Outside organizations, businesses, and other groups provide sponsorships for music events and tours of individual artist and bands with financial support, equipment, and transportation in exchange for advertising. That’s simple enough. But finding those sponsorships can be anything but simple.
To find the sponsorships you need to get started, begin locally. Prepare a list to be used as a guide for reaching your goals and check off each item as it is accomplished. Add any new items as you become aware of needs.
The first things you need when seeking sponsorships are: 1) a solid promotional package, 2) a well-developed concept of your needs, and 3) a well-defined plan of action. Be organized. Sponsorships will be more easily earned by knowing your capabilities and knowing your goals.
Putting together your promotional package to gain sponsorships will be critical to presenting yourself effectively, and you should be inclusive. Include your music, your proposed tour schedule, your goals, a photograph, a list of references, and your biography that lists your accomplishments and successes thus far. Consider your promotional package your résumé for a job. This will be the case whether you are approaching your neighborhood burger joint for a single performance or a major sponsorship agreement from a large corporation for an extensive year-long international tour.
When you have everything prepared – your résumé and your plan of action – begin contacting potential sponsors for the sponsorship that you seek. Start locally and start small, remembering that the first effort will be the most difficult. Practice will make approaching additional businesses and individuals for sponsorships all that much easier.
When seeking sponsorships, it is most effective to put yourself in front of potential sponsors personally. Give them your promotional package, hand them free CDs, show them firm data (number of shows, number of people and demographic you will entertain) that demonstrates how much exposure their sponsorship will get them. And get accustomed to handing out tickets and CDs, offering favors, and adding sponsors names your guest list. Woo them!
Use personal friends, references, and connections. Get names of those who are company marketers. Use names. Your first sponsorship will provide a strong influence on your next prospect. Be generous, as sponsorships will be more easily won by providing complementary tickets to shows and backstage visits. And, as you are offering to represent your sponsors, remember to remain professional throughout your campaign.
Sponsorships in the big leagues can be obtained through organizations that connect musicians with companies that have huge budgets reserved for advertising. Corporate sponsors answer requests for enormous sponsorships all the time. Sponsorships have funded large regular events – country music and jazz festivals – for decades. Individual performing artists and bands are awarded sponsorships for tours that last for months or years on generous corporate sponsorships. You’ve seen the company logos, heard advertising on radios and television stations, seen ads in newspapers and magazines, and carried promotional merchandise in your hands at concerts year after year. Sponsorships provide wide exposure for the dollars awarded.
It’s impossible to list the numerous companies that are major sponsors of music events and bands, but some big ones include Ford Motor Company, Capitol Records, FYE record stores, Affiliated Records, General Motors, Proctor and Gamble, Best Foods, and so, so many more.
Once you get started, you’ll be amazed at how many people you can impress and entice into sponsorship. And you’ll probably be amazed at how much fun it can become.
This article provides an overview of sponsorship. If you would like to submit an article about sponsorships or any other music-related subject, please feel free to do so here at Media Positive Radio.
Return to the Music Industry Directory