Having something of value

You may know that I previously volunteered as the Commercial Manager at Didcot Town Football Club.

One experience highlighted the importance of having an offering that has value in the eyes of the buyer.

As a club we had a number of commerical partnership opportunities, but for a lower league club this was a challenge to sell and only really engaged by those with local interest in supporting grassroots football.

In 2015, the club had a fantastic run in the FA Cup and got to the first round proper, where they were awarded Live TV coverage of their next FA Cup game due to being the lowest ranked minnows left in the competition. So on the 8th November we played Exeter City, live on BT Sport.

It was a fantastic few weeks, speaking to people about sponsorship packages in relation to the match and negotiating the packages that suit a win / win situation.

However, it highlighted the fact you will read or hear many times. We all have to ensure we have something of value in our offering from the eyes of our prospective customer.

Conscious, relevant, valued,

Selling sponsorship opportunities had been a tough task all season with as you would expect the question “well what’s in it for me”. You have to have tough skin and be prepared for many slammed doors. All good experience! At times, it had been hard to gain £50 from some business owners who don’t really have a brand to promote and can’t describe their business quickly enough to display with value on a pitchside banner or in a tannoy announcement.

That in itself is a learn for me. We talk about the one minute elevator pitch, but is that too long? We should perhaps focus more on a short, attention attracting, headline or strapline that grabs the attention and gives us the right to give our one minute pitch.

What do your prospects value?

However the biggest reminder that week came when we were given TV rights with BT Sport, because from that point for many the price was not an issue. We even had one sponsor turn up at the ground with his advertising board and said just charge me what you think is fair to display this board. He had previously declined my approach one month ago as he perceived the club had nothing to offer him with attendences around 100-150. However as soon as we are expecting 2800 for one game, with a wider audience due to the TV coverage, then he wanted to be part of it.

When you have something that is truly valued and providing a unique opportunity, then you can command a premium price. We usually charged £300 for a banner on pitch side for the whole season (maybe 35 games). For this one, live televised, game we are charging a minimum £750 and I did not have one objection.

So what are you offering your prospects that they truly value and then enables you to command a premium price?

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