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• What types of material goods are needed? For example, shirts, computers, sports equipment, ice cream and other items. Do these companies produce these products or would their logo be appropriate to use on these goods? Be specific of your needs so that your requests to the businesses are clear and fairly easy to meet.

It is important to note that sponsorship can come in the form of dollars or through material goods like supplies, food, shirts depending on the business of the sponsor.

Closing the Deal

Once you have outlined the benefits for the camp and the sponsor, along with the needs of the camp, it is important to create a sponsorship proposal.

Camp administrators can start with a letter or even a phone call to determine if a sponsorship proposal would even be considered. The proposal should be clear and concise, outlining the philosophy of the camp, the nature of the sponsorship opportunities, the benefits, and a timeline regarding the receipt of the funds and/or receipt of the material items.

It is essential to put your request in writing. A formal document conveys a professional opportunity and may place more weight on your request.

Find a way to follow up through a formal dialogue in order to present your request and make a connection with the company. Once an agreement is made, camp administrators should send a contract to the sponsor, including the specific terms of the sponsorship.

Many camp administrators may overlook the simplest gestures — following up with the sponsor at the conclusion of the camp. The sponsor would surely appreciate receiving a report back from the camp detailing the use of the funds/products and the benefits gained.

The inclusion of testimonials from campers who were the recipients of the goodwill from the sponsors adds a nice touch to the sponsorship arrangement. In addition, follow-up at the end of the camp can lead to closing the deal for the following year.

Camp sponsorship can be an effective tool for camp administrators. The benefits for the companies being exposed to community members through camp sponsorships are far reaching. Companies want to be associated with positive youth experiences and the camp setting is a perfect match.

Dr. Dina Gentile is associate professor of sports management and head soccer coach at Endicott College, Beverly, Mass.

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