If you've ever worked with celebrities before, you are well aware that an appearance or performance adds prestige to any event. Celebrities can also draw interest from the community to increase your event attendance and raise additional fundraising dollars.

But how can you increase your budget to afford a celebrity appearance? Corporate Sponsorship! A corporate sponsor(s) can underwrite the celebrity's fee. Understanding why and what corporations sponsor events and benefits they receive will help you in approaching potential sponsors.

Target Market Demographics
Approach potential sponsors whose target audience coincides with your event audience, making it a win-win situation. For example, the recent teaming up of BMW and James Bond. The demographic characteristics (age, sex, income, marital status, geographic location) are alike and thus produced a mutually successful sponsorship campaign for both entities.

Psychographics are subjective aspects that have to do with personality, style, image, or attitude. Simply put, Rolex or Perrier might be more apt to support a charity polo match in order to stay with their upscale image.

Market Needs
Remember, your sponsor is constantly concerned with their market and, more importantly, their position in that market. Budweiser sponsors several events and keeps a high profile in Chicago because it is one of the few major cities where Bud is not the most favored brew.

Consumers can not be easily fooled. A performer that simply recites sentiments or has no emotion for the cause or the product will fail. If it was revealed that Britney Spears really disliked the taste of soda - Pepsi would have had a big problem on their hands.

Appeal And Image
Appeal and image of your event must be compatible with the sponsor's target market and marketing objectives. Arnold Schwarzenegger, generally considered a healthy positive role model with good family values was exactly what the President's Council on Physical Fitness was looking for in an icon.

A potential sponsor will want to know what type and how much advertising they will receive from your event. The number of impressions of the sponsor's name or logo acts as a gauge to evaluate the depth of exposure the event will create. It is usually a good idea to establish what kind of visibility you are offering the sponsor before you pitch the idea to them.

Series Vs. Single Event
Naturally, a sponsor will consider a series of events a more advantageous sponsorship. But, if your event is only once a year, you can offer the corporation the opportunity to make the event an annual occurrence. (Not to mention, you could solidify the sponsorship for years to come and save yourself time in the future.)

Unique Opportunities
Occasionally, there is a unique opportunity for a sponsor where a promotion is a perfect match. Michelob did not plan their "The Night Belongs to Michelob" campaign around the Genesis hit song "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight". However they were sure excited when they figured out how well it fit.

Special Considerations
The last important consideration is to ensure sponsors that your event will not be contradictory to their message or offensive to their audience. Alcohol and tobacco sponsorships will need special attention and careful handling. Common sense will tell you not to ask a tobacco manufacturer to sponsor a cancer fundraiser event.

A successful and profitable sponsorship endeavor requires time, thought, research, and judgments based on these important criteria. Without this preparation and planning, your sponsor could lose a substantial investment and your planning time could be wasted. For additional sponsorship information to include a list of national sponsor contact please call or email us your request

Talent Library


American Cancer Society booked Dwight Yoakam

All was GREAT!! (We) got to spend some time with Dwight in his bus and he was really great to talk to and very generous. He wanted to know if there was anything he could donate to the event and he donated some signs and autographed them. He couldn't have been nicer during the photo op...

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