What strategies are sponsorship sellers doubling down on in 2015? What do they plan to do differently in today’s sales landscape?

Below, sales vets share tips for the New Year and beyond. Some key takeaways: more focus on one-on-one relationships, the use of social media as a research tool and creative platforms that provide year-round engagement.

Sam Coghill, vice president, W Partners
Whether it’s at work or at home I am making significant efforts to be present in the current moment. There are so many distractions and mechanisms that help us multi-task but I feel that relationships can take a hit when we aren’t present. Relationships are the life blood of our home and work life!

As properties continue to expand their control over an immersive experience we’ll see more focus on creating partnerships that can deliver engagement year-round.  There are around a dozen properties (with more announcements likely this year) that are moving forward on development plans that will create destinations beyond the typical season or events held at venues.  

Jennifer Rottenberg, president, DSNV Marketing
Something that is not necessarily different, but which is becoming increasingly important, is leveraging social media in the sponsorship prospecting phase, whether it's learning more about a potential brand partner's objectives through an observation of their social execution on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others, or finding a key contact at a prospect via extended social networks on Linkedin or Facebook.

There is more corporate/brand transparency now than there's ever been. It used to be your best bet was merely perusing a prospect's website, and maybe a Google search. Now there are so many more tools available at your fingertips.

Angelo Scialfa, president, Fox Run Group
We are revamping our presentations to focus on sponsors being involved across all aspects of a property. With Penn State Alumni Association and Rutgers 250 Celebration in particular, we are looking at sponsor involvement in all events and media verses cherry picking events or media. 

We want to make sure sponsors tap the full range of what the property has to offer to engage fans, alumni and students over a period of time and really immerse themselves into the property. This will allow the sponsor to better meet their return on objectives and investment. Sponsors are asking for better ways to connect and engage and we believe this approach will produce the results that sponsors are asking for.

Bruce Erley, president, Creative Strategies Group
Given the improving economy, we are going back to former sponsors we lost during the Great Recession between 2008 and 2010 to reacquaint them with the effectiveness of event marketing and our sponsorship properties.

We are making a point to “learn” our prospective sponsors’ business categories, better understand their marketing and communications objectives and best practices and address those in our pitches.

Social media activation has become a key promotional tactic for many sponsors, so we are educating ourselves in creative uses that generate meaningful engagement, provide legs to the sponsor window and provide ROI metrics

Creative activations are now a requirement in the sales process, not fulfillment. We are including ideas in the proposal to help paint a picture of how their brand can be brought to life and that demonstrate our creativity and openness to outside-the-box thinking.

Rick Kern, president, MixIt Marketing
I’m not necessarily in the camp that there is a just-discovered, "magic wand” sales tactic to create success in 2015.

From our MixIt Marketing perspective over the last decade, we’ve always focused on creating customizable and unique partnerships with our sponsors that deliver true value against their measurements. We feel that solid customer service, unwavering attention to partnership benefits, and nurturing relationships leads to sales success. No matter what trends or tools come along, people want to do business with other people they like, they can trust, and that they know have their best interests in mind, and not the interests of the property only.