Perhaps we should call it “commencement evening”. It appears as though we are celebrating the culmination of an extensive process to a successful finish. It is very important that we recognize the advertising sponsors that make your project a success. Lost is the fact that a foundation is being set toward a genuine partnership between the school and someone that is willing to offer their financial support. The dedication night is the beginning of what should be a diligent effort toward communicating constant appreciation.
Recently I experienced completely different attitudes when meeting with two athletic directors.
The first Athletic Director made the following statements during our conversation: “We need to do more for our sponsors.” “I need to make sure I have an updated list of all my advertising sponsors and their contact information.” “When you add an advertising sponsor to the project, I would like to know the decision maker’s name and how to reach them.” “I am going to personally stop at each sponsor’s business and thank them.” “These sponsors have to know how much we appreciate their support.” “There are a number of places these businesses can spend their money; they chose us.”
While meeting with the second Athletic Director I asked, ”Can I help you with a plan to thank your advertising sponsors?” He replied, “No, displaying their ad and giving them season passes is enough for a $2,000 sponsor.” “I’ll try to find the time to contact the $5,000 sponsors, but no way do I have the time to thank fourteen $2,000 sponsors.” I stated, “Fourteen at $2,000 is a total of $28,000; that’s pretty significant; the sum of two $5,000 sponsors is $10,000 total.” He continued, “I understand, but I’ll thank just the big guys, that’s it.” With one last appeal, I said; “Often times $2,000 is a much larger sacrifice to a small business compared to $5,000 from a national company.” His rebuttal; “I don’t have the time.”
In less than 3 years, both of these projects will have a number of advertising sponsors up for renewal. Any question as to which school will receive a larger revenue check? The primary reason we hear that sponsors do not renew their school sponsorship is because they didn’t feel appreciated by the school. Some claim that if they were to walk into the Athletic
Office, the Athletic Director wouldn’t know who they are. Our goal with our new Customer Service department is to help you build and nourish these lasting relationships.
The Dedication Night is the beginning. Recognize these individuals and their businesses with all the attention and gratitude they deserve. Do it for the long term success of the project or do it because it is the right thing to do, but do it. We know you are busy and we are here to help. Your sponsors can tell when you care!