8 Ways to Attract Sponsors Like Moths to a Flame


Unless you put on a huge event that includes a free Beyoncé concert at the finish line, it’s going to take some hustle to get race sponsors for your event. Here are eight ideas on how you can get their support, without driving yourself to drink:

1. Create a sponsor sell sheet.

This is a 1-2 page document that outlines your event concept as well as your participant and volunteer demographics. As the race organizer, you’ll have access to gender, age, and geographic location data from the registration forms, but if possible, try gathering info on spending habits, average household income, etc. If you’re putting on a first-time event, gather community demographic info and present that.  Super Important Thing to Remember: Target sponsors that are a good fit for your brand, and then make sure they know exactly who they will be able to reach at your event with this sell sheet.

2. Organize your sponsor proposals.

Create different levels of sponsors (for example, gold, silver, and bronze) to suit different budgets. Be ultra clear on what they’ll get at each level—don’t spitball this when you walk in the door. Even if it’s your neighbor Larry you’re pitching to, present yourself as serious and professional with a specific, organized proposal.

3. Get local TV and radio stations involved.

If you can promise sponsors media exposure, they’ll be knocking down your door. Air time is an ace up your sleeve.

4. Give unique, visible logo placement.

Think about all the areas you can showcase a sponsor’s logo exclusively. The start and finish lines are the hot spots that everyone wants, but they won’t be exclusive unless someone is willing to pay big bucks. Is there a location on your course where spectators clump? Do you have lead vehicles that could carry a banner? Do you have pacers or coaches running the course that would wear a sponsor jersey? Get creative!

5. Get a local celebrity involved.

Not only will he or she most likely have connections to help you open doors, but everyone wants to be at the party the cool kid is at. The celebrity will help you attract attention with just their name alone.

6. Add a corporate challenge.

With the recent changes to the healthcare system, corporations are aggressively looking for wellness initiatives to promote to employees. Creating a corporate challenge will give these companies a platform to get people involved, while you get a sponsor and more participants.

7. Offer free or discounted booth space at the start/finish line.

This is particularly effective with new, local companies that are hungry for exposure. You can trade booth space for a donation, giveaways, or goodie bag fillers.

8. Involve sponsors in the event.

Let them shoot the start line gun, have them hand out age-group awards at the finish line, give them free entries and shout outs. However you do it, make your sponsors feel like the special snowflakes they are, so they establish an emotional connection with the event and feel good about supporting it.

Every sponsor will have a different reason for getting involved with your event. Some will have a personal connection to your mission, some will simply need to close out their budget for the year, but all will want exposure. Make sure you offer that to them, and you’ll be ahead of the game.

Need help with more than just sponsors? Download our guide on how to plan a 5K race here.

To learn more about ChronoTrack, contact us.