View Full Version : Sponsorship Questions

03-11-2008, 04:20 AM
How does one approach potential sponsors if this your first year as a pro haunt? What should i ask for or hope to expect? How should i present my attraction so a possible major sponsor would be intereasted, some one help PLEASE. madmike

03-11-2008, 04:30 AM
On Hands and Knees....... actually if you do a search there are quite a few threads on this topic in Hauntworld.

03-11-2008, 04:34 AM
It really depends on what kind of sponsorship you are looking for: cash, product, advertising. Very few corporations are giving away cash nowadays. Sponsorships can be a challenge especially for a first year haunt. Most companies will be hesitant to sponsor a start-up which has not proven itself to attract a certain demographic and number of patrons. You may want to start with local small businesses and ask them to hand out discount coupons. Are you going to affiliate with a charity? Sometimes that helps as well.

03-11-2008, 07:10 PM

This is my second year in the business. But, my first year I did exactly what they previously said. I got two restaurants to sponsor discount tickets and they have free help in the haunt and I advertised them as a sponsor. I also did a lot of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" for goods. This year I am looking to ask them for cash but will put them on a banner and also in our advertising on the radio/flyers and give out coupons. The discount coupons were good because they could track the activity they got from the haunt. They are actually coming to us about this years haunt. So it's made it easier to ask for more help in the second year (cash that is). My goal is to get my radio ads paid for.

Jim Warfield
03-13-2008, 06:13 PM
Nice success story, good for you and the restaurant people that sponsered your efforts this is the way it should be, helping one another, every business that I have ever heard of could always use some new customers.
When I started out I had no money , yet a concierge at a busy tourist hotel 40 miles away promised to drum up alot of interest and business for me, ALL I had to do was to have some very professional brochures made for her .
I did not have the money for this. I asked the Chamber of commerce to possibly help me get this done?
No! Was their answer.
Three years later I am the biggest single tourist attraction, man-made,( can't compete with high cliffs and a big river)
THEN some of those same people were telling me "How Much they had helped me and my business!?" and this was their reason that I should be paying dues to join their organization.........Swoop in and take the credit, the best way to always suck-"sess" from a history of non-commital behavior.

03-15-2008, 03:52 PM
Isn't it amazing how people want to always take the credit but give away the blame if something goes wrong?!

Have a business plan to give your potential sponsors and they will come around.

Transfusion Tom
04-09-2008, 11:56 PM
For a first year haunt, and contingent upon the market (as this will dictate wether radio and/or a printed/bandit sign medium will work best) you can purchase radio spots typically on the cheap at the end of each calendar year. Most radio stations do special promotions to make sure they have a base line revenue for operations and therefore will run speical prices for commercials. Although, not necessarily applicable in your situation right now as we're already in this calendar year, you can purchase 30 second radio spots. You, in turn, go to your potential list of sponsors and say you have purchased such-and-such amount of radio spots. Make sure to tier your sponsorship level, i.e. Event Sponsor, Specific Haunt Sponsor, etc., etc. For example for X amount of dollars your company's name will be featured in our radio ads, on our tickets, and coupons handed out. For the next sponsor, you can sponsor our T-Shirts and on down the list.

Typically this works with more well-established haunts, nonetheless if you can show you've already gone out and worked to establish a marketing plan you may just be able to swing them. Additionally, use your queue line effectively and play haunt commercials during the line. Work with a company such as Elswarro (which I absolutely LOVE their stuff!!) to develop comemrcials for specific sponsors (only at a preimium or event sponsor level) and add a commercial into your queue line entertainment, think of it much as M&M's when they run their Halloween line of commercials, or in movies where the 'bad guys' drive that wicked looking car. Although you don't necessarily even realize you're checking it out, can you think of a reason why Chevy rushed to have the new Camarro out to be showcased during the film Transformers? This creates an additional medium for companies to advertise their products. Also, if they are a bigger sponsor, can you place some of their items in the haunt itself and turn one of their items into a title character?? Who knows, never hurts to ask right.

Although you might not have a budget, you must get creative. Also, pick your location wisely. If a new restaurant, car lot, etc. (this assumes you have a temporary and/or portable event) see if you can't tie them into marketing as this will only behoove the growth of their store.

Well I guess that's more than my two cents....Happy Haunting


04-10-2008, 02:05 AM
I have not started a haunt yet but plan to soon. I do however sell for a living and do it well. This is all you are doing is selling your haunt to a sponsor. Even without a "track record" you can sell to sponsors.

First off look professional and like a business person. Wear a nice shirt (maybe even a tie) or better yet a shirt with your logo on it with a nice pair of dress pants. You are dealing with business people and they will accept you more if you look like a business person. If you wear jeans and a t-shirt I would not take you serious.

Second, is have a nice package you can present with all your info including nice business cards. Get a website up and running. Put together a nice portfolio with all your info in it. Maybe off different tiers of sponsorships like silver, gold, platinum, etc... Explain what they get in return for each level of sponsorship. Also explain what ways you are going to promote their business with the sponsorship. List on a banner, back of ticket, posters, hand outs, etc. They want to know what they are getting for their money. If you do use a commercial you might want to include a DVD of the commercial in your package. If you are going to be advertising list all the media you will use in your package. Be sure and include a free ticket package with each sponsorship for them to use . Each level gets more free tickets. It also will help draw a crowd to your haunt. Always remember “excitement breeds excitement” the more people that come to your haunt the better. If nothing more it is word of mouth advertisement if they have a good time. So even tough they are getting free tickets it still will pay off. It also shows some value back to the sponsorship. If you give them nearly all there money back in free tickets then they see value in the sponsorship.

I would recommend to start out small with a "scratch my back" thing. Do the discount coupons at restaurants and other retail locations like an oil change place. Offer the oil change place to give a $2.00 off coupon for your haunt with every oil change. You might even have a friend or family member that has a business like an electrician, carpenter, yard mowing, etc. you could list as a sponsor. Also think back on who in your town is always sponsoring things. We have a local jewelry store that always is sponsoring something.

Use your connections you already have like friends and family that can put in a word at their jobs for you. They can help you get your foot in the door and get you to the decision makers. As you gather small sponsors then add them to your portfolio/handout. You don’t have to say what the sponsorship is just that they are sponsors. People like to be a part of things when they see other people doing it. Once you line up some small sponsors then go after larger sponsors like a soft drink company, bank, chain store, etc.

Network…. Go to different events in your town like the chamber of commerce socials. These are sometimes free to attend.
After the haunt is over send each sponsor a nice plaque for them to hang in there establishment. A plaque can be made for around $20.00 or less. If you want to save a few bucks just do something on your computer and frame it in a frame and give it to them. People love hanging and showing off this type stuff in their business. You want repeat sponsors for next year and a little reminder/thank you will not hurt you and will pay off in the long run.

Before you step foot in a place of business AND ASK FOR A SPONSORSHIP have all your ducks in a row and all your stuff organized like your website, portfolio/handout, DVD, business cards, etc.. You only get one time to make a good first impression. Don’t get ahead of yourself and risk messing up with a potential sponsor.

Good luck and hope you are very successful.

04-10-2008, 07:28 AM
After 7 years in business we learned thats its VERY hard to get a corporate sponsor for a haunted house. Everything seems solid until you mention that word and bam they shut out off. The best thing to do is utilize your friends and family as much as possible. Also, the more you can show these companies that your putting alot of personal assets into the haunt the more likely they will follow.


Jim Warfield
04-10-2008, 12:02 PM
When I first began and had 1,200 people standing, waiting, in my parking lot, I couldn't even convince the local Ford dealer to bring down a car or two and give away a free hot dog.
The bowling alley , two blocks away put up a sign here. The Dairy Queen made discount tickets , this worked for them.
Years later a group showed up here with an internet coupon stating it was good for a discount at ANY Haunted house!?

We decided not to honor those coupons, aren't we cheap asses?
I decided to print a coupon giving me a $20,000 off-deal on a new car.......
..and to think how inexpensive that printer was! WOW! I can make lots of coupons!

04-11-2008, 06:27 AM
Another thing that might help you with sponsors is attaching yourself to a non-profit in your community to give the a donation from part of your proceedes. An orginization like the United Way, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Special Olympics, etc. Sposnors will like that you are giving back to your community and they will want to be part of that.

04-11-2008, 06:59 AM

I will be teaching sponsorship seminars at the following conventions:





Successful Sponsorship Secrets Revealed

Take the fear out of sponsorship writing and keep it in your Haunt where it should be! Mike "Tattoo" Krausert will unveil the mystery behind successful sponsorship writing with this comprehensive workshop covering product, machinery, food and cash sponsorships. Sponsorships are not one-size-fits-all in the world of haunted attractions and you will learn to recognize which sponsorships and partnerships are the best fit for your haunt. Mike has come a long way from his very first "sponsorship" of picking through piles of gummy, damaged soda cans to get free beverages for their cast and crew and he will help you avoid similar sticky situations. Learn proven tips and techniques on sponsorships writing and understand how to package your haunt to be attractive to potential sponsors. Mike will divulge the top five features Terror on the Fox's main sponsor Oneida Casino lists as most important when they receive and consider sponsorship proposals. Discover better methods for letter writing, how to identify and package what your haunt can offer, research the best partnerships for your haunt, how to follow up, what to do when you get a yes, what to do when you get a no and more!
I just wanted to add a quick update!
I have spent a lot of time working with our title sponsor for Terror on the Fox. For a while now, my contact in the Oneida Casino Marketing Department has been working on a "mathematical equation" that will help you determine dollar value and "impressions" for a sponsorship.
I am excited to announce that I have been given this paperwork and the go ahead to share it with EVERYONE in my Sponsorship classes!
I believe this paperwork will help anyone and everybody in their quest to acquire sponsors for their event!
This "equation" will help you to determine and prove value to your current and future sponsors!
Take care,
Mike "Tattoo" Krausert

04-12-2008, 05:53 AM
GREAT SEMINAR SERIES ! I wouldnt miss these for the world!

04-12-2008, 08:20 PM
Hey thanks for the great advice,we started sending out some sponsorship packages the only bussiness that seems interested is a local tattoo shop artistic demographic. Thats fine with me one is better then nothing.. happy haunting

04-12-2008, 11:31 PM
Hey thanks for the great advice,we started sending out some sponsorship packages the only bussiness that seems interested is a local tattoo shop artistic demographic. Thats fine with me one is better then nothing.. happy haunting

What does "sending out" mean? Did you mail them?

10-17-2008, 02:38 PM
That sounds really great and I'm hoping to attend the Eastern Haunt Convetion but if i cant make it is there a way that you might be able to do a Sponsorship and Advertising How - To Tips and Trick DVD/ Templete Package that you'd consider either selling or sending me.

I think you might get some good success with that for the poeple not able to make it to the conventions!