Getting sponsorships.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by music_saves_lives, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. music_saves_lives

    music_saves_lives New Member

    A few of my friends and I are trying to start an all brass band in our city. It's in the very beginning stages, and we need sponsors badly. We need drums, several brass instruments, and a lot of things that are necessary for a brass band to have. What our band director said we need to do was get different companies to sponsor us, especially local music companies. However, we are totally unsure about how we should go about doing this. So, if anyone could tell me the basics of what a sponsorship request should have, I would love them forever. Thanks!
     
  2. towse1972

    towse1972 Active Member

    Ah...The illusive sponsor...Good luck.
     
  3. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    Nowadays, and especially with very current economic events, any sort of major sponsorship is extremely difficult to find, especially if you are starting a new band (and therefore with no contest or recording successes to back you up).

    From an UK perspective 'major sponsors' have historically been associated with the "working class" roots of the Brass Band. Owners of large factories \ coal mines wanted something to keep their workers occupied in their (limited) free time, without the exhaustions of involvement in sports (which might leave them too tired to work the next day!). More recently sponsors have been those which have sensed an 'advertising \ profile' benefit from being associated with Brass Bands in particular or 'easy listening music' in general.

    Looking at the list of bands for the recent 'British Open' contest there are very few top bands now with sponsorships big enough to feature in the band's name (Hepworth 'Persimmon Homes' and Scottish 'Co-op' were ??the only obvious ones given the 'Flowers' loss of the Polysteel name, whereas in the past 'big name' bands that are still in the contest were known as British Nuclear Fuels Ltd Leyland, Brittania Building Society Foden, Yorkshire Building Society, Williams Fairey, John Foster Black Dyke Mills, Buy as you view Cory, etc. without considering the coal-mine-associated bands (though several of the bands have other sponsorships not appearing in the band's name).

    From an USA \ Ohio perspective (I checked your profile, but it might have been useful to tell us where you are located) I have no real ideas,
    but as 'blue sky' thinking I guess it might be worthwhile contacting both
    "the major employers" and also
    "the major labo(u)r unions"

    and pointing out the very close historical UK 'Brass Band' associations with:
    mineworking
    (Grimethorpe, Carlton Main etc etc - reference the movies "Brassed Off" and especially Disney's
    "Escape from the dark" [US title "The Littlest Horse Theives"; one of my favourite films of all time,
    especially if you consider the plight of the pit ponies a metaphor for the decline of the mining
    industry that followed over the next 30 years] movies and from an union perspective look at
    internet reports of the "Durham Miners Gala", although I guess US workers may be a bit less
    attracted by some of the communist tendencies in the british far-left working classes),
    Steelworking (Dodworth, polysteel) and
    motor manufacturing / engineering (Fodens, Faireys, Rolls Royce, Stocksbridge).

    From a union perspective, being available to play hymns \ anthems \ fanfares \ etc at major union rallies \ conferences might be an useful aspect, whilst some UK financial sponsors have used "their own Band"s recordings as their "on-hold" music at their telephone call centres !!

    In the UK 'Coach Tour' promoters (in the UK these are particularly companies providing 'Greyhound' style busses for groups of 30-40 generally older people [sadly the main UK Brass Band audience nowadays] to have a 'scenic tour' holiday of 3-14 days duration) have also been useful sponsors with Travelsphere, Wallace Arnold and David Urquhart Travel all playing significant parts.

    Generally, though, it's up to you to look around your local area and find moderately successful companies which might be interested in increasing their profile through 'contest successes' (unlikely), 'supporting local education' (useful if you're mainly a 'youth' band) or which might like to increase their profile specifically within the "easy listening" audience through Brass Band concerts \ CDs (and such companies may be interested in sponsoring individual events \ CDs rather than an 'annual' or 'permanent' sponsorship arrangement).

    This last situations are where music stores may be interested in becoming involved, and especially if you can foster associations between the band and local school music departments \ music colleges etc where there might be a (percieved) affluent parent population willing to buy instruments \ music \ accessories for their children \ grandkids.

    Hope this isn't too vague, but there's no easy answer, just "hard work, phone bills and a lot of luck". Keep us informed as to how your band progresses, and best of luck.

    Ron

    ('David Urquhart Travel' Yorkshire Imperial Band)
     
  4. Your first and overiding thought needs to be; "what can I offer a potential sponsor?"
    Unless you can answer this positively then I'm afraid that it will be extremely difficult.
    To Ron: It's Hepworth (Cookson Homes)!!! Nothing worse than getting a sponsor's name wrong to make yourself less appealing.
     
  5. jonesbp

    jonesbp Member

    2 things to think about while trying to gain sponsorship (one which has already been mentioned):

    1. What do WE need? (cash, instruments, music etc..)
    2. What are THEY (potential sponsors) going to expect in return?

    I have a suggestion for you. Rather than plugging it as a sponsorship, why not try going down the route of obtaining grants for the band. Many large companies (particularly landfill sites, power stations and the similar) have to give money to the community every year in the form of Grants. These often go into the tens of thousands. Applications for grants can be obtained directly from these companies and most are simple questionaires about your organisation (they do however tend to be quite long winded).
    Local arts councils are also worth contacting as well as Lottery funds etc..

    Make sure that your applications make a lot of references to how you will be helping the community AND the Arts. For examples, proof of planning for workshops with children, elderley and disabled is a good idea. Also, proove to them that you are both ethnically and age diverse (writing a good constitution, code of conduct and child protection policy would help this).

    I am going to PM you an email address of a friend of mine who has managed to obtain nearly £80,000 worth of Grants in the Last year for a local organisation. He will be able to give you some advice of who to contact and where to start etc..

    Hope this helps a bit
     
  6. jowens@@charter.net

    jowens@@charter.net New Member

    I just published a book that shows you step by step How to get sponsors, how to keep them, how to approach them etc. It is currently being used by a number of events and Fairs for training. It is "Opening Night" Creating Successful events. It is available at www.johnwowens.com Ireally think it would you help you tremendously!
    Good Luck
    John Owens, CFE
     

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