The growing use of shared workspaces is driving new sponsorship opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscape. 

Shared workspaces are spaces that are shared by multiple people but used on an individual basis. The category includes both upstart and multinational companies, with prices ranging from several hundred dollars a month to several thousand dollars a month, depending on services and amenities.

And more consumers are using shared work spaces. Coworking memberships are growing at 40 percent per year, according to Deskmag’s 2017 Global Coworking Survey. By the end of the year, nearly 1.2 million people will have worked in a coworking space.

The category includes a mix of national, regional and local companies—most of which have limited recognition outside the entrepreneur, technology and real estate communities—with additional operators seemingly popping up every day.

Companies include Grind, Industrious, NextSpace, Regus, Serendipity Labs, Union Cowork, WeWork and The Yard.

And at least two of those companies are using sponsorship.

WeWork, one of the larger players in the category, has sponsored a handful of properties over the past year. Ties include Atlanta’s A3C Music Festival & Conference and Brooklyn, N.Y.’s SummerScreen outdoor music and film series, around which the company sponsored a screening of Office Space.

The Yard, meanwhile, sponsored Brooklyn’s Northside Festival, an eight-day showcase of music, film, food, ideas and entrepreneurship.

To perhaps no surprise, shared workspace companies use sponsorship to accomplish one primary objective: attract new members.

Attracting new members ranks as operators’ biggest challenge, according to the 2017 Global Coworking Survey. Forty-eight percent of respondents said attracting members is their biggest challenge, up from 39 percent in the previous year.

Below, four things to consider with pitching and/or working with companies in the shared workspace category.

Provide assets that enhance the member experience
Coworking spaces frequently host seminars, panel discussions and other events where members can learn, socialize and network. As a result, properties should provide talent and other assets that can enhance those experiences.

The Yard, for example, has hosted Northside Festival panel discussions at its Williamsburg, Brooklyn location.

Offer member perks
One in ten members report they will leave their current coworking space within the next three months, per the 2017 Global Coworking Survey. Properties should offer tickets, experiences and other perks that can be used for member retention.

WeWork Bryant Park in 2015 hosted New York Jets night, an event in which six startups pitched ideas on how they could help the team enhance fan engagement and drive new revenue. The event was a win-win: WeWork members had an opportunity to pitch a potential new client, while the team gained new ideas on fan engagement. 

Provide access to cosponsors
Co-working space operators are increasingly looking to secure business from large companies, many of which are using flexible office space as an alternative to traditional leases. Properties should try to provide access to those companies and their real estate brokers.

Consider ancillary companies
Properties should explore opportunities with other companies that play in the shared workspace space. Those include mobile apps (Croissant, etc.) and online desk rental marketplaces (Deskcamping, ShareDesk, etc.).