Finding a Sponsor
©2003 By Bronson Herrmuth
Success in the music business is about separating yourself from the pack. One of the quickest and most effective ways to do this as an artist is to find sponsors. Unless you live in some unpopulated remote region of the world, then you are probably surrounded by plenty of potential sponsors for your music. Basically any individual, company or corporation doing business in your area is a possible sponsor. All it really takes is them wanting to sponsor you, and then you feeling good about promoting whatever the product is that they make, sell, or distribute. In a nut shell that is how a sponsorship works. Your sponsor "supports" you and in return you promote their product.
A sponsor can support you in many different ways, depending on their product and how active they are in promoting it. To give you a real-life example, my band once had a sponsorship with Budweiser through a regional distributor who we met through a club owner friend after we played his club. We were invited to this distributors warehouse where we were given T-shirts, ball caps, fancy mugs, stickers, etc., all kinds of Budweiser merchandise including several cases of their beer. They paid to have a big banner made with our logo on it, done very professionally and to our satisfaction. We would hang it up behind us whenever we performed. In one corner of the banner it said "Budweiser presents" with their logo and then our logo, much much bigger and more prominant. None of this cost us a dime and being sponsored by Budweiser definitely gave us an edge up on our competition when it came time to get gigs in the clubs. So, how do you find a sponsor for your music?
1. Target the businesses that actively promote their product on your local radio stations or TV. The ones that are already showing their desire and ability to promote their product effectively in your area, city or town.
2. Call or just stop by their location and meet them. Do your homework first to find out who is in charge, then make an appointment and go meet them. Chances are you may already know them if you live in a small town or city. Maybe someone you know, like a friend or a family member, already has a relationship with them. Use any and all connections you have to get started.
3. If they run radio spots and you have original music already professionally recorded, see if they are open to using your music for the background music "bed" in their radio promotions.
4. If you are a songwriter, write them a song. This can be tremendously effective as a starting point to approaching a potential sponsor. Walk in and play them a song you wrote about them and their product.
5. Car dealerships are great places to start looking. Many bands are riding down the road right now in a vehicle that was provided by their sponsor. Good chance that there name or logo is professionally painted on that vehicle too, along with their sponsor's. Car dealerships also do lots of promotions and events where they have live music for their customers. Even if you approach them for a sponsorship and they decline, making them aware of you and your music can turn into some great paying gigs on a consistent, long term basis.
6. Radio stations can be awesome sponsors. Many radio stations produce and promote concerts and in most cases use local or area talent to open these concerts, not to mention all the free radio exposure you can get if they sponsor you, or even if they just like you. If you have a record out, having a radio station for a sponsor can really help you get exposed in your immediate area quickly. Approach the ones that play your style of music.
Authors Note: I invite you to listen free to my narration of a few chapters from my book:
Dedication & Acknowledgements - Dedication (2.1 MB) mp3
Chapter 3 - Rehearsing - Rehearsing (5.5 MB) mp3
Chapter 7 - Your Name - Your Name (8.6 MB) mp3
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