Years ago I managed top class athletes, and given advice to a few more.
These days I managed a couple of sites that sponsor athletes so get to see the occasional bit of info sent through. One client has one athlete who is excellent at reporting, the rest are terrible.
- Send the sponsor a large signed framed photo of you using the product
- Send the sponsor birthday cards, Christmas cards, Easter cards, etc
- Phone the sponsor at least once every 2 weeks to say hello
- Send the sponsor a simple written report (emailed is best) on what you have done for that week in terms of getting his product exposed to the market (include as much relevant data as possible -i.e. “I won the race in front of 1,000 spectators and accepted the trophy in front of 3,000 more people interested in the sport.
My photo appeared in the local newspaper with your logo prominent – the newspaper readership is 125,000…etc”)
- Send the sponsor any media clippings of you being mentioned
When You Win
- Send the sponsor a framed photo of you winning the event
- Send the sponsor a report on the race/event along with an endorsement of their product
- Send the sponsor a video of you saying “I just won ABC Race and the sponsor product really helped. Couldn’t have won without it.”
Basically, make it as easy as possible for the sponsor to see your value and tell others – i.e. pop the video up on their web site (giving you greater exposure), perhaps think about you for a TV commercial, etc.
Trust me when I say the vast majority of sponsored athletes don’t do much in return for their free products and/or cash. And almost zero athletes would ever dream of going above and beyond what the are supposed to do.
These athletes miss an opportunity to demonstrate their value to a sponsor and develop a long term and mutually beneficial relationship.
Find & Replace
How is this relevant to business?
Well, now you replace the word ‘Sponsor’ with ‘Client’ and change the reporting to be relevant for what you do. And do that.
It makes a difference.