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Thread: Club Sponsorship

  1. #1
    In the Green
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    Club Sponsorship

    Hi guys,

    I was recently made Captain/Chairperson of my university club. The club has fallen off the proverbial wagon in recent years in terms of competitiveness and I am very much trying to bring it back to it's former glory. (On a side note, I would love to hear if anyone has any ideas or experiences from a similar situation that work well)

    Another, but distinctly smaller and less competitive, university club in the area secured sponsorship from Bohning. They have been given money towards new jerseys, a "lifetime" supply of fletches and various other things. I was wondering if anyone here knows about how to go about securing something similar? Also, if there are any companies that are known to be generous with this kind of thing?

    Thanks in advance.

    If anyone is interested here is our clubs website: NUIG Archery Club
    (Not all features are fully operational)

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  3. #2
    In the Black vivilanco's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums!

    I can't really help with the archery specific sponsorship questions, but in my youth I was part of some semi-successful e-sports teams. I managed to secure sponsorships of servers and kit in part.

    (speaking honestly) I found it was usually down to success and its ripples. Make a name for club and approach the manufacturers directly. No manufacturer or commercial business will sponsor an untested underdog (except family businesses), especially when they're being reborn. You need to become known in your area.

    Some tips that helped me secure sponsorships etc.
    1. Always have an up to date, user friendly, website. Side note - I visited your website, and whilst I appreciate some of it is under still being created, I couldn't for the life of me find out where you were from. I had to google your club name and visit your Facebook page to see you were from Ireland. Sponsors may have quotas, and if they have 1 Irish team already, they wont want another. It needs to also work on mobile and static platforms (your images took up most of my 4K screen before I got to any content).
    2. A structured approach. (e.g. clothing) target smaller sponsors - Once you've made a name for yourself, then you can replace them with larger sponsors (if they approach you, or you cut ties and approach others). It's aspirational to think the big guys will want to sponsor you, but realistic, they won't want to invest in an unknown quantum.
    3. Professionalism. I had a number of template emails that I used for initial contact. They were very personal to our cause, and were updated regularly. It set out our goals and a methodology to get there as well as opening the dialogue for the potential sponsor to have influence.
    4. Some sponsors may not want to appear next to others - this can come down to you. Which do you prefer (given the wonderment of choice, and I hope you get to encounter it)?
    5. Sponsors want to be associated with success and people that reflect their brand. If you do get sponsored and you get nice lovely clothing - don't go out on a binge wearing your club clothing. It's just not professional.


    I know it's not much, but I hope you can derive some help from it.

    Ian

  4. #3
    In the Red
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    university clubs can rise or fall within 3 years depending upon the willingness of the membership to learn what is necessary to take over the running of things within a little over a year of joining as a novice. Yours is not alone in this predicament so unless you have some postgrads who are not only good shots but able and willing to take on a load of admin you will find that persuading anyone to sponsor you in the long term quite difficult. An obvious start woudl be a local archery shop. Get them to sponsor a trophy/ club tournamant and mention them on your website and social media. Get them to offer a discount to club members upon production of your club card and make arranged visits to spend your money and take your members with you so both sides can see it will be worth their while continuing this relationship.
    When I was hon president of the shooting and archery clubs at Imperial my role was to act as a wise old man, just introducing people to other people who could help them in the sort of thing above, basically acting as a guarantor to both parties that each could be trusted to deliver the benefits promised. The student union had a sponsorship deal with a large investment co that gave a subsidy to the clothing and again that relied on quantity, exclusivity of the deal and their logo appearing in small letters on the finished tops etc. Each club had its own embroidery to add to the general college crest but the price to the member was ridiculously cheap and they looked good.
    The other thing is do you ahve anything to offer the local community? we used to ahve a very good relationship with other organisations-local schools etc so used to help with summer sports sessions and run activites that didt require a very high level of skill to set up and supervise, some cheap jelly bows in a cupboard and sets of 3's for arrows suffices, it is the throughput that gives the children a buzz, being allowed to have more than one go rather than being held back by more learing thas is necessary- they probably arent going to do it again for another 10 years! When you have got a school or the uni onside with things like this they are likely to chip in to pay for some equipment specifically for that purpose but available for the club as a whole.
    Again, this puts you in the public eye so raises your profile without actually having to be brilliant at archery itself. If the school's governing body ahs members who are local businessmen you can then chat to them about how wonderful it would be for them to sponsor you, again material things are easier to ask for so try suggesting they pick up the bill for a new boss or 2 rather than something like paying for a tour o the channel isles, they will see the immediate benefit to you and they can say that they helped with something tangible that benefits every member.
    You can also ask whoever runs the bar and catering if run by the SU to ask a brewery that has a beer that ties in with archery to sponsor a bar night or barrel for when you do have a shoulder to shoulder match. Dont have any organised? then sort one out whith another Uni or local club.
    When you have to hand over the reins when you graduate make sure that the new club officers are aware of all you have done because it wont take long for the goodwill to wither and die.

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  6. #4
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    Sorry for the late replies guys and first of all massive thanks for all the great advice you have both given.

    In regards the website, it was great to get an outsiders perspective. Most people who have seen the website are already familiar with the club and as such it didn't occur to anyone that people who don't know us would be looking at the page. I have also tried to scale images to give a bigger focus to content.

    Both of you have suggested local archery shops as the first point of call. Unfortunately, there are no archery shops in the area. As far as I am aware there are three archery shops in Ireland, all on the other side of the country, which does complicate things slightly.

    in regards making ourselves known, we have made steps to get us known in the National archery circuit instead of just the Intervarsity league. We have registered our uni club as a fully registered club and thus lets us all compete in National competitions under our uni colours.

    Our club kit, however much I would like to go with a local retailer with the chance of sponsorship, is being provided by Adidas at a University wide level.

    We have begun to make a name for ourselves but we are lacking funding as; (among other things) archery is not one of the selected sports by the Olympic Council of Ireland that is seen as "elite". This decision by the OCI has also made an impact on the way our college divides up its funds.

    In a club with perhaps 30 active members excluding this years beginners, we have at least 8 people that can consistently shoot a 520+ at a FITA 18 meter round. The fact that these people had never shot a bow 3 or 4 years ago means we are doing something right.

    I guess I will just take your advice and try to reach out to local businesses in the hopes that we can continue to progress.

    Thanks

    I'm more than open to any ideas that people may have.

  7. #5
    In the Red
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    I would still approach one of the archery shops and negotiate a discount for your members upon production of their membership card or if an internet order be able to get a retrospective discount (partial refund) andin particular for club purchases. just plugging their shop on your site and literature will probably be enough to get them to go along with this. When I ran a small business I offered discounts to mambers of various groups and societies on face to face purchases and would occasionally add a few little surprises to their internet orders as well as the usual volume discounts. Even free postage would be worth a fair bit on a set of arrows.
    As your club kit is provided by amanufacturer you will be getting it cheaper than many of the smaller companies can hope to supply it for so look at other (almost) essentials such as arrow cleaning tassels or cloths. These can be suitably enhanced with logos, the real cost being the set up costs rather than the materials cost.
    you will also find that fighting your corner for funding from the Student Union is alwaysa real problem for minority sports, the SU will often be swayed to spend money on something like a headline band to play a gig on the basis that 2000 people will turn up to watch whereas ONLY 30 people participate in archery so you have to punch above your weight by making sure that you publicise everything you do in the college newspaper and that will include listing the scores on your practice sessions if you have nothing else to report that week. post student newpapers are short of volunteers and news so make sure you have someone who is willing to help out in this, even if you have to pay them in beer to encourage them. long beofre fake news was topical we had a person who would pass on match reports for events that never happend for other sports such as rugby just to stop the rugby reports dominating the sports pages ( the news people thought that the rugby peoople were making up the stories so limited what they would print from them). Undehand, yes, but some of the reports were very funny, especially the one involving a brothel fight in Guadalahara that others were sure was real.

  8. #6
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    In addition to what little-else said, remember to copy in your local newspapers, radio stations etc.
    Local newspapers are easy, because if you write a piece for them, when they have that odd gap to fill, there it is in their inbox waiting to be published. Find out how to send them photos too (not all newspapers will accept photos just attached to your submission) as a picture grabs attention.
    Dont ask for a journalist/report and photographer to go along. They're busy people with much better things to do with their time.
    If you're doing a have-a-go session or something where you want to invite the public, tell your local media. Its free advertising.
    Always consider inviting a local VIP to present prizes or shoot the first arrow when you hold any events/competitions. Mayors, councillors and church dignitaries always like to be seen out and about. Having a VIP makes your story even more publishable.

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