I know that there are many new teams out there (Including mine) that are trying to come up with sponsorship presentations. It would be nice to know what companies like to hear, what to have prepared, and how to handle how much a company should sponsor.
What companies like to hear.
What percent of graduating members are going into STEM in college/careers. It is easier to throw money at a cause that can show it is producing the desired effect. This may be hard to do the first few years, but after a while, this can be good data to collect and show.
A team budget. If you can show how much you need, or think you need, for particular things, it is easier on their end to get approval to give you money. Keep in mind, the people you talk to may not be the ones holding the check book. You need to give them enough to request money.
Past work. They like to see progress. Even if it doesn’t seem like much to you, being able to show previous year’s robots, or even the development of a current robot over time can impress potential sponsors.
Branding opportunities. Show them how and where you can display their name. Arena’s, team shirts, banners. Anything that will tell your supporters who is supporting you. Companies like to have good publicity. That means they need to support a good cause, and people need to know it. Also consider, newspapers will occasionally report on successful teams.
What to have prepared.
Any or all of the things mentioned above. Show that it is a good cause, that it is achieving the desired result, and that they will be recognized for their contribution.
Numbers. Numbers are important. Numbers show that you have looked at the practical side of what you have and what you need, and it is a good indicator that what they give you will be used the way it is intended. Numbers also let them justify giving you money. “We are a really dedicated team.” may sound nice, but “Our team members dedicated 2000 man-hours to our last robot, working 12 of the available 52 weekends.” is better.
How much a company should sponsor.
- It really depends, and you should try to make a budget that will support what you want to accomplish. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, but also be prepared to get 10 smaller donations rather than 1 large one.
Another thing that can help is showing you have a plan for the future, especially if it is a plan to make your team self sufficient and no longer dependent on donations.
What…? By selling merchandise or something?!?
Well, i was thinking hosting competitions, but that is an option as well.
We get revenue from one (soon to be two) tournaments every year. It doesn’t cover half of our expenses, and we’re pretty frugal. Worlds is expensive for people on the opposite side of the country.
Well that would come from my personal money. As a team, we are plenty frugal. I just spend my own money on the extra stuff.
$10 extra isn’t going to break the bank anyway.
That is true and i had not.considered that. Worlds is in our back yard right now, however we did go to the US Open on about the same budget. We are still looking at a couple of options for self-funding our team, and we hope to be at that point in the next two years.
If our team hosts 2 EDR tournamnets, 2 IQ tournamnets, and 2 Nerf Nights we should net around 12k. That’s a pretty healthy hunk of change.
We’ve also looked at hosting camps with I for extra cash.
I don’t know how lucrative “Nerf nights” are, but we make ~$1500 per tournament… With two tournamenrs, that won’t cover one team going to Worlds on its own.
Nerf Nights if fully attended net about $1000. What’s your overhead for a tournament?
Almost nothing. $50/team, 32 teams, minus the processing fees is our revenue. So about $1500.
Ah we charge $85.
I’ve also tossed around the idea of hosting a 5k.
$50 is standard in Arizona. I don’t think a normal regional tournament has ever charged more.
A robotics 5k would be hilarious, but I would run it.
Indiana’s new standard is $75 to $80 we’ll see how it sticks.
5ks have pretty small overhead costs and usually attract a lot of people. Might be a good idea for teams that have the man power and the comunity ties to make it happen.
I haven’t been a huge fan of the cost of tourneys in Indiana, this will be my 3rd year coaching/mentoring. We had 3 teams, and generally brought $150 worth of teams. So the couple that were $50 a pop all 3 went, otherwise just the 2 HS teams went. We’ll see how this year goes, but even just registering the teams for the season went up substantially for 3 teams.
They suggested $75 at the EP Summit.
It all comes down to what was mentioned up above. It’s hard to bank roll a team for $50 registration. It’s also difficult to justify the amount of time and energy hosting a tournament requires when you only net fifteen hundred bucks.
The problem, interestingly, is an economic one. Your price has to be at or below or the standard, or else no one will register.
That is not 100% true. We chose 6 tournaments to go to this year, and none were based on price. All where based on where we have experienced well run tournaments and what host teams we wanted to support. They also tended to be the more expensive tournaments.