How To Get Sponsors
For Your Table Tennis Club

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How do you find potential sponsors and secure sponsorship deals for your table tennis club? Find out here...

 By Martin Hughes
 Owner and Editor

How to get Sponsors

So you're looking to get sponsors for your table tennis club.

What are the essential things you need to know?

How can you increase your chances of getting sponsors for your club?

How do you find potential sponsors and secure sponsorship deals?

Let's find out...


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Rule 101

When you approach a potential sponsor it's vitally important that you always remember this...

A sponsorship deal has to benefit both parties.

So if you're ever going to secure a sponsor for your club, you must be able to offer them something of value.

It's not just about what YOU can get from the sponsorship deal - It's a two-way transaction.


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What is sponsorship?

Well, sponsorship is a business deal between two parties where both parties benefit from the arrangement.

Businesses usually provide funds, resources or services to your club in return for some form of rights and/or association with your club.

These funds, resources or services will be used to benefit their business AND your club.

Remember, sponsorship is different to a donation.

Businesses (or individuals) may not expect any commercial benefit in return for a donation, but they definitely will for sponsorship.

Sponsorship deal sealed by courtesy of the ITTF

So a sponsor (who is usually a commercial business, rather than an individual person) will only be interested in discussing a deal with you if you can offer them value for money.

And as they often treat sponsorship deals as a form of advertising for their business, they usually want you to demonstrate how you can bring their name and products or services to the public's attention.

They may also want their business to be associated with your club or event you're organising in order to enhance their corporate image, both to the general public and to their employees.

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What can you offer a sponsor?

Before you approach any potential sponsors you need to be clear about what your club can offer them.

Remember, businesses are mostly interested in HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM, not how they can help your club.

So make sure that you know what the benefits to their business are.

The most important issue for most businesses is that they want to increase sales of their products and services, so you need to consider how you can help them achieve that.

So how will you promote their brand? Perhaps via extensive publicity of their brand name?

Brand publicity for sponsors

You could provide publicity for them by...

  • Putting their logo on your club clothing and equipment
  • Providing free advertising outside and inside your club
  • Providing free advertising on your club's web site
  • Putting their logo on all correspondence
  • Promoting them as title sponsor for a specific event
  • Promoting them as title sponsor for the club itself
  • Promoting them in every media story you release

Alternatively, they may have other priorities that you could help them achieve. You just have to find out what they are, and then target your proposal accordingly.

But whatever you offer, always remember to explain how it will benefit their business. Remember, they're looking for value for money. They're not interested in just giving you something for nothing in return.

You'll also need to ensure that you only target businesses who are a good match with your club. These may be local or national businesses. Just make sure that you can demonstrate a good synergy between their business and what your club can offer them.

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What do you want from the sponsor?

Although it's of paramount importance that your sponsorship proposal gives value to the sponsor, you also need to be clear on what you're asking for in return.

In many instances it is money, but it could equally be goods or services.

However, you must state exactly what you want, and for what purpose you will use it.

For example, you could be asking for money to run more coaching sessions at your club, or you could be asking a table tennis equipment supplier to provide table tennis equipment so that you can expand the club. Or you could be asking a food supplier to provide catering services at an event you are holding.

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Who can you approach for sponsorship?

There are many options available when seeking sponsorship for your club, but your first task should be to determine...

  • What type of businesses or individuals would be suitable sponsors?
  • What type of businesses or individuals would NOT be appropriate?

For example, a suitable sponsor may be a sports equipment supplier whilst a tobacco company would NOT be a suitable sponsor.


So let's take a look at who you could approach for sponsorship...

  1. Club members, family and friends

    Like all forms of fundraising, it's easier to start with people you already know.

    Club members, friends and relatives will know your club and understand what you do, so they're more likely to listen to your proposals.

    There may also be someone within the club who has their own business and is willing to sponsor the club.

  2. Local businesses and suppliers

    Research local businesses and target those who could benefit from a partnership with your club.

    These could include table tennis/sports equipment retailers, food suppliers etc.

  3. National businesses and suppliers

    You could also consider approaching national businesses and suppliers. These could include insurance companies, drinks companies, telephone providers etc.

    But remember, they may not have any interest in sponsoring small clubs unless you can demonstrate a good synergy between their business and what your club can offer them.

    Additionally, unless you have a contact name, it may be more difficult to get through to the right person.

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How to succeed

When you're submitting a sponsorship proposal to a business, it's important to remember these important points.

Businesses often receive many requests for help and may not give your proposal more than a cursory glance (if at all), so you can increase your chances of success if you...

  1. Act in a professional manner at all times
    Make sure that you and your colleagues always act in a professional manner and understand what is required of a business relationship.

  2. Only approach companies with the right fit
    If you contact businesses who are not suited to being associated with a table tennis club, then you'll be wasting your time and theirs.

  3. Offer value for money
    Make sure that the sponsor will benefit from the relationship.

  4. Stand out from the crowd
    Make sure that your proposal is professionally presented and addressed or delivered to the person who has the power to say 'yes'.

  5. Be persistent, not a pest
    Make sure that you follow up your proposal by contacting the business until you get a reply, but not to the extent that you become a nuisance.

In the next part, we'll take a look at how to submit your proposal for a sponsorship deal.

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For more information about table tennis clubs, take a look at these pages too...

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