In the competitive (and expensive!) world of eventing, everyone either has a sponsor or wants a sponsor.
But when you think of a ‘sponsor,’ what comes to mind? Is it free product? It is a financial donation? Is it a tax write-off? Is it all of these things?
Sponsorship comes in a few different forms:
An in-kind sponsor is a sponsor who donates a product in exchange for something, typically advertisement. Most of these sponsors will receive an ad in a program, on a banner, or on social media or a website in exchange for their donation. Often times, the more products a sponsor provides, the more benefits they receive from the sponsored rider, organization, horse show, etc.
A financial sponsor is a sponsor who donates money in exchange for particular benefits like advertisement or opportunity. Like an in-kind sponsor, most will receive an ad in a program, on a banner, or on social media or a website in exchange for the donation. In the case of a special event or horse show, a financial sponsor would be provided with premium seating, free drinks, or access to a VIP area, for example.
When I talk about sponsorships, I like to emphasize that sponsorships are a two-way street. For example: Yes, you may be receiving a $500 pair of designer boots at no cost; however, you still need to earn them by upholding your end of the agreement.
In most sponsorship relationships, there is a written contract between the “sponsor” and the “sponsored” that breaks down what each will provide in exchange for services. For riders, this may be a monthly or quarterly requirement to promote the sponsor on social media and/or wearing the sponsor’s logo at a competition. For horse shows, this might mean a banner at a specific location, a website ad, and a VIP bracelet. No matter the agreement, it is very important to make SURE you are fulfilling these requirements.