After you have sold your sponsorship and ordered your CheerStix™ you need to start planning for your event. This section provides a checklist to reference prior, during and after your event.
Pre-event preparation is critical to making your event a success for your team and your sponsor. Below is a checklist of items you need to handle prior to the actual event.
- Ticket Distribution - Drop off sponsor tickets in person at least two weeks prior to the event. This is a great time to coordinate with your sponsor on any remaining details. It is also nice if you can drop off some of the CheerStix™ for the sponsor to hand out to employees, friends and customers
- Public Address Announcement Script – Go to the “Game Announcements” section for sample announcements for your use.
- Electronic Messageboard Announcement (Optional) – Go to the “Game Announcements” section for sample announcements for your use.
- Order/Pick up sponsor wall plaque - You should plan on this taking two weeks. Go to the “Sample Plaque Layout” for a sample plaque design.
- Sponsor Plaque Presentation Script – Go to the “Game Announcements” section for a sample presentation script.
- Coordinate with game administrators/coaches - Make sure everyone involved with the game knows what you are doing and what assistance you will need. For example, whom do you provide with the public address announcements and when do they need to receive them? How many times do they need to be read and when?
- Coordinate for distribution of the CheerStix™ - You will need a minimum 6 people to distribute the CheerStix™ to fans as they enter your game. It is recommended that the cheer squad handle the distribution, if possible. You should have people in place to distribute the CheerStix™ fifteen minutes prior to opening the doors/gate. Usually the number of people coming in increases as it gets closer to game time. You should plan to have more people helping with distribution right before the game begins.
- Media Release – Prepare your media release using the sample release provided in the “Media Release” section. Send it to all media in your area.
- Flyers – Use the sample flyer provided or create your own. You will need to get flyers printed two weeks prior to your event to give you adequate time to distribute them in the surrounding community.
Day of the Event
On the day of the event it is important that you be organized and be well coordinated with the other people working the event. Below are some considerations for the day of the game.
- Pass out CheerStix™ - When distributing the CheerStix™ it is important to be friendly and enthusiastic. Have a few samples blown up and demonstrate how they are used. This will help get your fans ready for the game. If you have leftovers send a few people into the crowd and hand them out.
- Plaque Presentation - It is important that the sponsor plaque presentation be done correctly as it is a public recognition of the sponsor. Determine whether the presentation will take place prior to the game or at halftime. You will need to clearly coordinate this with the person responsible for coordinating the game (usually an athletic director or activities director). You will also need to let the sponsor know when to arrive and where to meet you. This is particularly important if you will be doing the presentation during the pre-game. We recommend that you have the sponsor meet you fifteen minutes prior to the presentation.
- Sponsor Photo with Squad - The best time to get a photo of the sponsor with the cheer squad or coach is usually immediately following the plaque presentation. Remember to bring a camera and to take several pictures. Many trophy shops offer plaques that allow you to slide in a photo. You may want to go this route with your plaque. You can present the plaque at the game and then provide the team photo after it has been developed.
- Public Address Announcements - Make sure to provide a script to the PA Announcer well before the game begins and confirm how many times the announcements are to be read. Remember to go over with the game announcer the correct pronunciation of the sponsor's name and business.
- Thank Sponsor - Touch base with the sponsor toward the end of the event and thank him or her for making it all possible.
The follow up after the event is important. Remember, you want to be able to continue this sponsorship in the future. Below are some ideas of things you should do to help make the whole process much easier the next time around.
- Thank you card - Send a thank you card to the sponsor and have the entire team sign it. Send your thank you out immediately following the event. It is a good idea to have your thank you ready to go ahead of time so the team can sign it prior to the game.
- Review with administrators and coaches - This doesn't have to be very formal. It can be a simple conversation where you ask how things went and thank them for their support. You may want to drop a quick thank you to the person who gave your team/organization permission to proceed with this activity.
- Deliver Sponsor Photo - Deliver the sponsor team photo in person. The personal touch makes all the difference and it gives you one more chance to thank your sponsor. In addition, many times sponsors will tell you to "sign me up for next year" when you take the time to follow up afterwards. This is a great time to let the sponsor know that you are looking for sponsors for another upcoming game (i.e. basketball after football season).
- When to Renew - Unless the sponsor specifies otherwise, it is usually acceptable to contact sponsors anywhere from 6 months to 6 weeks prior to your event. However, you'll want to place your CheerStix™ order prior to June 1st to ensure the best possible price and to make more money for your team.
- Other ideas - It is recommended that you try and keep some contact with your sponsor throughout the year. This can be done by sending a note about how your season went or by stopping by to say hello. Of course, the best way to endear your organization to a sponsor is to patronize their business. If you want your sponsors to be loyal to you then you must be loyal to them in return.
If after going through the process you have any suggestions for other teams please pass them along. We would love to hear from you.