Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sponsorship Sovereign

On days that I have derby work to do during my lunch, I still usually only spend half that time on the derby work. I today I spent all of it, and I still have more to do, but I’m not complaining.

For those of you who didn’t read the bio on the side of this thing, I do sponsorship for roller derby, only the bio on the side hasn’t been able to keep up with the work I’ve take on.

I started out as the Sponsorship Director for my league, Charm City Roller Girls. Before then, I was just the girl who had managed to get some small businesses around town to give her some money for roller derby. It snowballed from there.

In my 3+ years doing derby, and soliciting sponsorship for derby, I’ve managed to bridge the gap and get some national companies to support derby as well as local small businesses. People saw this, and I was asked to be the Sponsorship Manager for the WFTDA. Cool.

The WFTDA Sponsorship Committee and I are currently soliciting sponsorship for the 2008 WFTDA Regional and National tournaments (“Battle Royale” Houston, TX; “Derby in Dairyland” Madison, WI; “Northwest Knockdown” Portland, OR), and you could say we’re in crunch time. With less than 3 months to go before the first tournament, we’re very actively knocking on doors, negotiating, and writing contracts.

Then, just several months ago, I was asked to help solicit sponsorship for RollerCon, which we all know is the annual roller derby convention that takes place in Vegas every year. I remember one of my first questions to Ivanna being, “Do you want me to solicit for 2008 or begin in 2009?” The answer was a resounding “both.” Cool.

RollerCon is less than a month away. We’re certainly in crunch time for RollerCon, yet it’s such a popular event that I still get one or two new requests for information from potential sponsors each day. The booth space got filled before I even came on to help, but that doesn’t stop the wheelin’ and dealin’. There’s plenty of creative ways to get exposure for a company aside from having them vend, and I’m totally into making things work for potential sponsors, even if we are in the eleventh hour.

After lunch each day I sit here with my head spinning, visions of contracts and banners and logos. This goes with that. That goes with this. What does this go with?! Did I send that out or just draft it?! Thank buddah for modern technology like USB drives and Google docs and PayPal and Yahoo! Groups. I honestly don’t know how people worked before the invention of the internet!

I honestly never saw this coming – me soliciting sponsorship for, well, anything! But, I’ve learned to love it , which is why I do it and will continue to do it. If you’re looking for a unique way to market and advertise your business, and you think you’d like to do it through derby, chances are that I’m your girl. I want to get a shirt made – something like “Sponsorship Goddess” or “Give Me Your $, Bitch!” Okay, just kidding on the last one.

I suppose I should mention that I’ll be leading the Sponsorship Round Table at RollerCon again this year – Saturday, 8/2 at noon! Stop by and say hi. Share with the rest of us what you do for money. Me? I just beg for it.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I am now even sadder than I was before that I'm not going to be able to go to Rollercon- I just got voted in as my league's PR/Sponsorship director, and I can handle the PR part(it's what I do for a living)- but I'm clueless about the best way to go about getting sponsorships.
Any suggestions?