Every great commercial partnership is built on three things; strong relationships, trust and creating value. At a time when your partners are likely doing it tougher than usual, reach out. Don’t call for any other reason than to check in and build the relationship. Get curious, be genuinely interested in how they’re going and show them you care. Grassroots sport will come back in the next few months, and letting your partners know they’re important to you in the tough times will go a long way when pre season comes.
It’s common knowledge that COVID has caused budgets to tighten, which means commercial partners are looking to achieve more with less. If you want to retain your commercial partners, it’s time to get creative in what you’re offering. As a community club, the best way to do this to is by activating the resources you already have in-house; your people and your network. Share the load by getting the social champions in your club to film a quick video personally thanking a commercial partner and explaining how their support has impacted the club. You can share this testimonial with the commercial partner directly, share it on your social channels and turn the quote into a personal thank you note you can include in your club newsletter. If you have strong ties in the business community, consider which of your commercial partnerships might be good business associates or connections. A quick scan of your phone book or LinkedIn can turn up connections that would naturally compliment each other. Get on the front foot making these connection, because nothing is better received than great professional introductions.
With everyone working from home and people relying heavily on digital for connection; it’s more important than ever to have an active digital presence. In every conversation we’ve had with sponsors, they’ve happily stated they’re more likely to engage with clubs who have a strong digital profile. You don’t have to go nuts, but having an up-to-date website, facebook and Instagram, highlights that your club is relevant in 2021. If managing these accounts seems a bit daunting, put the call out through your club. Chances are with the offer of a free schnitty or schooners on a Saturday, you might just find a millennial in your club happy to help out.
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