There are those of us who abhor any sort of tackiness, those of us who embrace it, and those who fall somewhere between the different extremes.

Among those who embrace tackiness are this couple, although they tried to make it as untacky as possible.

How to Build Your Business with Sponsored Partnerships

I’ll save you a click: The couple is having different elements of their wedding sponsored by different companies.

A power wash company is sponsoring the best man’s speech. A cosmetic business is sponsoring the hair and makeup.

The couple stopped well short of making the whole wedding sponsored, and they wish to emphasize that they are still paying for “the big things.”

But hell, if you can get a company to comp your entire wedding in return for a little pub, why the hell not go for it?

Pennzoil wishes to formally invite you to the Wonder Bread-Six Flags Wedding Ceremony of Brittany O’Toole, presented by CBS, and Jonathan Dumont, brought to you by Family Circle.

I don’t recommend that wedding professionals offer to “sponsor” weddings, of course. You want the bride and groom to pay you, not for you to pay them.

The only scenario where I’d recommend any wedding pro work for free or even pay to participate (unless it’s for a friend or family member; then it’s still not great but use your own discretion) is if it’s the wedding of a celebrity or VIP where the affair is virtually guaranteed to drum up new business for you.

But what about having a sponsor of your own? What are the pros of having a company or three defray your costs in return for a little advertising?

Whether you’re a caterer, a DJ, or a florist, you’re responsible for real, physical real estate at a wedding. You have a canvas: a canvas that can be used for advertising if you so choose.

But there are definitely big caveats to go along with such an idea:

Approach Businesses That Already Work With Your Business.

If you’re a DJ, what software do you use? Who made your turntable and mixers?

If you’re a caterer, where do you get your ingredients?

If you’re a florist, is there a wholesaler, greenhouse, or seed company you use?

All of these upstream businesses may offer you a discount in return for publicity.

Subtlety Is Paramount.

These are weddings, after all. If you’re a DJ and you unfurl a big ‘ol Oscar Meyer flag to drape over the front end of your table, the bride and/or groom are likely to flip out and banish your banner.

So think small and inoffensive. A small “Bose” card on top of your speakers, or a sticker. A printed menu that specifies the name of the food purveyors you’re using. That sort of thing.

If you wan to explore sponsorship, your challenge as a wedding pro is to come up with product placement ideas that are as unobtrusive and inoffensive to the lucky couple as possible while still delivering value for your sponsor. It won’t be easy, so be creative.

Call Around.

So Boar’s Head meats told you to take a hike when you offered to print their name on your dinner menus in return for a discount? Then perhaps a different butcher can meet your needs.

I mean, look at the couple in the article. This was a basically a BRAND NEW IDEA, at least to them (and me), and it started as a joke. Nonetheless, they’ve gotten three business to bite on that idea.

That means chances are excellent that companies are similarly willing to hook you up. So stay busy on that phone if you’re intrigued by the sponsorship concept.

Would you consider seeking out sponsorship?
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Kevin Beane

Kevin Beane is from Akron, Ohio. He loves sports (check out his BBC-recognized column here), poker, and sleep, but above all comedy (particularly the sketch and improv varietals) which he performs around the Dallas area.

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4 thoughts on “The Pepsi Pizza Hut Wedding: How To Build Your Business With Sponsored Partnerships”

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