View Full Version : Obtaining Sponsors

01-04-2011, 08:26 PM
Hi guys,
I have been looking at many of your websites and seeing some big name and some local sponsors. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to obtain sponsors for a first year haunt. I'm sure that once you get the factual numbers that you had so many thousands of people attend your attraction(s) getting some sponsorships are easier. I have read books and gotten some ideas, but I would still like to hear some other ideas. I would also like to know some of the ways that you use your sponsors. For instance I bought a hearse and needed to get it lettered or wrapped so I offered the place a spot to put their logo on the rear quarter panel to get it lettered for a discounted price. I also have an electronic repair shop here in town that gave me some speakers and doing some of my sound work for free in order for him to be listed as a sponsor in some of our ads. I keep seeing Monster energy drinks, burger king, dr. pepper, etc. and I am wondering what kind of deals are getting worked out to obtain these type sponsors and if they are paying money or what services are being offered. Any help/ideas would be appreciated!

01-04-2011, 08:33 PM
Hey shoot me over an email at bobbyarel@gmail.com, just had an in-depth conversation I sent to another haunt owner about sponsorship that I think you could benefit from, it includes some documents and tips and tricks that should help out, and if anyone else would like it just email me. I may not be the most experienced or best person out there, but I run an entire haunted attraction that is based completely off of donations and sponsors with practically no budget, so I guess I must be doing something right, lol. Just send me an email and I'd gladly lend a hand.

freak 'n' stein
01-04-2011, 10:03 PM
...I run an entire haunted attraction that is based completely off of donations and sponsors with practically no budget...

LMAO! We're in nearly the same boat!

As for sponsors, monetary donations came from local businesses who we sold "sponsorship" packages to. In exchange for a dollar amount, they were a bronze, gold, platinum, etc. sponsor. Each level of sponsorship included more advertising for them, be it our website, posters, t-signs, or donated tickets. Our corporate sponsors donated merchandise. Dominoes has been a sponsor for a few seasons and donate about 15 pizzas a night for our actors...Monster donated a few cases of the energy drink in exchange for banners and stickers posted all over the attraction, which we were MORE than happy to oblige considering "monsters" and halloween go hand in hand. We also got cases of water from the local grocery stores donated. Best of luck to you guys!!

01-04-2011, 10:36 PM
Boat?? Man....I feel like it's more of a dingy haha.

freak 'n' stein
01-05-2011, 04:29 PM
Boat?? Man....I feel like it's more of a dingy haha.

...haha! I hear you 100% !!! I just have so many restrictions in terms of budgets that it's hard to run a project as large as our haunt has gotten (for local standards). I guess it has truly made us more creative though. SCfearfarm, I also suggest you hit up Transworld if you haven't. We're booking our flight and hotel for St. Louis NOW! The people, seminars and sheer amount of creative energy flowing are enough to get you anywhere you wanna be. Off to Transworld!!!

01-05-2011, 07:12 PM
I am definately going to transworld and working on booking my flight/hotel also. I have actually been to your haunt before, I lived in Columbia for a few years when I went to USC to school. I waited in line a long time, it seemed to be really popular. How many people do you guys average a year? It was a good haunt though, we might be a little far away to do any cross marketing but when it gets closer to time we might could do a little something. Hopefully see you guys at transworld!

screamforadream I sent you an email earlier and thanks to everyone for advice, I'm sure I will need more!

01-05-2011, 09:44 PM
Have fun at transworld, it always seems like a ton of fun but I've never been able to afford it on a lifeguard salary lol. And cool, I hope it helped....I never intended so many people to email me or I would have made it neater looking the first time haha. Oh, and feel free to call me Bobby lol. :)

And empty pockets do create an incredible amount of creativity! Who knew the things you could do with wood pallets, craigslist free stuff, and a LOT of space for the month of October, and for the month of may on a football field in the middle of a relay for life...who doesn't like dead things?? :D lol

01-11-2011, 09:41 AM
To Everyone who sent me an email and asked for my advice. Your replies were really nice, and I appreciate the compliments, I'll try and put together a better list and make it more refined, it was never intended to be sent out to a ton of people, so I'm currently working on a better edition and more to the point and organized. Thanks again everyone, you guys are great!

01-11-2011, 11:03 PM
New version available, email if you'd like it. :)

Rocky Mountain Terror
01-21-2011, 03:14 PM
Just sent you an email! Thanks!

Soul Reaper
02-14-2011, 05:19 AM
I have looking at opening a haunt and have been wondering
about how the sponsorship stuff works.
Just sent you an e-mail too. Thanks Bobby

02-14-2011, 06:41 AM
Thanks Doug :) I'm on here on my phone at the moment, by the end of the day I'll send you the newest version, feel free to ask more specific questions. I'll do my best to answer any and every, I run a haunt that is based 100% on donations and sponsorships so I think I can be useful lol.

02-16-2011, 02:59 PM
Just sent an email requesting sponsorship info for our haunt.

02-16-2011, 03:14 PM
I'm on my phone but I'll send the attachment when i get home after work :)

Lori Benavides Henderson
08-08-2011, 08:46 AM
just sent you an email!

thanks :)

RJ Productions
08-09-2011, 04:32 AM
This topic seems to rotate through every other year or so!! Usually because we get new people who want to open a haunt, they see some hanuts with sponsors and assume they can get sponsors to pay enough money to open their haunt!!! Simple answer is NO WAY!!!

Sponsors are very usuful and you can get them, the best way is to always put yourself in the shoes of the sponsor. What would YOU do if you owned the business and the haunt owner came to you with the same deal????

BEST way to deal with sponsors is to get "in kind" donations. That is you are getting a value, but not necessarily money. But thing of it this way, if you get goods or services that you need, that frees up your capital to spend on other things!!!

Remember this, an advertiser works on impressions, how many times his name or message is being seen versus the cost.
Say you get a TV ad that costs $1,000 but it is seen by 300,000 people your impression is only about 1/3 of a penny per impression.
If you want to charge $1,000 for a sponsorship to put a banner on site and you get 10,000 patrons.... your impression is .10 each.
So the trick is to find ways to increase the impression rate.

One of the easiest ways to deal with sponsors is to trade for services. Say you need a generator and the rent would be $500 for the month. Approach the sponsor with trading the use of the generator for $500 in tickets! Explain that he can use them for his employees and give them to his customers!! Now you get the generator you need and save $500 you can use for something else. Good part is that while you gave a value of $500 in tickets, chances are you will only see a percentage of the tickets returned. QUICK NOTE: always put a date requirement on your free tickets, push them for use the firts couple weeks you are open and NEVER Halloween weekend!

I also focus and using sponsor in my advertising program. I list them on all my coupons, web site and all my radio spots. My radio spots tell people to go to the various sponsors to get their discount coupons. In exchange they must also list me on their advertising, tagging me on their advertising. Using this program I have several TV commercials and radio commercials ALL reminding people to visit MY haunt!!! I end up with over $280,000 worth of advertising for a small per person percentage which averages out costing me 3% of what I get!!!

The trick is that the Haunt becomes the reason for the sponsors to get their name out during this slack retail period before the big Christmas season.
You HAVE to go to the sponsor during October to get the discount to the Haunt. Our radio sponsor uses us as a tool to get other sponsors on board which increases your value!! Again, this frees up cash to use for props or other COOL stuff.

08-10-2011, 09:21 AM
Thanks for this post RJ, that really helps me out a lot!

08-10-2011, 11:51 AM
Hey Guys! So i work everyday until 7 lifeguarding but I'm on my phone right now during my lunch break, I've gotten about 5 emails today alone and probably sent this to another 20 people over the past couple of days. I'll be sending out one massive email at the end of each night just cause it's easier. Incant attach Ry document from my phone but feel free to email me and I'll make sure you get it :) I've had a lot of people really like the updated copy and a few people even told me they got sponsors because of it! So keep up the awesome work everyone and RJ said it very well. But it isn't impossible to get sponsored your first year and I'll gladly help anyone out, just hit me up! :)

08-10-2011, 11:02 PM
Thanks RJ very helpful

Haunted Farm
08-11-2011, 06:04 AM
to hauntedfarm@frontier.com thks Bobby

08-12-2011, 03:26 PM
We create really nice sponsorship kits then try to figure out target companies who target same audience as we do. However I must say we have put a lot less focus on finding sponsors because times have really changed... having a zillion places to put your coupons isn't as important anymore now that most of all coupons we get back now are from our website.


08-12-2011, 07:48 PM
Sent it out to everyone who's asked recently. And Larry and RJ, you guys make great points. I don't want anyone to think that I am guaranteeing any sponsors, feel free to ask me more personal and specific questions. My little "document" is a short, simple, and easy to read list. It is NOT the complete idiots guide to obtaining sponsors, if you'd like more help feel free to pry and bother me as much as you'd like. =)

I may be an 18 year old Halloween geek but I have already managed at a separate attraction, and created my very infamous 1 day haunt in May at the Relay for Life at my college (Southern CT State University) which is entirely set-up, decorated, inspected, and running for one day for about 8 hours but manages to pull in a very nice chunk of change for charity. If you'd like to know more, or make a donation of new or used props/costumes/whatever please feel free to contact me at any time.

Here's what has been sent out to half the people on here since I first offered my little advice, so read this, it'll save you an email and time in waiting for me to send it to you.

"Bobby Arel’s Tips-n-Tricks to Obtain Sponsors!

1- Be Professional!
You are asking for someone else’s money or product! Look like you know what you’re doing. Proof read and spell check EVERYTHING. One mistake can cost you big, especially with corporate sponsors.

2- Create A Professional Signature!
Here’s a template, FOLLOW IT.

Your Real Name
Owner, Such and Such Haunted House
Owner, Your Company
(123) 333-6666

There’s no better way to convince people to donate to your attraction than telling them it is to benefit a charitable organization! Even if you are first starting off and in debt up to your eye balls or risking everything on this investment, you should highly consider sponsoring a charity. Typically, you can agree to a minimum $1000 donation or 7-10%, whichever is greater. This will provide you with my next tip.

Sponsoring a charity will provide you with their tax ID number. This is an extremely powerful thing to have. Your sponsors need to know that you have this, so that they can claim their donation. This number allows your sponsors to sort of be “reimbursed” by the government for their donation, by receiving a tax break that is usually equal to the amount they donated.

6-Offer Advertising
In addition to being able to claim their donation, your sponsor is also going to want to let the public know that they are assisting in your efforts to raise money for your charity. Do not wait for them to ask for it, be bold, offer it when you ask for their sponsorship. Tell them that you want to advertise for their company and that by helping you out they will receive not only the tax break, but gain a larger clientele and improve or maintain the positive way in which the public views them.

Ask EVERYONE! Do not back down; do not say to yourself “nah…these people will never donate”. You need to be on you’re A game and ask every local business, vendor, energy drink company, retailer, or business you come across. You never know who might just say yes, and the worst that could happen is they say no. You aren’t losing money by asking, so just do it.

That’s it for this quick, down and dirty guide on how to obtain sponsors for your attraction! I hope I was helpful, and should you be interested in donating/sponsoring my attraction where 100% of all ticket sales go directly to the American Cancer Society (thanks to super incredible people such as you!), please contact me at bobbyarel@gmail.com or (203) 988-2440

Thank you for reading this article, I wish you the best of luck this upcoming season! If you have any other questions for me just ask!

Bobby Arel

(P.S- I WAS A PERSON OF THE WEEK! WOO!! Check it out! http://www.theday.com/article/20101007/NWS10/310079898/-1/zip06&town=East-Haven )"