Pro Team Jobs – Partnership / Sponsorship / Sales Executive

Candidates for sponsorship sales jobs usually have 3-5 years of sales experience with a corporation, sports event, sports franchise, or a non-profit. These positions are full-time and year-round, and can be very demanding and stressful. Sale of these sponsorships can range from in-kind benefits to $250,000+ for the team.

Some responsibilities for sponsorship sales people include: identifying local, regional, and national companies as potential sponsors and/or corporate hospitality customers by reviewing lists, researching and networking. The sales executive must also develop creative sponsorship proposals that utilize all of the assets available to the team – signage, exhibit displays, printed collateral, tickets, on-site hospitality and unique experiences.

This position works closely with the director of sponsor services to ensure that all elements of the sponsorships and hospitality agreements are delivered to the satisfaction of the sponsor company. Sales executives work closely with the sponsorship account managers to manage inventory available to sponsors and maintain relationships to help sell renewal deals. As with most front office jobs, sponsorship sales executives must prepare regular reports in an accurate and timely fashion.

One key function for these executives is to generate sales leads by attending local networking events representing the company. Because this position produces additional revenue for team, they are usually paid more than account managers or marketing personnel. The common compensation is a large base salary with a small commission based on percentage of sale.

As with most sports jobs, teams seek self-starters with a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and the ability to be part of a team. In this particular position, previous sales experience, particularly in sponsorships is preferred.

Below is a brief example of the sponsorship sales process:

  1. Preparation
    • Each company requires a specifically tailored approach
    • Conduct research on the decision maker within the target company
    • Make an introduction through industry reference or cold call. Note, introductions through a mutual industry colleague is always preferable and is overwhelmingly more effective. As in other areas of business, relationships are key, and familiarity breeds comfort.
    • Seek out the most senior level employee possible, so as to ensure correct flow of communication through the organization.
    • If first initiation of communication is successful, the next step is to set up a face-to-face meeting.
    • It is essential to understand who you will be presenting to!
  2. Presentation
    • Review the benefits sought by the prospective sponsor and how the property can meet or exceed those benefits
    • A successful sales executive is casual and conversational rather than stating how it should be done
    • Let the potential partner verbalize their objectives. This ensures effective collaboration towards achieving the objectives sought by both parties. In other words, it is essential that both are on the same page.
    • At this time the sales executive has a general outline of the proposal to take back to his team for further expansion
  3. Sponsor Response
    • The sponsoring company may take some time to review its objectives after the initial meeting. A successful sales executive is patient, while staying on the company’s radar through regular contact via phone or email
    • Since every company has its own budget cycles, the response to the initial proposal may be held up until a new cycle begins. As such, a successful sales executive times a proposal to coincide with these budget cycles

The above is an example and not directions on how to conduct the sales process. The key is to be creative and find new ways to convince target companies that they need to be a part of the team.


The following ranges of salaries were gathered by surveying team personnel within the different professional leagues. These salaries are not static and vary dependent upon many factors such as years of practice, education level, geographic region and team reputation.

Major League Baseball: $55,000 – $100,000
National Football League: $60,000 – $110,000
National Basketball Association: $50,000 – $95,000
National Hockey League: $45,000 – $75,000

Pro Team Jobs – Sponsorship Account Manager