Starting a Hunting, Fishing, or Outdoor TV or Web Show | Getting Sponsors for Your Show
Behind nearly every hunting or fishing show out there that is bringing in revenue is a set of sponsors. The fact is, it cost money in order to film, produce, and air a show; regardless of webTV or TV. There is a wide range of sponsor opportunities out there from Pro Staff pricing (basically you still pay cost of the product), Product Sponsor (free product for the show), and Monetary Sponsors (pay you to promote their brand/products).
One of the number one reasons for show failure, is the lack of ability to get sponsors. Many brand new shows, seem to always think the sponsors need them in order to sell their products and go for the jugular asking for money. But in reality, the sponsors have no idea if you will even bring them a return on investment (ROI) for whatever they give you. There is a strategy to gaining sponsors for your show, and if you follow this, along with having a quality show (content and production wise), then you might just have a chance to succeed.
Know The Company and Product
It’s amazing how many manufacturer’s will tell you about a group of hunters who come up and pitched their show looking for a sponsorship, then when asked what they think about the manufacturer’s products, they have never even used them! Seriously? You want them to either give you free product or pay you money, and you haven’t even used the product. This is a big NO-NO! It’s completely different if the company approaches your show first, but for a new show, this is highly unlikely.
If you plan to ask a company to invest in you, the least you can do is invest a little in them. Showing them you use their product, and have invested your own money into it, will go a long way in the conversation.
Know the company and brand as well. What are they trying to promote? Are they in thick competition in their product niche? Demonstrate how your show will help them reach their goals.
75% Listen, 25% Talk
One of the worst things you can do to a potential sponsor is talk their ears off about how great YOUR show is, and how YOU think you can help them. The 75/25 rule is always a great start. If you actually listen to the sponsor, they often will give you the answers you need to reaffirm why you can help them. Things like social media growth, content for the website, exposure of a new product, etc. All of this will help guide the conversation in your favor. If they just want to put some more content on their website, and you just keep blabbing about how great your Facebook Page is…well odds are you will leave empty handed.
The only real talking you should do is the elevator pitch about how your show is different, responses to their direct questions, and any opportunity to say how you can resolve an immediate need of theirs.
Earn Your Keep
Far too often, shows and hosts will over-promise and under-deliver on all of their statements to the sponsor. This is about the fastest way to kill your show. This happens often when new shows luck out and get a little cash from a sponsor in return for over the top exposure. When the show fails to hold up their end of the deal, the sponsor is gone and along with it a negative experience in a tight industry that could be heard by other current or potential sponsors.
Start with the low requests, like some free product or pro staff pricing. At this level, the company is not really expecting a whole lot in return. Show them that you mean business, and “wow” them with the product they graciously gave you. It’s amazing how this strategy can turn into a long-term monetary relationship. When you earn your keep, you will be rewarded.
The key to a successful revenue stream in webTV or TV is typically sponsorship dollars. They are out there every year, and it’s possible to grab some for your show. Just form a strategy and listen to what the sponsor’s needs are, then explain how you can cater to them. By earning your keep with a low investment at first, the long haul can be very prosperous for you and your show.