Sports Sponsorship in India is reaching new heights by the day. According to an annual report by ESP Properties of ‘Sporting Nation in the Making’, India’s overall sports sponsorship grew by a massive 17% to cross the elusive ₹ 9,000 crore-mark in 2019.
The big surge in this domain is a result of many factors including IPL, ICC World Cup and the changes in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies. It was in 2014, that the government first made it mandatory for large private and public sector firms to part ways with at least 2% of their net profits on special development projects. The resultant was encouraging.
Between 2014 and 2019, ₹ 795 crores of CSR money was spent in towards sports by some of the biggest India MNCs. However, with the total CSR spend during this time was ₹ 49,600 crores, there is still a huge potential for infusion of corporate money here.
One striking feature about the trend is that corporates are looking beyond cricket, India’s unofficial national sport.
Sports Sponsorship in India
This was fittingly displayed during the 2018 Asian Games when FMCG players like Amul, fashion retailer Raymond, financial services company Edelweiss, and paint manufacturer Nippon Paints among others were on board as sponsors.
The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) is also expecting to further attract more funding from the private and public sector in sports. In February 2020, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju received a cheque of ₹ 1 crores from SPMCIL for National Sports Development Fund.
All these facts point to just one thing – It is the best time to receive a sports sponsorship in India. Clearly, there is no dearth of parties ready to offer sponsorships to athletes in the country. It is only a matter of whether you know the right way to receive them.
If you are an athlete, here are a few important points to consider to boost your chances of landing on a sports sponsorship.
6 vital tips to get a sports sponsorship in India
1. Know Your Potential Sponsor
At the end of the day, it all comes down to selling products or services. Sponsorships are nothing more than marketing strategies for corporates. Companies that sponsor athletes use sponsorship as a form of marketing to sell their products. The athletes these organizations choose usually represent the target market.
Knowing this helps you to shortlist only those companies that you think would be interested in sponsoring you. For eg., if you are a young athlete, look out for brands who are already working with young athletes.
This process saves time and improves your chances of landing a sponsorship deal.
2. Present Your Skills
Knowing what you exactly offer is very important if you are planning to approach a sponsor. This includes both on-field achievements as well as off-field skills.
Talking about your sports antiques, you could portray your achievements, and medal wins over the years. If you are a young athlete who has just started out, you could highlight your progress graph displaying improvements in your performances. This will help the sponsors to know your potential
Apart from this, knowing your off the field skills can also come handy when you meet sponsors. If potential sponsors know that you are good at acting or public speaking, this will give them a better idea of what to expect from you.
3. Own a website
Owning a website of your own gives out a very professional and neat feel to the potential sponsors. Websites are also a convenient way for the interested parties to search and then reach out to you directly. Thus, they don’t have to go through the hassles of getting your contact from a middleman.
This sets you apart from other equally competent players who don’t have a website. Moreover, a personal website is a great way of conveying everything there is to know about you to the sponsors.
Moreover, sponsors are attracted at the prospect of posting personalized advertisements. Your website can be a platform for your sponsors to advertise their own products or services, thus providing a cost-effective marketing solution for them.
Athletes have a dedicated fan base across the country and the websites are a direct getaway for the brands to reach out to them.
4. Have a great social media presence
Possessing a great fan following helps in showing the organizations the kind of popularity you boast. This helps in giving them a better estimate of the kind of impact your signing as a sponsor would have for them.
As has been mentioned earlier, sponsorship is a great marketing strategy for organizations. Social media, like websites, is an important source of connecting and engaging with your fans – Not only for you but also for your sponsor. This exactly why having an impressive fan-following could do wonders for your chances of landing a sports sponsorship.
If you don’t have any social media presence, you should consider starting one.
5. Know Your Needs
Before you approach a sponsor, it is very important to know what you expect from the sponsorship. Sponsorships are of different kinds. They range from getting monetary assistance to covering travel expenses all the way to getting sports equipment. After you have figured out what to ask for, you have to calculate how much to ask for.
This depends on many things including your requirements, age, popularity, and level at which you perform. Knowing your needs makes you better-placed during the negotiation phase since you know what you are worth and what you need.
6. Make a good sponsorship proposal
- A perfect sponsorship proposal will make the brand manager want to contact eager to reach out to you.
- Try to make it as eye-catching as you can.
- Make use of your action or colour photographs of you competing.
- If it is possible, try getting professional-quality shots. You can speak to your National Governing Body or Federation who might have a library of pictures covering significant events.
- Make it as informative as possible. You can include your everyday training regime or what you do on an average day. You can also enlist the number of hours you put on a weekly or monthly basis. This would help them get an idea as to what it takes to become a top professional in your sport.
- Highlight your achievements and results. Ensure you also mention all your major championship appearances and medals won according to their prominence in the list.
- Make a list of the teams you have played for, right from amateur to professional levels.
- Media presence is of prime importance. If you have press cuttings, make sure to include them. Do not forget to add the details of the publication, including the name and date. If it is a special feature, mention it.
- Now for the most important part. Prepare a list of the benefits that you will provide to a sponsor. This will be the part that the brand managers are most interested in. Try to make it as clear and easy to comprehend as possible. For better readability, you can use bullet points and short sentences.
- Enumerate upcoming major events you will be participating in, in chronological order.
- Last but not least, underline your aspirations and goals. Your long-term commitment to sports is what will appeal to the sponsors. It will also show how high you hold your expectations.
- Note: Don’t state your monetary expectations in the initial communication itself. Leave that for late.
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KreedOn is a platform for Indian athletes and sports entities to get recognition, digital solutions, and sports network. It’s also a digital platform for brands to discover and book opportunities in Indian sports ecosystem to fulfil their marketing and CSR objectives.
We help athletes in developing their brand identity and market it in the best possible manner. We take care of all your technological, social, and media needs. You focus on your giving your best, while we take care of the rest!
Here are some of the additional benefits of developing a website through KreedOn:
FREE Press Release Services: KreedOn provides free press release services to you. Moreover, we publish Additional PR stories around you on the KreedOn Media as well. It is a strong sports community reaching out to over 2,00,000 Indian sports lovers every month. This ensures that not a single achievement of yours goes unnoticed.
Expert Support: At KreedOn, you could take the benefits of our shared network and collaborations in the sports ecosystem. We are connected with some of the best coaches, nutritionists, and physios of the country.
Sponsorship Opportunities: KreedOn utilizes technology to create earning opportunities for Indian athletes.