- Website views are especially valuable for challenges, where participants are visiting the site to log information regularly
- Email views in all participant and marketing communications
- Automatically add sponsor information to your email communications
- Sponsor Offers, or unique deals (or coupons) for your participants that are emailed to them, operating as a type of contactless Digital Goody Bag.
- Sponsor offers drive traffic (physical or online) to your sponsors, and help them build a customer relationship
- Setup an automated email from Email Marketing >> Automated Emails >> Sponsor Offers to alert your participants to the offers
- Custom branded swag with sponsor logos or other design elements.
- Everyone loves a nice t-shirt, but face coverings and masks are hot right now!
- Sponsor watermarks on Photos, even for virtual
- You (probably) don't have a photographer for a virtual race, but your participants are still taking photos. Enable participant upload of photos at Photos >> Setup and your sponsor's logo will show on the photo when those participants (or their friends) view and share the photo later
- Sponsorship through Participation. For sponsors who may not be financially able to sponsor this year, see if there is another mutually beneficial way to keep them involved by using their network of employees and supporters
- Offer digital sponsorship rewards (like logos on the website and email) in exchange for a set number of registrations through their network
- Use a custom source code to allow them to share a unique link with their network so that you can track registrations from them
- Sponsor visibility in RaceJoy. With RaceJoy Anywhere, the app is getting big usage (and a lot of eyeballs) even for virtual races.
- Branded In-App banner ads
- Sponsored Progress Alerts
- Custom Cheers
- Add their business to "Local Places of Interest"
- To enable RaceJoy, you need to work with a RaceJoy Certified Timer. You can find certified timers here: https://runsignup.com/timersearch