The Sponsorship Tango by Tyler Mazereeuw of Sponsorship Alliance

By Paul Birdwell (

Sponsorship is such a segmented market with deals often being put together with people that are doing business with each other for the first time it is often hard to understand what the person sitting across the table is thinking at any given moment during the sponsorship sales process and that is why blogs like the one Tyler Mazereeuw puts together at his Sponsorship Alliance website are so helpful in getting the people’s across the table from you points of view.

In three blog posts from 2013 that we still refer to all the time Tyler Mazereeuw lays out what both the Selling which is often the Event-side of a deal and the Buying which is usually the Company-side of a deal are thinking both before, during, and after a sponsorship deal is being put together and these important insights will never get old or ever go out of date:

Sponsorship Tango Part 1: Top 10 Things that Frustrate me as a Sponsorship Seller, Tyler Mazereeuw, Sponsorship Alliance

“Based on the overwhelming requests for this candid look into the reality of today’s marketplace, I’ve decided to adapt the material and post it on my blog.  There’s a lot of content so I’ll be breaking it up into a few a different parts, which I’ll send out concurrently over the next couple of weeks.

Top 10 Things that frustrate me as a Sponsorship SELLER

1.  Disappearing Act – no return phone calls and/or emails.

2.  Asking for a proposal before a conversation takes place.

3.  Lack of transparency when passing on an opportunity e.g. using budgets as a quick and dismissive tactic.

4.  Unqualified opinions and personal bias towards a property.

5.  Those afraid of saying NO (be honest with us).

6.  Misrepresent decision-making ability or influence

7.  Lack of clarity on brand goals and business objectives

8.  No activation – marketers who think the sponsorship will promote itself

9.  Agencies with their own agenda or ulterior motive

10.  “Takers” (tickets, time, and everything in between)”

The second-part of Tyler Mazereeuw’s blog post on Sponsorship Selling deals with the Buyer-side’s point of view:

Sponsorship Tango Part 2: Top 10 Things that Frustrate me as a Sponsorship Buyer, Tyler Mazereeuw, Sponsorship Alliance

“Following up on my last post – Sponsorship Tango Part 1: Top 10 Things that Frustrate me as a Sponsorship Seller, I wanted to share the candid feedback from the other side of the table.    Spending most of my career on the property side of the business, although my first job was a sponsorship consultant at RBC Royal Bank (fancy word for Intern), this was of particular interest and couldn’t wait to get the feedback from the industry.    Buyers (marketers) are typically polite for the most part, but are sometimes evasive about why exactly they are declining your proposal, refusing to meet or outright just ignoring you… perhaps there’s some great insight.   Here you go:

Top Ten Things that frustrate me as a Sponsorship BUYER

1.  Lack of research and understanding – assuming you know my business.

2.  Relying on just our website for company information, sponsorship strategy etc.

3.  Showing up to the first meeting with a proposal

4.  Over promise, under deliver.

5.  The “Olympic Proposal” – gold, silver and bronze packages.

6.  Inappropriate valuation

7.  “Filler” – don’t fill the page with meaningless information or assets.

8.  Can’t take “no” for an answer…we aren’t at the bar.

9.  Quick sell – no early investment in building a relationship or disappearing once deal is done

10.  Hollow threats – your competitor is waiting in the weeds…”

Tyler Mazereeuw finishes his look at the Sponsorship Selling process with a comprehensive look at all that goes into selling and buying sponsorships from both Event and Company points of view which is such great information that we have reproduced portions of Mazereeuw’s post that we have hung on our office walls at the Roaring Fork Agency.  There is so much in-depth information on this particular blog post that we are only going to post the highlights here but all is worth your time if you work on either side of the sponsorship business:

Sponsorship Tango Part 3: Dance Steps, Tyler Mazereeuw, Sponsorship Alliance

“Before you dive in to this third and final installment of the Sponsorship Tango, be sure to check out Sponsorship Tango Part 1 (Top 10 things that frustrate me as seller) & Sponsorship Tango Part 2 (Top 10 things that frustrate me as buyer) for context.  Here are the five dance steps that will help you maximize your sponsorship discussions.

1.  Back-to-Basics

2.  Preparation (the mark of a professional)

3.  Look for a partner

4.  The Dance

5.  Practice makes perfect”

Thanks again to Tyler Mazereeuw and the great sponsorship insights that he posts at his Sponsorship Alliance website.

Sponsorship Alliance –

If you have any questions about event sponsorship or venue naming rights contact the Roaring Fork Agency at:

San Francisco, California – 415 730 – 4854

Seattle, Washington – 206 940 – 3934

Bend, Oregon – 541 640 – 2221

Twitter - @RoaringForkAgcy