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David Tyler said on July 26th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

If s/he’s going to do a mass mailing, s/he could have at least used a mail merge. It’s an easy way to personalize. That wouldn’t make up for the many other faults, of course, but it would be an improvement.

William Younce said on July 26th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

“Fastest growing sport across the world” is a sure sign of trouble. I’ve seen way too many sports brand themselves that and they only end up being beach soccer or something else minute and insignificant in the grand scheme of sports.

Tom Scovic said on July 27th, 2010 at 12:22 am

I have to wonder if this is a problem for one person at the organization who didn’t get a lot of training or if this is an organization (or two) that has been incredibly misguided in their sales strategies.

Call me a pessimist too, but do you think the guy was really looking for input, or just trying to keep the conversation going, as salespeople are taught to do?

Russell Scibetti said on July 27th, 2010 at 10:35 am

Tom – I think this is an individual tactic problem and not an organizational problem. The 2nd agency is very professional and is probably unaware of this individual’s approach. The desk, which was built by the affiliate agency, was very professional and thorough.

And it’s possible that he just wants to keep the conversation going, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s interested in improving his approach as well. If he doesn’t, he’s not going to do very well, so it’s in his own best interest.

Matt Damon said on July 27th, 2010 at 11:19 am

I am new to the business myself and this is a great post. Thank you for your tips and input. I look forward to reading more!

Kris said on July 27th, 2010 at 12:29 pm


Good post. There is no excuse for lazy selling habits, but it’s also smart to take into consideration that one of the biggest challenges sponsorship salesppl face is finding a way to personalize a tailored sales approach while maximizing the time and cost-efficiency of prospecting efforts at such an early sales stage. We did a survey on this topic a few weeks back, which offered a pretty startling perspective on this subject. I’ll share with you the results when we publish them.

Ron said on July 27th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Too funny. I received this email too. My first impression was that it was written by a recent college grad who was being thrown into their first sales gig without the supervision of someone more experienced.

Meredith said on July 27th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I received the same email too. I actually considered replying with all of the same comments you’ve outlined above. Then I realized they might find it an open invitation to contact me again.

Everything being said is spot on. When considering a sponsorship for my client, act like you know what the brand does and how your property can contribute to business objectives. And you’re right—I never opened the PPT

Karl Lusbec said on July 28th, 2010 at 9:52 am

Great post Russell,
There is no excuse for lack of customisation. to me, it’s a red flag for any future cooperation. Lazyness, lack of consideration, waste of (your) time etc…

He/she would have spent 10mn researching your name, your company and would have written a 5-8 line pitch, he/she would have done his/her job.
Now although the apologetic reply, would you want to work with him/her in the future?

Russell Scibetti said on July 29th, 2010 at 9:52 am

Thank you to everyone for all the great comments. This is clearly a topic that people have some strong opinions and perspective on!

Gary Ibarra said on March 8th, 2011 at 6:57 pm


After reading this post I immediately knew what the sport was that you were being contacted in regard to, mixed martial arts, is that a safe assumption?

Russell Scibetti said on March 9th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Gary – I can’t officially confirm that…wink, wink.

Justin Adams said on May 13th, 2011 at 1:20 am

HA… wink, wink huh. Im new to sponsorship sales (currently for sporting events) and no, I didn’t write this, but I too am in the MMA industry. Though I’ve been in the industry for several years, sponsorship sales isn’t something Im well versed in. Unfortunately, because the rapid growth of the sport, promoters spring up all over the country and with that come inexperienced & ignorant people. They mistake rapid growth for easy growth and therefore send mass emails fully believing quantity over quality is the right approach.

Worst Sponsorship Email Ever? | The Business of Sports said on June 3rd, 2011 at 11:13 am

[...] email-based sponsorship solicitation tactics that I’ve seen, and how they can do better (see “How NOT to Solicit a Sponsorship”). However, this email takes the cake – I don’t think there’s any saving this one. [...]

Angela said on March 13th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Thank you for the tips. I am new to this kind of thing, actually. And although I personalize most of my emails, and only reach out to companies that we would be a good match for, I didn’t always go the distance to get the actual name of an individual. I guess it is worth pushing through for. Since my organization is a non-profit, I need all the great sponsors I can get!

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