The secret of finding sponsors for your cricket club

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Paul Holloway

Finding sponsors is an intimidating prospect for any recreational cricket club. Most clubs are run by volunteers whose skills lie in other areas. Raising money for a club or club colts/youth section through sponsorship is crucial to the survival of teams but most clubs have no idea how to do it.

That's a big barrier to success.

Jon Dixon, organiser of the first International Beach Cricket Festival in Weymouth, has experienced the challenges first hand and has come up with some major name involvement: Sky, Red Bull, New Look, Flicx Pitches and cricket magazine All Out Cricket. That's an impressive line up.

Especially considering Jon is not a professional fund raiser.

While he used to be a Commercial Manager for a living, everything he is doing for the festival is in his own time: A similar situation to most cricket clubs and their colt sections.

I asked Jon how he did, hopefully you can get some tips to take back to your club and raise much needed funds. While stressing he is not an expert and can only speak from experience, he agreed.

Cricket Club Sponsorship

A sponsor is a person or business willing to donate money for various reasons. Knowing these reasons will help you understand the motivation behind sponsorship. This is important as it is very rare to get sponsorship or donations for no reason. If you know what your potential sponsors are looking for you will be in a better position to offer what they want and get what you need:

  • No Strings Attached Donation. Rarely seen, these types of sponsors will donate money for a project will no reciprocal arrangement required. As you can imagine, this is very rare and not usually worth chasing.
  • Community Driven. This sponsor has strong links to the local community and wants to be involved in what is happening in his area. They may be interested in a number of projects ranging from kit sponsorship to assisting in improving facilities around the club. Instead of money, these sponsors will probably donate materials or cash for very little return.
  • Interest in the Sport. These are individual or businesses that love cricket and wants to assist in its development at your level. Typically these sponsorships come from people already involved with the club in some way.
  • Commercial Enterprise. These are the easiest sponsors to target. Deals will almost certainly involve some form of reciprocity in return for their investment. Finding a sponsor like this needs good research and no fear of rejection. The chance of success is small, but the rewards are the greatest.

What Can You Offer?

The question most sponsors will ask themselves is a simple one: "What's in it for me?"

This is perhaps the most crucial question in getting sponsorship. If you get this wrong, sponsors will be very unlikely to do business with you, even in the smallest amounts. If you get it right, they will be biting your hand off.

Most sponsors respond best to a professional approach when answering this question.

The secret to this is to create a business plan.

How To Write a Simple Business Plan for Sponsors

A good business plan does not have to be complicated. Most people can write one, as long as you cover the details potential sponsors will be interested in. You can structure the plan by answering these series of questions:

  • Who is asking?
  • What is the purpose of raising money?
  • Who will benefit?
  • How much are you trying to raise?
  • When do you need the money by?
  • What benefits are there for the club by being sponsored?

Once you have answered these questions you can move onto the big one: What can you offer in return for sponsors money and/or resources? There are 2 main ways; all the applicable ones should appear in your business plan:

  1. Advertising. This might be names on shirts, programmes, boundary boards, newspaper/radio coverage, calling your pavilion or team after the sponsor, or specific sponsors events. The latter a great way for sponsors to feel they are part of a professional organisation that is going somewhere.
  2. Corporate Hospitality. This could be tickets to special events, your end of season presentation dinner or even the chance to present trophies at these functions.

You may think of more ideas than are listed above such as brand awareness or some other participation in the club or club project. The key point is this: It is vital that you have something to offer and that it is listed in writing. If you get this part right then half of your job is done!


Creative Commons License photo credit: Scott (SA-Photo)

How To Find Sponsors

Once you have your shiny business plan in hand it's time to find people to send it to. This is called finding your market.

This can be split into:

Local Sponsors

All clubs have a large pool or potential sponsors waiting: the companies your members work for. Speak to your members even if they don't hold the purse strings but don't expect them to do the work. Get the information and telephone the organisations yourself to discuss your idea. If they are interested, email them your plan.

Businesses can also refer you to other interested companies who supply them. Try to find out who they use. For example, Jim works for an engineering company. Discussing a project with Jim's boss not only got his interest, but he also gave me the contacts for two of his suppliers.

You can also do this in places you frequent. Where do your members drink regularly? What brewery do these pubs use? Where do you shop?

Be prepared to ask and pass on your business plan. If you think about it you know more people than you probably are aware of. However, most people don't ask. Why? Because most people are frightened of being told 'no' or are worried that asking may affect their relationship.

Half of the art of obtaining sponsorship is to believe in what you are doing. If you have good news you want to tell people about it. And having a strong proposal to back you up means you are not going into a negotiation unarmed Remember that many businesses get approached by hundreds of people a year for this kind of thing. You have to have something that is attractive, catches the eye, and has most importantly some attraction for the businesses you are approaching.

National Sponsors

You can use similar tactics for bigger companies too. Where you don't have a contact you can still make a shortlist.

  1. Look for companies that sponsor cricket now.
  2. Search online for contact details.
  3. Work out how your project can tie in with their business.
  4. Make contact and offer your proposal.

Negotiating With Potential Sponsors

Remember the biggest hurdle to negotiation is not even trying. Sponsors rarely come to clubs with ideas. The onus is on you to approach as many people as you can think of. Don't fear the rejection, it is a natural part of the process. For every acceptance you are going to get rejected many times over. This is not a personal rejection but could be down to anything:

  • Business not going well
  • Budget already allocated
  • Had a row with the wife before coming to work
  • Traffic bad on roads
  • Doesn't like cricket

I am sure you can think of loads more, but I want to give you a case study: For the beach cricket festival, we quickly realised that we would need an artificial wicket, stumps, balls and kit for the teams. Our club had tentative links with a number of manufacturers. I telephoned RAM International and discussed the idea with Mark Ilott (Essex/England). Mark is supplying all of our banners, kit and will make money from us via the sales. In return, Mark is going to play in the tournament for one of the amateur teams, we are giving RAM International a full page advertisement in our match brochure, which Mark is writing an article for. We are also putting Mark and a colleague into a hotel for the duration of the tournament and feeding him at a local Indian Restaurant (built into sponsorship agreement with the Indian Restaurant).

In addition to our dealings, Mark has put me in direct contact with Flicx UK and we are now exploring more marketing opportunities there. Mark has also been down to Weymouth for a site visit and donated a Nasser Hussain signed bat and shirt for us to use as we wish.

What is so important about the above?

  • Negotiations have a give and take element for both parties
  • We both get what we want out of the deal
  • Trust is built up between both parties
  • We get further referrals for business

Contact and communication is vital.

To prove this I asked Mark's permission to write this case study before doing so. The take home message is simple: be prepared to work hard to get sponsor s and face rejection on the way. When you start getting success, work with your sponsors so both sides get what they want, even if it is in an unconventional way.

Final Note

Sponsors are hard to get. Do not lose them by failing to look after them. Honour your side of the agreement. Keep them informed on a regular basis. Give them credit for what they have done for you. Get them involved in what you are doing. Remember if you lose a sponsor you have to find another one. A good sponsor can help a club/project for many years to come if you treat them right. If in doubt ask yourself this: How would I like to be treated if I was a sponsor?

Good luck.

 

© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008

 

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Comments

A great article again and well thought out. A bit of a swerve from the usual topics but well worth it - finding funding can be a big issue for a lot of clubs.

nice, I'm gonna go try this. I'm gonna make myself a professional business plan.

hp - good luck, keep us postedon how you get on.

Tom - I get a lot of questions about this, so hopefully a few clubs will now get the answers they deserve!

the key is being good.

I think you highlight one of the key things towards the end of the article, namely, that once you get one or two sponsors on board, others will follow.

It may be hard to attract that first one but once you have them on board it does seem that doors tend open.

can you elaborate a little on that fs quayum? What are your experiences with finding sponsors?

I'm supposing fs quayum means that no sponsor wants to support a crappy team. So if you want some money you better play hard.

I see what you mean hp. I don't think sponsors would come running to your door if you won the league though. You would still need to find them.

Tom, I suppose it's to combined effect you you getting better at finding sponsors and being able to use other names to get a 'foot in the door'.

Ability and standing in the cricket world helps, but it is not preclusive to getting sponsors. What is key though is enthusiasm and a plan to progress. Sponsors in general want to see their money helping to develop the Club/Project. For example if you are a poor team as ours is at the moment your sponsor drive may lead towards junior development with a definite target, i.e. promotion to a certain division in 1,2 or three years. Always try to make your proposal as positive as you can. Success is fleeting

HP pretty much said it spot on. Jon Dixon, no business will sponser a poor team, even if they have shed loads of enthusiasm, they dont want to be linked to rubbish. However, a business is a business not a charity, and so by sponsering a team they may be able to increase their revenue by allowing the team to do marketing for them.

For example, my local club are sponsered by 2 different companies of which both are cricket enthusiasts, we advertise for them, and refer people to them and ACTUALLY use these companies, we are getting something from it, and so are they. Otherwise its a waste of time, I'm hardly going to give money to some elderly men because they want to try their hand at cricket and are so 'enthusiastic' about starting a team.

Faris, you are right about there needing to be something in it for the company. As Jon has told me on more than one occasion (and Jon has raised some spectacular sponsors for an event with no success yet because it's new) the motivation of those involved may not always be hard cash through marketing.

Some people want kudos in the community, some people want to give something back, some people want a bloody good night out and just want a ticket to the club's dinner dance!

It's all about taking a positive viewpoint and thinking creatively.

I disagree with the part that no team will sponsor a poor team. Our club has over 15 sponsors, due in no small part to the actions of our Secretary Grant Neven. Our club offers free coaching to children and the club is in partnership with two local secondary schools. In addition we actively fund raise for local charities via our Summer Fete and also the Tsunami Appeal and the MV Freedom which takes disabled people out to sea for fishing trips. It is the community acitivities that have encouraged sponsorship not our results. Our club has been established over 100 years and has two Sat and two Sun teams not to mention evening league and Junior cricket. We have been top of the premier division and are now suffering in division 3. Interesting that many of our sponsors have come during decline as opposed to when we were on top. As for the beach cricket, that is a totally different beast. It is entirely sponsor driven to nearly 60k and I agree with you that it is the calibre of the stars that attracts the sponsors.

um! such a good article, i will try to follow the procedure as mentioned and it will work. keep up the good work.

Fezile, who do you play for?

Dear Sir ,
I palyed 1 time National for Madhya pradesh team . I m really pastionate about cricket i want to continue my cricket . I am gradute with commerce . I need a sponser who allow me to play cricket and work for their company that i earn something for my family and play cricket. kindly slove my problem .

yours truly .
satish soni

dear sir
my name is mohit soni from delhi a good coach since last six years recently i have shiftd my academy from school to a place provided by some of our student uncle i need to get the ground fully prepared for cricket coaching for that i need the sponsrs if possible pls provide me the guidance or corporates to who can give some sponsorship in form of monetary pls suggest

hi mohit, please email me on micricketcoach [at] pitchvision [dot] com

Hi,

The article you've written above is highly appreciated and can prove helpful for many especially the newcomers. i am the marketing Manager for Pakistan Disable Cricket Team. Our organization has been established for 3 yrs now. Till now, the pioneer has been self funding the org, but now we want to take the team to the next level and make disability cricket a worlwide sport. for that, we need sponsors who can do contract with us and as we are approved by the PCB, and have a huge reach out to the media, we can offer alot of projection to any company.Secondly, all those companies wh want to improve their CSR image can also contact us as we are bringing about a huge change in the lives of those who are differently gifted. So, i would request all those visiting this page to go and visit our website www.disablecricket.com and see for themselves all we are doing for people having physical disabilities. If anyone has an interest in sponsoring us or recommending us or wants more info, please feel free to contact me on my email address: farwa.imtiaz@gmail.com... thanks

HI,

very good article. We have established a cricket team in USA, however, we lack fundings for the team. We are extremely falling behind with raising money for the team. However, our mananging members are making every attempt to get sponsors but do have luck. I read your article and noticed that making a business plan is better and is something we did not try. I have a question on how do write a business plan or if you have a sample of the business plan would help us on starting towards a possitive sponsor search. Your help will be greatlly appericated.

Amit

hello sir,
we are having good energetic and enthusiastic players in our team to express our performance but we are not having financial support.in our team we are having more than 30 members in different age groups(14 to 26) we are waiting to show our performance in big stage with good support of finance.so pls refer us sir. boys are eagerly waiting for chance to give their performance in big stage. sir if ur having any idea of supporting and guiding us pls contact us.

girikumar.s phno:09952496824.
shyam sundar.b:097910911081.
madhu sudhanan.r:09003387228.

i am vice chairman of follifoot cricket club in north yorkshire and aam working to get more sponsorship for our club would you please send me a copy of your business plan.
many thanks
Lynn Nudds

Dear sir,

I'm Chamara from Sri Lanka.we have a team and we hope to start new cricket club(Royal Cricket Club).our team would like to play match's in australia.especially in canberra.but the problem is obtaining visa & tickets.if anyone sponsor we would able to come.there are twelve(12) in our team hope to visit.we look forward any positive reply please.I think anybody can help me.

Faithfully
Chamara Dilshan

Dear sir,

I'm Chamara from Sri Lanka.we have a team and we hope to start new cricket club(Royal Cricket Club).our team would like to play match's in australia.especially in canberra.but the problem is obtaining visa & tickets.if anyone sponsor we would able to come.there are twelve(12) in our team hope to visit.we look forward any positive reply please.I think anybody can help me.my e-mail chamaradilshan@hotmail.com

Faithfully
Chamara Dilshan

iam saravanan we have a cricket team in india(tamilnadu-coimbatore),still now we have won 50 matchs contiuesly and trying to play matches in cricket ball..... so we need to get full kit and seperate ground...we have ground but no money to make ready the place for play,.... we need sponsors for our team..for purchasing full kit,batand etc...it mwil be around RS.2,00,000..my team name is "RIVER PLATE"...we would use your name as our sponsor and give name wat u suggest.... pls...
sarwan.insta@gmail.com

Good Day Sir

We are a Namibian based club team. we started the club in 2009, and we reached the semi final in our domestic premier league, the name of our club is Khomas Strikers. we avail of a diverse culture of players, of which most are students at the local universities, we are in need of sponsorships, because we would like to develop cricket amongst the young under privilege children as well as developing our own skills to become better crickerters and one day have a few players from diverse cultures represent the country.
please give me any guidelines of how and what we can do to start up this Academy and getting sponsorships for it.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

SPONSORSHIP – Mr QUINTIN SCHNEHAGE – CRICKET COACHING ACADEMY – AUSTRALIA

This document has been set up in an effort to assist Quintin Schnehage with collection of funds so as to attend a cricket coaching academy in Australia. Quintin has been invited by the ACE Cricket Coaching Academy in Australia.
The academy runs from October 2010 to March 2011 and costs for the academy alone run at R165,000.00 for the 6 month period that he will be at the academy, this excludes any flights to and from Australia. The ACE Academy is set up for persons that are wanting to follow a career as a professional cricketer and they receive coaching from past and current international players from all over the world. This is exactly the career that Quintin has opted to follow.
It is with this in mind that this letter has been set up to ask for personal, business and corporate financial assistance in an effort to collect the necessary funds to enable Quintin to attend this academy and ultimately to follow his dreams.
Be assured that this is a genuine request for sponsorship and in no way or form an attempt to fraudulently obtain money.
Any inquiry in this regard can be referred to Charles Schnehage via cell: 079 879 5065 or via e-mail to charles@potencia.co.za.
Your kind consideration in this regard is greatly appreciated.
Any further information regarding the ACE academy will be available upon request.

Regards

Charles Schnehage

Dear friends this is aamod here frm mumbai mahim

we have one club name is RCC club we organize the cricket matches every year.
we r looking for new comers who like to join in our club and we r also looking for sponsors who can help us and make club big

thanks

Dear Sir,
I am ibneamin my birth country is pakistan. i played u16 regional cricket from my region in 2007/2008. after that i didn't get any chance to play regularly in a club because i am working in dubai and you know with less facilities it is impossible so can you give me an idea that how can i play now because i am hungry for cricket and i am ready for trials in any club. so please sir if you can do it for me i will be very thankful to you for this act of kindness.

ibneamin.

guys i really need your help

My School Cricket Team has been accepted to play a T20 comp against schools from all over the world in Malaysia. We need $30 000 by September to go. this is to fund flight, accommodation and entry fees. PLease if anyone knows of any sponsors who might be interested to assist us, i would love to know.

I really appreciate guys

argent we need a sponsor for our mcc cricket tournament.plz kindly helps us.

Have you tried the tips in the article?

Hi,

Our team was founded in Jan 2012, in Sri Lanka, which we played our first tournament. As our Club is in its initial stage we are struggling, At the moment we our getting ready for 2013 tournament and we are in need of some sponsors who are willing to help us out in anything, e.g from a single Cricket ball to any Cricket accessories or in monetary terms.

If anyone who sees this likes to help please reply
Thank you

Good luck Dilshan, but you really are missing the point of the article to sit back and hope posting on here will get you what you need. It *might* work, but follow the steps above for increased chances of success.

We have just started a new club (Excelsior Cricket Club of Clifton Park) here in upstate New York.
We are in contact with the town to get our own ground and we used the growing population of southern Asian community and how building a cricket pitch\ground promote good will to those communities and using the ground for a youth academy to promote cricket in hope to get the natural born Americans interested in playing cricket.
It might be a bit tougher here in the USA, but if we find out the proper people and companies we might get this off the ground...but we need get this home ground 1st from the town and getting support from a local company will help a lot with our 1st goal.
ECB has this guide http://static.ecb.co.uk/files/fundraising-guide-for-cricket-clubs-11600.... with a quick review this booklet, I should a good resource.

;

Good luck Paul!

Iam a new Tembisa Cricket Club Chairperson and we are also looking for sponsor, so can u plz email me companies who can help us.

Iam a new Tembisa Cricket Club Chairperson and we are also looking for sponsor, so can u plz email me companies who can help us.

Peeps - this is not a site to ask for sponsors. The idea is that you read the advice above and go out and do the leg work yourself.

No one is going to email a list of potential sponsors. If they do treat them suspicion as it's probably a ruse.

Well said Tev. Use the advice to do it yourself. Noone succeed by waiting around for success to hit them in the face!

sir
i m yasir from pakistan islamabad. i m a good cricket allrounder.i pleyed 12 year club cricket . i make many centuries and took wickets.if u like. i play on ur side. i hope. i m good for ur team. plz answer me on my email address. mohdyasir884@gmail.com

I am looking for a sponsor for my team, basically we are Delhi based team, running from last 6 years, looking for a sponsor who can promote their products and services via our cricket dress and equipment. we play across Delhi,

which can promote our sponsor products and services on a very low cost in significant manner.

As we have approx 8 proposal from different different organizations but we are looking for a brand and reputed one.

for contact:

Raushan jha
+91-9718271321
+91-9868096890

more Query: call Just dial.

hi for all i am a cricket fast bowler i need sponsor

hi i am cricket fast bowler i am 185/height and 88/weight i am fast bowler of my team......

i have cricket club i want sponsor ship please help me

Try the advice in the article friend.

sir
im sundar all rounder in cricket please your help me.. for im join any cricket club so plz you r help me.. thank u....

Sir we have a team cricket we love cricket but we need kit bacause our kit is older

Hi I am from Pakistan i am Left handed Batsman please sir help me i wanna join any cricket club thank you sir I ma waiting for your Answer please mail me Smiling

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