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How To Find a Corporate Sponsorship

Juliene Hefter, Deputy Director of the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association, talks about how booster clubs can obtain—and maintain—corporate sponsorships.

By Danielle Catalano
Danielle Catalano is a writer for

Juliene R. Hefter, MSOLQ, CPRP, is the Deputy Director of the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association. She has been involved with the association since 1991 and has been in charge of supervising recreation programs for one-and-one-half years. Part of her responsibilities includes obtaining and maintaining corporate sponsorships for public parks throughout Wisconsin.

What is a corporate sponsorship?
Basically, it's a partnership in which you're getting something but you're also giving something back in return.

Perhaps there is a business that is looking to do some marketing or advertising in the area or just wants to support some good cause. You, the booster club, contact the business to obtain money, an in-kind service, or some product. In return, you provide the business with free marketing opportunities, such as in mentioning its name in your brochures or flyers, placing an advertisement your sport program, have a plaque on the wall with the company's name, or even mentioning the company's support in newspaper articles—anything that you can give back to them.

How does a booster club go about researching corporate sponsorships?
First, you have to find a project that people are passionate about. If your community or school district isn't passionate about the project, that project isn't going to be successful because people aren't going to think it's an important project for the community. If you find a business that's interested in a project, jump on it.

A lot of businesses and organizations are interested in supporting communities because they want to look good in the communities' eyes. They want people to know that they support the community and the activities that go on in it. It's a lot easier to get things supported that involve children because if people in the business have children in the school district, they will want to support what they're children are in.

A good way to find sponsors is to take a look at what's around you. Look in the newspaper and on TV to see whose advertising. These people have an obvious interest in the community.

You then have to make sure that the business will get value out of its sponsorship. So when you approach that business, you can say: "Your company advertises in the newspapers, but everyone who reads that paper, throws it away when they're done. That's not a lot of exposure. But, if you have a sponsorship with my club, every time people go to this baseball field that you helped sponsor, everybody will see your advertisement over and over and over again."

What elements should be included when designing a sponsorship market plan?

How do you make your marketing materials/brochures stand out? is brought to you by a recognized and established name in the school athletics arena, MomentumMedia—publisher of Athletic Management, Coaching Management and Training & Conditioning magazines.