Many of you will immediately associate sponsorship with sports; your name on the team jersey, a display ad printed in the game programs, your logo emblazoned on a prominent banner waving in the wind. You may  be pleasantly surprised to learn that sponsorship marketing is far from being exclusive to the sporting  world and humanitarian causes. And, it may just be the answer to integrating your brand into the local  community; creating a loyal following of believers in your product or services.

Sponsorship vs. Advertising: What’s the difference?

Sponsorship marketing is one of the most effective  and affordable ways for a growing business to gain  plenty of exposure. By showing your support for (or  alliance  with)  small  and  local  businesses,  sponsorship allows you to get your message out in  front of a highly desirable audience; your community,  your  industry  niche.  Sponsorship  marketing  also  provides the opportunity of an ongoing relationship,  giving  you  more  time  to  really  nurture  potential  customers and gain their loyalty (and referrals).

Advertising, on the other hand, is a huge expense  (especially  for  a  startup  business).  One  simple  placement  in  a  popular  industry  magazine  –  or  several 30 second radio spots a month on your local  station – can run into the hundreds of dollars. Your  return on investment (ROI) is minimal, because the  few  seconds  you’ve  got  anyone’s  attention  is  not  likely  to  convert  to  sales. And,  the  trial  and  error  you’ll experience while finding what works for your  company – and doesn’t – can be painful and time  consuming.
Advertising is about quantity. Sponsorship is about  quality.

Putting Sponsorship Marketing to Work

Whether online or onsite, this method for getting out  your  message  and  building  brand  recognition  is  superior to many others. Don’t miss the many types  of marketing available to sponsors:

1.  Reaching a Target Audience: Remember, with  sponsorship  marketing  your  ideal  prospect  is  essentially  already  in  place,  and  you  have  their  attention. Make good use of it! Sponsoring the right  company  means  you  skip  about  20  different  task  levels  in  narrowing  down  the  right  consumers  for  your products and services!

2.  Standing above competition: Customers take  many  things  into  consideration  when  choosing  to  spend their money. While the cost and quality of your  services  (or  products)  are  key  factors,  your  commitment to the economic development of their  local  community  will  definitely  influence  their  decision.

3.  Extensive brand exposure: In most cases, sponsorship marketing involves more than just writing a check. You will be given varied ways to introduce yourself to an attentive audience – in person or online, or both. From  speaking at group meetings, to brand placement on coveted group web pages; from vendor table opportunities  to guest posting. It’s a class act.

4.  Business collateral is a must: Here’s a chance to display your logo and message (banners, table runners)  at events and distribute your cards, brochures, giveaways like cups or pens, etc. This goes so much further  than wasting hundreds of dollars a year with a neighborhood newspaper ad; thrown into driveways, only to be  rained on, run over and tossed in the trash.

5.  Be generous and tasteful: Go the extra mile and have your gift or donation for drawings branded with your logo. Use subtle yet creative ways to make sure the recipient knows (as well as the audience) that it’s your  company providing the gift. Thoughtful, useful items may be kept for many years.

Sponsorship marketing is an excellent means of making the most of your valuable time and hard earned  dollars. It is a mutually beneficial strategy to achieving meaningful business goals. Hence, the win/­win.

Laura’s Story…

I was born and raised in beautiful Vicenza, Italy – only 40 miles from lovely Venice on the  Adriatic Sea. I used to hang out at the top of this hill as a teenager, where I could see the  whole city stretched out before me. In 1985 I relocated to United States, moving to Honolulu in 1987 where I became a college student at Hawaii Pacific University; just 4 miles from the beaches of Waikiki. I began developing a keen interest in real estate, so I started reading  everything I could find – watching late night infomercials and buying courses by Dave Del Dotto, Robert Allen and Carlton  Sheets.

My Real Estate Career Begins

That same year I became a real estate agent, to help pay for my college studies. I joined Dolman and Associates in  Honolulu, and right away I was inspired by some of the top agents on the island.

I began following their lead and in my first  year in the industry, I became a multi-­million dollar producer!
In 1991, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and moved to Missouri that same year. Once on  ‘the mainland,’ my real estate career really took off. I started to purchase properties with no money down, using creative  financing.

I continued my education by earning an MBA in Finance, still working part­-time in real estate. Then I began a new career as  an assistant controller in metal commodities, planning to climb the corporate ladder and keep real estate as a side business.

From Part­ Time to Full­ Time

By the mid­1990s I had already acquired a sizable portfolio (over 20 properties) consisting mostly of multi-­families for rental  income – and I was barely 30 years old! I was making more money in part­-time real estate (less than 10 hours a week) than  my full-­time corporate job, so in 1996 I decided to flip the switch and devote myself entirely to real estate. Once I was able to  immerse myself full-­time into real estate investing, my career skyrocketed.

In 1997, I began sharing my knowledge of real estate investing, proven strategies and creative financing techniques by  hosting real estate seminars. And, given the widespread use of the Internet, I decided to also share my practical knowledge  and experience as well via online mentoring and coaching. In 2010, I opened The REI Lab, Inc. – the culmination of various  companies I had started and closed in the past.

The Next Chapter Unfolds

With a love for laid back lifestyle and great weather (I really missed being near the water), I decided to relocate once more in  May of 2015. This time the move was to Broward County, Florida; midpoint between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The Miami-­Dade area is full of opportunities, and 59% of the real estate transactions here in 2016 were cash – more than  twice the national average according to the National Association of Realtors!