"How to write a sponsorship letter" is the most commonly searched for term on Google when it comes to athlete sponsorship. So let's unpack what a sponsorship letter really is and how to write a great one.
What is a sponsorship letter?
Now, the term ‘sponsorship letter’ in itself is important to clear up. A sponsorship letter is (in our book) the cover letter or the cover email that introduces the sponsorship proposal.
When it comes to your proposal, it could be a video, PDF or printed document, that’s the thing that tells your sponsorship story. It says who you are, what you’re asking for, what you’re offering. And importantly, why you’re choosing this particular company. So the proposal is what actually tells sponsors what you're offering. The letter (or email) introduces it.
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Creating your sponsorship letter
Ideally, the letter/email itself should be really short and sweet! All you’re doing is introducing this proposal. Hopefully, you already know the people that you are connecting with, it’s not just a random email to any old person. And you can really rest assured that if you’ve got your proposal right, all this letter has to do is introduce it.
Now, these are busy people, they are getting loads of proposals and what you want them to do is look at yours. So make it to the point, make it accurate and respect their time. If you make the mistake of writing a long cover letter/email they may not actually read the proposal!
They may have spent 5 minutes reading that and thought “do you know what I’m busy, I’ve got other things to do!” So keep it short. If you make it short you are actually showing them how good you are to work with. You’re showing that you can communicate clearly and effectively, that you respect their time, that you have a process and that you understand how sponsorship works.
So it really works in your favour to challenge yourself to keep that short. Two or three paragraphs at the most.
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Choose your writing style
When you’re writing it, think about who you’re writing it for and it will help you choose the language that you use. Be true to yourself but also respect the person that’s receiving the email. Now maybe they are a very formal traditional company, so you’re gonna need to take that “Dear Mr. Peterson, it is with great honour that I present my proposal for your consideration…” approach.
Or, they might be someone that you’ve spoken to before and you understand that they’re pretty easy going. But this is still a business conversation, so you need to be respectful. So you can go from being very formal to being friendly. That might be, “Dear Mr. Peterson, thanks so much for taking the time to have a look at my proposal, I’m so excited, I can’t wait to hear back from you. P.S. I hope you love the picture of me summiting Mount Everest. It was the most amazing moment in my life… etc.”
What you’re doing is enticing the person to then look at your proposal but you’re not giving it all away.
You can also make it fun. If you’ve got something creative, if you got that kind of personality and you’re a bit fun – use it! Because you’re showcasing yourself.
Get a little creative
One of the coolest sponsorship cover letters we've ever seen, was one that was from an ultra-runner. They get pretty dirty out there on the trails! The email basically said, “Hey I’m an ultra-dirty, ultra-runner, can your ultra-washing powder keep me clean on the trails?”. And they got sponsored by that company. So try to judge what the right approach is for you, keep it short and simple.
And remember the purpose of a sponsorship letter is just to introduce the proposal.
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