This is just one of the 8 hot ideas you can find in “Eight untapped Sweepstakes Prize Hacks: Big Value on a Small Budget”.

According to the IEG, annual sponsorship spending by North American companies was expected to reach over $20 billion this year (and $57 billion worldwide).

The sad truth is that many sponsorship assets and rights are wasted, oftentimes going unused by understaffed marketing or sales groups that can’t manage the minutia of sponsorship asset activation.  As an agency, we have always maintained a policy of “no asset unused” (and we make great lunches from leftovers).

Those sponsorship assets are your opportunity!

While assets are wasting away in drawers and corporate contracts,  cash-strapped marketers in other internal business units are looking for ways to get customers and prospects to further engage. From driving demos and encouraging brand participation to supporting new product launches and increasing upsells, everyone is looking for a cost-controlled edge to boost campaign results.  A great tactic to boost rates is running a sweepstakes overlay (oftentimes mistakenly called contest or giveaway).  What’s key (beyond the legal requirements) is offering a big, compelling prize that you can get for less than its value.  To make it stand out, it should appeal specifically to your target audience (and not the entire population).

If your company is a sponsor, it should be vetted.

Companies sponsor events and properties for a wide range of reasons that don’t always align with the end user, as it could be to look good to shareholders, or promote deeply personal causes. In general, if you use assets from something your company sponsors, you’re generally on the right track to align with your audience.

How do you get in on the assets?

First, find a person “familiar with the sponsorship” and one who manages the “stuff”.  These are likely different people, as one many have been involved in negotiations and the other could be an admin who handles the tickets (there are, for instance over 80 Major League Baseball home games per year.  Distribution alone is a hassle for many).  The first person can likely hook you up with a sponsor contact who is often willing to go beyond the freebie to keep the relationship strong going forward.  The second will be able to share scoop on what’s available, and what types of things are going unused (like Sunday day games).

It doesn’t have to be NASCAR or NFL

Your organization affiliates with a property because it brings value.  Not everyone can be an NFL or NASCAR sponsor.  As a more local organization, you might sponsor a local or minor league team, or a Theater, or even a golf tournament.  All of these properties have their own intrinsic value that can be creatively tapped into.

Ultimate Prize Ideas

Behind the scenes tours, VIP access, previews,  and even celebrity meet-and-greets are four types of Ultimate Prize packages that cost virtually nothing to but time to coordinate and execute.  For a fan of the intellectual property (IP), it’s an unforgettable bucket-list experience.  The key is to get support from the IP to give the prize, and then tie the theme to the key benefits of the product you’re promoting.  By bridging this gap, you seamlessly tie your product to the IP.  We have asked for and gotten permission to do everything from be a MLB “GM for a Day” and attend a Supercross Fantasy Camp, to ride with an MLS team to an away game and build a Starfleet Enterprise Bridge in a living room.  In all cases, the relationships were set, and we simply asked for an experience that we knew tied to the client’s product and would appeal to the target audience.

Tapping into more Prize Hacks

After creating and executing over 150 sweepstakes, contests, and games for Fortune 500 companies and everyday name brands over the last 25 years, we have been recently working on sharing that knowledge with marketers of all sizes.  A compiled list of eight such hacks (including tapping in to your company’s own sponsorship assets) is available for FREE download here.  Yeah, we are asking for your name and email so we can share more great ideas and assets with you in the future.  If you think that’s a fair  trade, then click here.