View Full Version : Sponsorship
12-07-2010, 12:06 AM
Hey I was wondering if any haunts have had success in getting big businesses to sponsor their event. I'm not talking about cross promotion advertising, I'm talking about like Pepsi or DARE giving a haunt sums of money to have their logo everywhere. Has anyone had any success with this? We're thinking of trying to get a big company on board to sponsor us.
We solicit area businesses for sponsorship/advertising. We ask for $100.00 per business but accept anything. We "steal" the local chamber of commerce membership list from their online site and send, via US Mail, solicitation letters. In exchange for their tax deduxtable contribution, we give them the following...
Name recognition on the 8x16 billboard in our yard (flourescent lamented w/ their logo), Clickable links on our dot com and social media pages, Name recognition on our waiting room video, name recognition on our outdoor video, and a mention in our annual letter to the editor in three newspapers.
We have been fortunate to receive $1000.00 from Wal-Mart grants and and couple of other sources. Our sponsorship program generates approxiamtely $8000.00 per year. Takes a bit of time and energy, plus a few bucks in supplies (envelopes, paper, postage), but well wotth the return.
12-07-2010, 08:30 AM
Sean, I respectfully disagree with your approach on sponsorships. That sounds like a lot of work for only 8k in support. Sponsors are interested in one thing, and that's what you can offer them. They want to allign themselves with an event or attraction that draws heavily on their key demographic. They want to know how many people or impressions they can get. You have to prove how popular and in demand your attraction is to their target market and then you can get some real support.
Make no mistake, obtaining sponsorship support is tough, very tough. A lot of the biggest deals you see from haunters is from the corporations contacting them to do a deal, that's where your marketing and reputation have served you well. That's easier because they approached you and want to work with you and usually they'll be more supportive then.
Starting off I would not be looking for cash sponsorships, only in-kind deals like trades, etc. But starting out taking small money or support can hurt you later because even though you're growing, the sponsor will probably not be interested in offering more than they have. You'll end up having to drop them and go for their competitor to get what you realy deserve. When you lock in to a small figure, they'll think you're small and not worth their time and investment so ask for more than you think you can get from big companies. With the little ones local to you, it may be best to do small deals as their support will probably not increase much anyway, but getting a grand out of a company like Coke, you'll probably never get any real money out of them in the future....
Understood and thanks for the input. However, these sponsorships, I should have been more clear, are on a local level. Local businesses are the target for us at this point. The Wal-Mart funds are part of a neighborhood grant with a max of 1K. The local power plant makes a yearly town contribution of $500.00 and a Youth Advisory Committee request proposals for $200.00 - 1K as well, all of which we receive pretty much annually.
12-08-2010, 07:35 AM
Ok, well Sean that is a bit different and it sounds like you have done a great job with attraction local sponsors! Sometimes having sponsors attracts other sponsors to want to jump on board!
Good luck guys!
12-08-2010, 10:31 AM
A few years ago I saw Mike Krausert (Tattoo) give an awesome seminar on sponsorships at at haunt gathering. Back then he talked about how he'd gotten sponsors for Terror on the Fox (the main one was a casino), but I know now he's gotten some major sponsor support for his new event Nightmare New England (Dunkin Donuts, Monster Energy, etc). I'm not sure if he still gives this seminar, but if you could check it out at one of the conventions it would be definitely worth your time.
The main points I got out of it was just what Darkangel said, what do you have to offer the sponsor? Look at it from their point of view, what are they getting out of this partnership? Also, you have to be able to set a value for everything your offering, which is quite difficult to do. Say you're putting their logo on all your posters, what is that worth to you? How about mentioning them at the end of your radio or tv ad? Also, make sure they know how many people will be seeing their logo over the course of the season. Then you have to ask yourself what you want out of it, money? advertising? supplies? If your asking for money, consider that the sponsor is essentially buying advertising and therefore won't pay for something they don't think will be effective. In terms of getting them, cast a wide net. Once you have them, it's very important to TAKE CARE OF THEM! Remember, they are giving you money and can very easily spend money elsewhere, so go out of your way to make them happy.
I myself have had trouble getting sponsors because our event is still small enough that we don't really have enough to bring to the table, but if you have something to offer, you can attract some attention.
Hope that helps,
12-08-2010, 09:44 PM
Another problem is if you are not a family oriented haunt, but go for the big scares, some companies think that's too controversial. Ones who deal with exclusively older customers (like college students) are better about it, but even they can be pretty skiddish if they think your promotions are too bloody or gruesome. I can't say that I blame them, but by the same token, you don't want to dumb everything down to a kid's level just to please someone who's worried their manager might get a complaint or two.
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