By Janine McGoldrick
Have you thought about using corporate sponsorship to help raise funds for your independent narrative or documentary film? No? Well you are probably not alone. Many independent filmmakers, and industry panels, seem to focus mainly on crowdfunding and financial grants as sources of revenue either because they are either unaware of sponsorship opportunities, or feel having corporate sponsorship means they have “sold out.” That is far from true.
Recently, I had the pleasure of talking about his very topic with Kim Skildum-Reid, best-selling author of The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition, on the latest episode of NYWIFT’s Women Crush Wednesdays podcast.
Kim is unquestionably one of the sponsorship industry’s most influential thought leaders with over 29 years of experience. She is one of the professionals credited with defining and setting the best practice benchmark for the sponsorship industry and provides content and commentary to business and industry media around the world, including Harvard Business Review, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Marketing News among many more.
Corporate sponsorship is different than product placement. In basic terms, it is a deeper and longer partnership as a company provides payment in return for a series of actionable items that will increase awareness for their brand in ways that go beyond just a 30 second appearance in the film.
Learning the ins and outs of corporate sponsorship can seem daunting, but Kim lays out all best practice principles to help you create a compelling pitch. Below are some quick highlights, but be sure to listen to the podcast episode to gain more great insight. A link is featured below.
- Start thinking about incorporating sponsorship into your project during development. It’s much harder to provide leverage-able services to a company if you are at the end of your production.
- Target corporations that are an organic fit with your film’s theme or topic. If keeping kosher is a chief trait of your main character, don’t put Oscar Mayer on your list. But, if your documentary profiles the inner workings of the world’s largest airport, then definitely give Delta Airlines a call.
- Do your research. You need to know the sponsors business, objectives, priorities and audience before you pitch.
- Be creative! Corporations are looking for ways to leverage their brand in meaningful and impactful ways. You need to provide them with unique opportunities that go beyond providing a few tickets to the premiere and logo slapping.
- Providing multiple sponsorship levels to pick from for your film project is outdated. Don’t do it. Tailor your ideas to each company you target and include the appropriate monetary value for that proposal. They will take your seriously and be willing to negotiate.
Listen here to my full interview with Kim and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss upcoming episodes! If you have an interview suggestion, a project you’d like to spotlight or a great story to tell, you can contact the Women Crush Wednesdays podcast team at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you!
Go to https://powersponsorship.com/ for more key learnings from Kim Skildum-Reid her informative guide The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition.
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