How to maintain sponsors for subsequent events

Finding sponsors and convincing them to invest in your race event is a tedious process that costs time, money and a bunch of nerves. In order not to start the acquisition over again for each event it is important to forge long-lasting partnerships with your sponsors.

As the old verse goes, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” In the same way, a long-term sponsorship partner is of greater value than one that just works with you for a single event. Sponsorship partnerships are meant to grow over time and the longer you stick to your partners the more credible will be the connection with your event. In order to keep them satisfied and fulfill their desires, it is important to understand what sponsors expect and want to receive from your cooperation. The following 4 tips will help you to secure your sponsors for upcoming events and forge lasting partnerships that will benefit you for years to come.

1. Provide them with a detailed ROI report

When all is said and done, and the dust has settled on your endurance race event, you’ll want to be able to showcase exactly how much return on investment your event has offered. According to the 2017 IEG sponsorship survey, 41% of decision-makers ranked assistance in measuring ROI as the most valuable property-provided service.

Considering this, it is certain that this is going to be one of the keys to getting the same sponsors on board year-in and year-out. There are many metrics you can use to illustrate this ROI, but it is a good idea to give this part of the process some forethought and try to interlace measurement processes into the sponsorship activities themselves.

Goodie bags made up of offers that can be redeemed online are one clever way to do this. It allows for a clear measurement of just how much direct attention and interaction was garnered by each individual product. Other resources include videos of participants interacting with sponsored products, follow-up survey questions that relate to the sponsors and online and social media traffic.

Tip: You can save a lot of time in the follow up process of your event by auto-generating your ROI reports with digital goodie bag solutions like eventbaxx.

2. Be as flexible as you can

Do not just stick to agreements that are settled in the sponsorship contract. If your sponsor is asking for something that you can provide without extraordinary effort or resources – go for it! Your partner will not just thank you for it in that particular moment but will remember it as soon as it comes to upselling- or contract extension talks. In that way, even small favors can make a huge impact in financing your next event.

On the contrary, your sponsor will be keen to look for alternatives if you neglected or charged him for tiny adaptations in your collaboration. Of course, it is always important to find the right balance. We do not advise you to say “Yes” to everything your sponsor asks for, but we want you to evaluate if a longer partnership is worth the effort you are going to have. Be sure to write down all commitments and promises that have been made throughout the cooperation, the following paragraph will show you why!

Tip: Be sure to contact your sponsor on a regular basis to make sure everything is going according to their plans. They will appreciate your attention!

3. Keep your promises and stick to commitments

A famous saying by Anthony Hitt advises you to „keep every promise you make and only make promises you can keep.“ This is as true for a successful marriage as it is for a long-lasting relationship with your sponsors. If you promised them to deliver them a detailed ROI report after the race – do so! If you told them that you will post about your partnership on social media – do so! Whatever you assured them, be determined to keep it. Empty promises will just end up in disappointment and may not just end the cooperation but also rub off on your image as a sponsor. We know that it is easy to lose sight of all the agreements made, especially when it comes to larger events with various sponsors. Therefore, we advise to note down all the commitments in the list that you made before approaching your partners. It may sound old-fashioned, but you will thank us as soon as you see the happy faces of your satisfied sponsors.

Tip: Note down all the promises and commitments you have agreed upon with your partners in a list to not lose track. Even the smallest arrangement can be important and make the difference between a satisfied and dissatisfied sponsor.

4. Stay in touch in a way that benefits both parties

Still, keeping sponsors returning to your event is about more than just demonstrating the ROI and fulfilling promises. You also need to maintain and develop your relationship. It is a good idea to do a post-race recap meeting as soon as possible to lay out the initial figures. However, you should arrange a number of regular ‘check-ins’ as well. These check-ins should be used as a means of gaining knowledge about their future marketing initiatives and as brainstorming session for ideas on how your brands can mutually benefit from new opportunities.

In this way, keeping in contact will become a useful practice for both parties rather than an encumbrance from their perspective. In the 2017 IEG/ESP Properties Sponsorship Decision-Makers Survey, assisting in the ROI measurement process and assistance developing relevant content ranked first and fifth respectively in terms of most desired property-provided services. This makes it clear that collaborative long-term relationships are a growing priority for companies seeking to utilize sponsorship to further their brands.

Tip: Send regular follow-up emails with non-business-related topics. Some facts about the race with a subject like „I thought you might find this interesting“ or a recap video will make sure that your sponsor does not forget you.


You will find further valuable tips in our eBook on “How to find, contact and keep sponsors in the endurance sector“. Download your free copy now!


Lennart Hohneck

Digital Marketing
Fanomena GmbH


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