Making the Winning Picks

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It’s March Madness!! Time to get out those brackets and start the competitions.  With your bragging rights at stake, which teams do you choose?  Some people have highly scientific methods studying team stats and making deliberate choices, while others make completely random selections.  What’s your approach and what does it have to do with sponsorships?


As you begin sponsorship planning, you decide who to invite and their type of experience.  Your early choice influences everything after that point – travel, ticket allocations, housing, hospitality, transportation, etc.  Your fast-paced decisions influence the ultimate outcome of your event by impacting each guest’s experience.

Like bracket selections, do you make deliberate or random choices ?  These tips will set you up for a sponsorship victory:

  1. Set a clear goal.  Have a specific goal that informs who you invite, the experience you create for them and the action you want them to ultimately take.  Let’s say you have a goal to reward current distributors of product X and you also want to expand their revenue in the next 12 months.  That informs each of the next steps.

  2. Shoot to score.  When your team goes to shoot, they aim for the basket.  Shoot to score with each guest invite.  If you are simply inviting who you did the last time, or the loudest manager’s guests, you’re shooting blindfolded.  Work with your internal stakeholders to choose your guests wisely.  Using our example goal, create a list of the highest performing distributors.  Working with sales, review their historical performance and determine who has the most potential for growth.  Sales can also help you determine the strength of the client relationship.  Based on those factors, select the guests that have the greatest ROI potential.  

  3. Match the person to the position.  Just as a coach would not put the point guard in for the center, you match the guest to the experience.  The experience should align with the client’s profile and the company’s overarching goal.  Create VIP packages accordingly.

  4. Know your standing.  As March Madness progresses, you know who is in, who is out and the state of your brackets.  The same applies to your sponsorship.  Once the event begins, keep site of your goal and monitor your guests.  After the event ends, measure!  Work with your internal stakeholders to see if you hit your goal.  When you do, celebrate!

As the madness unleashes this March, apply your impressive picking skills to your sponsorship planning.  Pretty soon, you will be the one on the court taking home the win!