3 Benefits of Sponsorships and Why You Aren’t Getting Sponsors

(with Lori Manns)

3 Benefits of Sponsorships and Why You Aren’t Getting Sponsors

Sponsorship can be tricky to navigate. We may be doing our best to get sponsors, but find that no one wants to sponsor us. In today’s episode, Lori A. Manns and I are going to discuss the different kinds of sponsorship, the benefits, and the most common reasons businesses don’t get sponsored. We’ll also discuss Lori’s career, the lessons she’s learned from it, and two lessons from her book, Divine Downloads, Loriology: 33 Lessons On Life, Love & Leadership

Lori A. Manns is the president of Quality Media Consulting Group, a consulting firm specializing in advertising, marketing, and sales solutions. Lori has numerous awards and recognitions, including the Nonprofit Leader of the Year Award, Businesswoman of the Year, and the Legacy Award. Lori is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and a regular content contributor for Forbes.com. 

Kinds of Corporate Sponsorships

There are many different kinds of sponsorships, but today Lori and I are discussing corporate sponsorships. These are partnerships where corporations pay us to be associated with our brand or company. 

Within corporate sponsorships, there are many things we can do to gain sponsorships like naming rights or putting the corporation’s name on an event or on a stadium. Also, there are marketing sponsorships, which is when a company or corporation pays another entity, so they can be associated with a product, an event, or some entity where they also have an association. For example, a financial institution may sponsor a podcast about finances; that podcast would market for that institution on their podcast, and the podcast would receive benefits from the institution. In-kind sponsorships provide products or services instead of cash.

When choosing what kind of sponsorship, we should consider what we have the capacity to do in our business and what will bring us the most benefit.

Benefits of Sponsorship

A business can see many benefits from doing a sponsorship, but there are three main ones: credibility, cash flow, and connections.

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1. Credibility

A corporation already has brand credibility. They’re already well-known and established in the marketplace. If McDonald’s, Walmart, Apple, or Amazon were to sponsor something, they would be lending their credibility to that sponsorship.

“If your brand is not known . . . and you partner with a Fortune 500 company that is well known, they are helping you with brand awareness when they sponsor your product or service or your company,” Lori said. 

2. Cashflow

Corporations are often willing to pay a nice sum for what we can do for them. Sponsorship money isn’t like a business loan—we don’t have to pay it back. That doesn’t mean that it’s free money, we do have to do things in exchange for it, but what could be better than having a company pay us for this agreement? 

“That cash flow is an infusion into your business and all you have to do is perform. All you have to do is facilitate the agreement, and make sure that you do everything that is included in that sponsorship proposal, and, boom, you have a check . . . you don’t have to pay back. That’s revenue in your business that’s going to help you get to that next level, especially if you’ve never had it before,” Lori said.

3. Connections

As with credibility, because corporations are already well-established, they have many connections. They have thousands of employees, millions of customers, and an entire network of people they do business with. When we work with them, we can much more easily reach those people. 

We’re able to tap into their audience and they can tap into ours, allowing both parties to expand their reach. Though our audience is likely already aware of the sponsor, they’ll be able to foster brand loyalty with our audience.

Why Businesses Aren’t Getting Sponsors

The biggest reason why businesses don’t get sponsors is that they have failed to identify the synergy between what they do and what the corporation does. What is the alignment between our mission, vision, and goals and the corporation’s mission, vision, and goals?

If that alignment isn’t there or we can’t show the corporation that it’s there, we won’t get sponsors. We have to show them that we are in sync with them, we want the same goals as them, and we have the means to help them accomplish their goals. 

Lori’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Lori started entrepreneurship in 2009 after she was downsized from her six-figure corporate job at a radio station. She wanted to take her career and future into her own hands and start her own business. The only problem was that she didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship or how to start a business, but she figured it out as she went along. 

So many entrepreneurs have started from similar positions. When one door closes, we find a new door in entrepreneurship that empowers us to create something amazing.

Since becoming an entrepreneur, Lori has found a passion in helping purpose-driven entrepreneurs use their expertise, skills, and talents to monetize their brand so they can make a bigger impact in the world and increase their income. She considers helping her clients succeed to be the greatest home runs of her career.

Believing in and Protecting Ourselves

As Lori was learning how to start and run a business, she made some mistakes, as we all do. She said the biggest failure she’s made was doubting herself, not being her authentic self, and falling prey to imposter syndrome. 

“Entrepreneurship takes courage and bravery,” Lori said. “If you don’t have that courage and bravery, then you’re subject to [making] a lot of mistakes [and] not [being] willing to take risks, and you won’t survive.”

Lori didn’t charge enough for her services, and she helped people who didn’t pay, falling prey to “Can I take you to lunch and pick your brain?” She also didn’t protect her intellectual property well enough. 

To be an entrepreneur, we need to believe in ourselves and know what we’re worth. We want to help people but we have to help ourselves first because if we don’t, we won’t be able to help anyone else.

To protect ourselves and our intellectual property we need to make sure we are filing trademarks and registering copyrights. We should be sure to protect digital products and services, training, and anything that someone could want from us. We can put watermarks on our videos to make it easier to prove that they’re ours.

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2 of Lori’s Favorite Lessons from Her Book

Here are two life lessons from Lori’s book Divine Downloads, Loriology: 33 Lessons On Life, Love & Leadership.

1. Love Yourself

One lesson Lori shared is that we must love ourselves. “In order to love anyone in your life, you have to first love yourself,” Lori said. “If you don’t love yourself, it’s impossible for you to love anyone else because it starts inside. If you have love inside then that’s how you’re able to give it to another person.”

When we give ourselves grace and forgiveness when we make a mistake, it becomes easier to do the same for others, forgiving them for their mistakes. We’re all human; we all make mistakes. We should be willing to forgive ourselves and others for mistakes and move on. The only way we can grow and let others grow is to forgive. 

Too often we are too hard on ourselves. Many of us are so quick to give other people grace and forgiveness but don’t give that to ourselves. We’re harder on ourselves than we are on other people. We’re harder on ourselves than God is on us, and when that happens, we know our standards are off.

We need to be gentle with ourselves. We’re all just figuring things out as we go. Mistakes are part of the learning process, and they will help us improve in the long run.

2. Go Bucket List Crazy

Lori loved the movie The Bucket List. It resonated with her and made her want to take the time to enjoy and experience life, to create memories with people that she loves and cares about, to do things that she is passionate about, things that light her soul on fire and make her smile so hard her cheeks hurt and make her laugh so much her belly hurts.

Life isn’t just meant to be endured—it’s meant to be enjoyed too. We should be enthusiastic about making memories that will last forever. We should have goals or a bucket list that we’re excited to tackle. 

Lori said, “The more things you put on your list of things that you want to do . . . before you actually kick the bucket, the better. I think you should go bucket list crazy. Create a life of your dreams, and try to enjoy yourself as much as you possibly can by creating memorable moments.”

Key Takeaways

Thank you so much Lori for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:

1. Corporate sponsorship can bring us credibility, cash flow, and connections.

2. The biggest reason why businesses don’t get sponsors is that they have failed to identify the synergy between what they do and what the potential sponsor does.

3. As entrepreneurs, we need to be brave, know our worth, and do what it takes to protect ourselves and our property.

4. We must love ourselves before we can love and serve others.

5. Life isn’t just meant to be endured. We should seek moments of happiness doing the things we love with the people we love.

Connect with Lori

To learn more about or connect with Lori:

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    About the author

    Nathan Gwilliam

    Nathan Gwilliam

    I help organizations navigate tectonic shifts that are transforming the business landscape, so they can optimize marketing, accelerate profits, and make a greater difference for good.

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