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Bands: How to Snag Sponsors


It’s never too early to find sponsors to advertise on your band's publications in exchange for large sums of money to cover expenses. Bands that think like a business and fund themselves by finding sponsorship dollars can get a lot more done than bands without this type of financial support. 

With enough, in the way of sponsorship dollars, a band can fund not only a Pay-to-Play booking, but also can cover other needs including band equipment, the cost of a website, band photos, as well as marketing and advertising costs.

Before you attempt to find sponsors the band, or band manager, should develop a sponsorship proposal letter. This letter will explain everything about your band's goals, the project for which you seek sponsorship, and the benefits the sponsor will receive by paying for advertising. 

This document will make snagging a sponsor easier in that it relays information the potential sponsor will want to see and it leaves you free of having to memorize this information.

The following are elements I suggest you have cover in the sponsorship proposal letter.

Prepare the Story

To start with, sit down with your band mates and formulate the band's story. If you already have a bio you can use it as a base to start from. This single paragraph is a basic where we came from and where we plan to go story, it is not a life biography so keep it short, sweet, and effective. 

You can also use this to help construct an elevator pitch that you will use to pitch to potential sponsors when you meet them.

When crafting a story use these points to help you brainstorm a script:

  • What genre the band is—how the band differs from other bands in the same genre near you and on the major charts
  • The band's strength—what sets you apart from the rest of the bands around you, the compliments paid to the band, the things that make the band assured and confident
  • What the band would like to do most—what the band's long-term goals 
  • The band's motivatiors— a CD Release, getting signed, starting a regional tour

Here is an example elevator pitch:

The RockStahhhs is a dynamic four-piece hard rock band with members from Berkley and CSU. In just 6 months since we have sold 500 copies of our first album and have been hailed as "the next Rolling Stones" by LA Weekly. We're on a mission to play all of the West Hollywood clubs over the next few months and gain exposure to over 10,000 fans while we capture the attention of major label execs. We want to find sponsors who could use exposure to our fans and build a symbiotic relationship.

Make a Mission Statement

Just like any business, a band with a mission statement can experience more success when they have documented their goals. 

A mission statement is formal document explaining your values and future plans, and while most mission statements by corporations are long and extensive, your band's mission statement for the use of the sponsorship doesn't be much more than a couple of paragraphs.  

Follow the Tuts+ guide on How to Write a Vision and Mission Statement to help the band or the band manager craft a engaging mission statement.

Determine Audience Demographics

Sponsors want to know what type of people their ad, or sponsorship, is going in front of in order to determine if your audience would be interested in their product. 

Expect to be asked to provide some information about your fan base. Some basic demographics include average age range, sex, income level, and average amount of expendable income.

Some of these questions might be hard to give an exact answer to such as income levels since your fan base is going to be a niche group. One idea to help you gather details about your fan base is to send out surveys to subscribers of your email marketing list. Ask your fans to fill out a simple form with demographical questions in exchange for a nifty prize.

You can find some assistance with gathering demographics from these resources:

Set Sponsorship Levels

By creating different levels of sponsorship you can make it easy for businesses of different sizes and incomes to afford ads. This practice is recommended because it also encourages repeat sponsors to move up in ad sizes over time. 

Here's a very basic template any band can use as a guide:

Top Level Sponsor—$250

  • 3'x3' Logo on Vinyl Banner
  • Headlining 1"x1" Logo & Text on Print & Web Flyers
  • Featured on Band Website Front Page, 468x90px Banner 6 months
  • 3 Mentions At Live Show
  • 3 Social Media Mentions

2nd Level Sponsor$150

  • 1'x1" Logo on Vinyl Banner
  • 5"x.5" Logo and Text on Print & Web Flyers
  • Featured on Band Website Front Page, 468x90px Banner 4 months
  • 2 Mentions At Live Show
  • 2 Social Media Mentions

3rd Level Sponsor$75

  • 1'x1" Logo on Vinyl Banner
  • 5"x.5" Logo and Text on Print & Web Flyers
  • 2 Mention At Live Show
  • 1 Social Media Mention

4th Level Sponsor$25

  • 1'x1" Logo on Vinyl Banner
  • 5"x.5" Logo and Text on Print & Web Flyers
  • 1 Mention At Live Show
  • 1 Social Media Mention

Sponsorship Proposal Letter

Once you have drafted all of the information, you can combine it all into a final Sponsorship Proposal Letter. 

To review you will include in this document:

  • The Band’s Story
  • The Band’s Mission Statement
  • Audience Demographics
  • The Project Being Funded
  • Sponsorship Packages Details

Writing a Sponsorship Contract

Once you land a sponsor, the band will need to present the sponsor with a contract that spells out what is expected from them as well as what the sponsor can expect from your band. 

This contract will also hold the sponsor responsible for making a timely payment and submitting the necessary artwork and/or text for their ad by your required deadline. 

Other items this contract should address include:

  • Sponsorship Level Chosen
  • Project to be Sponsored
  • Fee(s) Owed
  • Payment Terms
  • Waiver of Legal Use of Intellectual Property (i.e. sponsor's logo)
  • Any Miscellaneous Requirements

There are multiple resources to help your band or your band manager write a contract, including some pre-written template contracts for sponsorship that you can download from the internet and customize for your band. 

To find them, type sponsorship contract template in Google to find multiple options. With the complexity and importance of this contract it is my recommendation that you consult with a lawyer to review your contract to be sure what you hand to the sponsor is indeed a legally binding and valid contract.

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