Planning a running event where everyone can mingle and get in some much-needed exercise is great – until you realize that you will have to fund it. The event you have planned is a great opportunity to build relationships within the community while allowing everyone to have some fun. And it would be all fun and games were it not for the fact that you have to invest some money for all of that to happen. If you are a small to medium-sized organization, then you might have to go out of your way to find sponsors for your local running event. Worry not – there are a few tricks that can help you in your pursuit. 

Know your audience

Sponsorship should be a deal that benefits both the sponsor and the one organizing the event. That’s why you need to strive to connect with the right companies and the right people in order to host a successful running event that will help everyone involved reap some benefits of aerobic exercise. The very first thing you need to do is identify the demographic and type of people who are going to be participating in your event. You need to have a clear outline once you start pitching in your idea. 

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon / Petko Beier

Find sponsors for your local running event who participate in similar events

Whether you are trying to get a sponsorship from a brand or a company, it’s important to stay within your niche. Statistics show that event sponsorships are slipping, and 17% of event professionals with experience say that the rate of sponsorship is decreasing. This is nothing to be worried about, but it does mean that you should stay within your lane. 

For example, if you are trying to find a sponsor for your local running event, it’s only logical to go to those companies and organizations that have a background in sponsoring these types of events. You certainly wouldn’t go to someone who is interested in sponsoring casino events only. If they seem to be interested in the odds for winning and the prospect of finding the best bank transfer casino, they most likely won’t be interested in sponsoring an event where the talks about marathon training and the best running equipment are what it’s all about. 

By turning to sponsors who are already investing in running events, you can be certain that they are going to understand the value of pitching some money toward your event. Besides, both of you will already know that your audiences are going to align, so it’s going to be a lot easier to pitch your idea for setting up a running event. 

Chicago-Marathon

Allow your audience to participate

After all, you aren’t looking for sponsors for yourself only – your target audience is a huge part of your upcoming running event. Even though they are most likely going to be satisfied just to attend, it never hurts to earn some extra points by making sure they see a recognizable name on the sponsor’s list. Thus, doing extensive target market research is crucial for revealing the things that are of interest to your audience. If your research shows that your target audience is interested in supplements for athletes, the best massage guns for runners, and different running shoes, then finding an organization or a company that is closely connected to these interests would be ideal. 

Seeing a familiar and well-liked name on a sponsor’s list is going to motivate many people to sign up for participation. This way, you’d be doing yourself two huge favors – you’d be getting precious funding that would attract participants at the same time. Talk about the best way to make your event a huge hit. 

Credit: Nike Melbourne Marathon 2022

Start reaching out with a killer pitch 

Now that you have identified which companies and organizations could be the right fit, it’s time to engage in communication. Giving a call or sending an e-mail is the next step of the process, but you’ll have to be careful with this one. The last thing you want is to be too bothersome and persistent. Instead, respect business conduct and give them a short call or send a concise e-mail. Most importantly, make sure you have your pitch ready. 

Your proposal should be short, sweet, and detail-rich. After all, your potential sponsors will be interested in the particularities of the event, such as your audience’s demographics and your organization’s goals. Creating a killer pitch that won’t be overbearing is an art, and it might take you some time to do it. But all the time you put into trying to find sponsors for your local running event will be worth it. Hopefully, you’ll be able to reap the fruits of your labor soon enough and land your first sponsor. 

Don’t forget about appreciation 

Just because you’ve managed to score your first few sponsors doesn’t mean that you should start taking them for granted. It’s important to think about the present moment when setting up a running event, but it’s just as crucial to think about the future. If you know that you might once again need sponsors in the foreseeable future, it would be prudent to work on increasing sponsor retention rates. 

Think about your organization’s members and the way you treat them. We are pretty sure that you are showing constant appreciation for your members through regular follow-ups. It should be no different when it comes to your sponsors. Ensure that you express your gratitude for their involvement in your organization, and feel free to come up with your own unique ways of thanking them. 

 The bottom line

Trying to find sponsors for your local running event is going to require comprehensive research on both the event participants and the potential sponsorship opportunities. After identifying who your target audiences are and presenting your ideas in such a way that they can’t say no, it’s vital to keep the lines of communication open. Maintaining a good relationship between you and your investors is crucial if you want to ensure that they remain at your disposal for all of your future events.

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