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Sponsoring a Music Festival.

Andy Robertson

Sponsorship gives music festival organisers much needed revenue and provides sponsors with increased brand awareness and product distribution opportunities. What are the key considerations for any company considering sponsoring a music festival and how should they negotiate the best deal. 

When considering a sponsorship opportunity companies should seek out relevant and cost-effective solutions that fit into an overall marketing strategy and should not be distracted by festival organisations that approach them direct in a cold sales manner. What is the best approach for potential sponsors to find opportunities that are going to add value to their marketing activities? 

There are a huge variety of music festivals taking place every year and each can cater for very different audiences often driven by the genres curated. Potential sponsors should have a full understanding of their own target audience and demographics. Most music festival organisers build a good understanding of their festival-goer audience making it easier to compare and ascertain if there is a match. Festivals also vary in size, and this can potentially drive the fees being asked so the sponsor’s budget availability will probably drive the size of festival that can be considered. Depending on the sponsor’s product geographic location may or may not be a consideration, certainly there are festivals taking place nationwide throughout the year. 

Fit and Commercial Objectives. 
If there is an audience and demographic fit potential sponsors then need to consider the practical aspects like total cost and ROI calculations. Brand awareness can be difficult to measure but the collection of leads and distribution of product samples can provide a more meaningful number in any calculation. A successful music festival may have the benefit of competing brands for limited sponsor packages, and this may require the potential sponsor to pitch to organisers explaining why that brand is a good fit and aligns with the festival's ethos for example. Sometimes it’s not just about the sponsorship revenue for organisers. 

Sponsor Packages. 
Festival organisers usually offer sponsorship packages like gold, silver and bronze which are typical descriptions that will be encountered. Basic sponsorship packages may include a brand logo and message on the event’s marketing material only. The highest level of sponsorship package will usually include VIP access, guest tickets, pitch space, branding and product distribution opportunities. Sponsors will aim to get brand awareness and an association with the festival's ethos but on a practical level generating leads and getting customer engagement are the elements that are probably the most important. 

It is likely that after researching sponsorship opportunities potential sponsors will narrow down the festivals they are interested in to a handful of events. The festival organisers will always quote a book rate, or the published sponsor rates, equally potential sponsors know that music festivals are keen to secure new sponsorship deals and will pitch low. The middle ground is usually the outcome, but some festival organisers may have to concede additional benefits with perceived value in the form of gratis tickets. If a compromise on price and sponsorship package cannot be agreed both parties should be prepared to walk away. 

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering. 

Image by jp26jp via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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