Bernard's Hot Tips for the Biz










Music Connection Feature Story

In the music business you often hear the phrase, “You’ve got to pay your dues.” While that may be true (to a certain extent), it doesn’t have to be painful, or last a long time. There are many ways to achieve your goals; and, with “Bernard’s Hot Tips” you’ll find shortcuts and reality checks that will make your “dues” go down easier.   


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Ten Tips For Tour Sponsorships

Ten College Touring Tips


How you can get that much needed tour-support ~ Corporate Sponsorships

In order to get assistance, you MUST create a Sponsorship Proposal. Your goal is to show a sponsor why supporting you will help them generate new business - and ultimately make them more money. There MUST to be something in it for them.

1. List Your Assets

What can you offer the sponsor? How many fans are on your mailing list? What are the numbers for a typical show—50, 100, 200, 500, 1000? WHO are your fans? Have you had your music reviewed in the press? Are there any high-profile articles about you and your act? The stronger the numbers and more interesting the story, the more likely the sponsor will read on…

2. Define your Touring Goals

If you plan to break into new markets and sell out clubs, explain how you will do this.

3. Where Are You Going

What cities are on your tour itinerary? If a company sponsors your tour, they’ll want to know where you will carry their message.

4. How Often Will You Play

Companies like to know how many times their name or message will appear in the same market in a given period of time. Knowing this will also help you plan for travel arrangements and possible lodging discounts.

5. How Will Each Event Be Promoted

Some companies have limited budgets, but they may be willing to support you with Cross Promotional Flyers, Radio or TV Commercials…list every possible promotional option and research the costs of each before presenting your ideas. 

6. Who Is Your Audience

What kind of music do you play: Rock – Pop – Folk – Rap -Metal? Knowing your genre and style will determine not only the types of companies you approach, but the way you promote the shows. You want your target market and the company supporting you to be a good match. But, also be creative – don’t just focus on the obvious sponsors.

7. How Many Shows Will You Perform

Some companies simply won’t sponsor artists unless they are performing a certain number of shows per month/year. Larger sponsors often require a minimum number of shows a month. Keep that in mind.

8. What’s Your Tour Cycle

Maybe your tour cycle will be for 2 months. A sponsoring company will want an estimate as to how much money will be needed as well as the length of time their message will be seen by your audience.

9. Define & Itemize Expenses

Break it down. If you do 3 shows per week, what are your costs for gas, promotion, lodging, food, press kits, etc? You’ll want to know exactly how much everything will cost. If it costs you $200-$500 per weekend for hotels and food alone, then maybe getting a hotel chain to sponsor you makes good sense.

10. Cross Promotional Opportunities

Sometimes a company won’t offer you cash for support, but they may be interested in paying for a co-branded magazine ad or a radio commercial promoting your act and club dates. They may provide merchandise that you can sell or give away. If they’re a hotel chain, maybe they’ll be interested in giving you a deep discount on rooms in lieu of cash payment. The possibilities are endless… The more open you are to receiving various forms of support (not necessarily cash), the greater your chances of getting help.

Who To Contact

A lot of people think that you need to contact the companies directly. But, keep in mind: Some companies have a person designated to handle sponsorships. Many companies also pay Public Relations firms to deal with these interests for them. That’s not to say you can’t contact the companies directly, especially if you know someone who can help get your proposal into the right hands, but PR firms can often make or break a sponsorship deal.

Do a Web search for potential sponsors as well as “Public Relation Firms” or “PR Firms” and see what comes up. See which PR companies represent the target companies you want to solicit for tour support.

Before contacting these companies, make sure that you have a well-written cover letter briefly explaining your reason for contacting them and what you are trying to accomplish. Then, simply direct them to your Sponsorship Proposal. And, be sure that your proposal looks professional. You only get one chance to make a first impression.


By: Bernard Baur




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