Many people think of sponsorships only in association with cash donations, but they don't have to be. Monetary sponsorships have an immediate impact on the budget of an equine business, event, individual competitor or organization, but other types of sponsorships can be equally important.
In this article, we highlight four types of sponsorships you might want to consider.
1. Cash Sponsorships
A cash sponsorship is when another individual or business gives you cash (or a check) to support either you, your event, your organization or your program. Generally, cash sponsorships are designated for a specific purpose, such as prize money or the purchase of trophies, sponsorship of a horse's upkeep, purchase of equipment or travel to a location for competition or education/training.
2. In-Kind Sponsorships
An in-kind sponsorship is one in which a company or service provider agrees to donate a specific product or service in exchange for recognition as supporting a given cause, event or individual. For example, tack manufacturers, grooming supply companies and feed manufacturers might provide products at no cost in exchange for you or your organization recognizing them in public for their support. That recognition might include signage at a barn, stable, event or even on the competitor's or horse's clothing (where permitted). The recognition also might be given to the donor as announcements at a public event, notations and links from a website or social media page, and inclusion in the donation recipient's emails or newsletters to followers and fans.
3. Location Sponsorships
Donation of "space" can be as beneficial to an event or organization as cash or products. If the owner of a facility offers the use of an arena at a reduced price or no cost, that gesture can allow the organizer to better control fees for participants and bolster a small organization’s ability to provide quality events. The same can be true if an individual or organization offers land for a group to use to graze horses, host an event, or conduct a non-profit business.
4. Media Coverage Sponsorships
Aligning with a widely recognized brand or company can bring local, regional or national attention to your facility or event. Most companies have active social media outlets, email blasts or newsletters, or other associations with publishing companies (i.e., a company might include support of an organization or an event sponsorship in national advertising).
Living in the digital age means that people want access to events even if they are thousands of miles from an event. Live streaming can be an expensive feature, but a sponsorship can help offset the cost of providing that service.
The best part about sponsorships is the flexibility and creativity. Thinking outside the box can lead to fun and unique opportunities that benefit both you and the sponsoring company. The next time you attend an educational expo—in or out of the equine industry—keep an eye open for all the sponsors supporting that event and how those sponsorships are highlighted to the public. It could give you inspiration for a program that works for you.