This segment includes organizations such as leagues, teams, facilities, or events. Some are high profile, like the National Football League, while others are more obscure, such as a family fun run. Job responsibilities will vary depending on the property’s visibility and goals in selling sponsorships. Because the property is on the sales side, these organizations spend much of their time researching prospective targets and developing sales proposals. The department will assess the available inventory – in-arena/stadium signage, TV/radio advertising, day of game program, tent/table space for onsite activation, hospitality and tickets, etc. – and find different ways to package and present the inventory to a variety of corporations in order to best fit their marketing objectives.
The organization can also create inventory, or what is commonly referred to as entitlements. These exclusive rights offered to the sponsor are integrated into the in-game or television broadcast experience and are particularly attractive because they cannot easily be “tuned out” by fans. Some examples are the “Halftime Show presented by Dodge,” or the “Nestle Crunch Time Stat.” Using creativity to align a company’s sponsorship goals with the organization’s available inventory is the core activity and primary goal in an organization’s sales efforts.
Not every organization is structured the same way, so there is significant variation from team to team or league to league. Some teams, for example, are restricted on the categories in which they can sell sponsorships due to league control. Also, the proportion of revenues from sponsorships vary greatly depending on the size of the organization, market-size, existence and size of media deals, strength of ticket sales, level of league revenue sharing, and many more. A higher proportion of revenues warrants a larger and perhaps more hierarchical sponsorship department. A lower proportion, or an organization with low visibility, leads to smaller sponsorship operations.
Read on for specific sports marketing and sponsorship job descriptions and salaries.