Regardless of the size of your business, you can expect that you will be approached by local organizations to sponsor community events, fundraisers and other special initiatives.  Many merchants embrace the opportunity to connect with the community as an opportunity to generate publicity for your business but also as a forum to develop rapport and goodwill with your target clientele.


Often, the greatest platform for business is not a cash donation, which might secure you a live mention or printed recognition in the event program.  Instead, when you have the opportunity to offer a donation “in kind” you have an opportunity to best maximize your visibility to that new audience but also give them a sample of your wares which may serve to improve your odds of seeing a return on that marketing spend.


As the temperatures start to climb and Albertans itch to get outdoors, golf tournaments are often a great venue for you to ensure that your brand is seen by both participants as well as event organizers.  If you are in a business that offers services or products that may be attractive to that clientele, sponsoring a local tournament with an in kind donation could put your product line in front of a whole new demographic, one that understands the importance of quality and the prestige of being ahead of the pack.


If your marketing plan is considering sponsorship of your local golf tournament, here are some strategies to keep in mind:

Consider products that are not disposable

While it would seem that golf balls bearing your brand are an obvious choice, consider your own participation on the local links.  How many times have you lost a ball in the rough or on a water hazard?  Has the value of that ball inspired you to seek it out rather than replace it?  Though golf balls are an implement used by golfers, their value as currency is very low.  How much value is your logo to your clientele if it’s sitting in the bottom of a watery ditch?  The same applies for tees or the short pencils kept at each hole to keep score.  Instead consider products that are likely to be retained and valued by those lucky enough to get their hands on them.


Be Mindful of the Quality

The greatest advantage that merchants have by pursuing an in-kind donation instead of a cash sponsorship is that it allows them to offer a sample of their wares.  When you put a product bearing your logo into someone’s hands, you want them to take note of the quality and not to discard it before packing their golf bag into their vehicle and heading home.  If a player has had a good day on the course, a prize donation of logo’ed glassware might serve as both a great reminder and conversation starter as that participant relives the story at social gatherings for years to come, forever attaching your brand to that fond tale.  For the lucky recipient, both the quality product as well as the treasured memory become entwined.


Set Yourself Apart from the Pack

If you have ever been to a local tournament for fundraiser where local merchants have donated items for prizes or a silent auction, have you ever found yourself rather dis-satisfied with the slate of items that is up for grabs?  Consider not only what products will make people readily think of your business and brand, but what they aren’t seeing from other vendors.  If they are not already familiar with your brand, they may not wear a ball cap or golf shirt with your logo embroidered on it.  Be creative with your selections.  With the growing number of products and novelties available, you don’t have the break the bank to stand out from the crowd, you just need a little imagination.  At Laser Screen Printing and Embroidery, we can help to introduce you to some innovative product lines that will set you apart from the crowd.


Your product choice is intended to build relationships

While many merchants may be hesitant to become a visible sponsor for local events as it opens the door to an endless parade of requests from other events, projects and causes, it is important to remember why you are putting your name out there in the first place.  You are attaching your name and your brand to events and building a rapport with event organizers that encourages them to keep you in mind and to reach out to you.  A successful sponsorship should see those organizations encouraging their patrons to support the sponsors that are responsible for the successful events, and under the best circumstances should inspire those organizers to become familiar faces in your business to ensure that they can call upon your support next time.


By reaching out the first time as a gesture of goodwill, you invite the host organization to do the same.  Look at many of the successful annual events around Edmonton and take note of some of the ongoing sponsorships that come from small business.  That shows you that the exchange of support has successfully fostered that relationship over time.  It is important to remember that in the sponsorship game, it is often hard to directly calculate the return on investment in dollars over a single year, relationships take time the grow.


How Do You Get Started?

If you have been considering sponsorship as part of your marketing strategy but aren’t sure where to start, that’s where we can help.  As Edmonton’s leading provider of promotional products and branded apparel and specialty ware, Laser Screen Printing and Embroidery can help you to customize a marketing product line that won’t break the bank, but will create value for your investment.


We encourage you to browse our website, give us a call or drop by to see our showroom to find the ideas that will help you expand your business profile this year.  Our team has worked with many business owners just like you to identify the products and ideas that will elevate your visibility in the Edmonton market, without breaking the bank.  Let’s get started.

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