Behind the Scenes at Sponsorist

From THAT Blog: The landscape of digital advertising changes so quickly that it’s actually impossible to keep up with everything new! This is the reason why digital marketers love what we do and ‘traditional’ marketers hate it! Today we’re kicking-off a series aimed at keeping our readers abreast of new, incredible, and sometimes unusual advertising opportunities that exist. Enjoy! We really excited to begin our series with an interview with Rosston Meyer, founder of the South Florida start-up, Sponsorist is a marketplace where advertisers, non-profits and people in need of sponsorships come together to make deals. Rosston has a strong background in Web marketing, design and development and has recently put a good deal of focus on the project.

Q: Sponsorist is a unique concept and it seems like the project is gaining traction. What led you to the idea?

A: The idea for Sponsorist originally came while I was working at a large nonprofit organization in Boca Raton. It seemed that everything was named/sponsored….not just buildings and conference rooms but even hallways as well! That is when I first noticed that it was hard for people that weren’t affluent to be recognized for their support. Donations usually comes with little recognition, and the Sponsorist platform lets anyone be a part of the sponsorship process and get recognition.

Q: Each Sponsorist listing/deal seems to involve three parties- The sponsored, the sponsor and a non-profit organization. Can you please briefly explain the role of each party in every transaction?

A: When someone creates a listing on Sponsorist, they are essentially creating a one page store (the listing) where all of their sponsorship opportunities are available for anyone to purchase, or sponsor. They also select a charity to receive a portion of each sale that is made through the listing. This percentage and charity is chosen from Sponsorist’s growing nonprofit directory when creating the listing. Sponsors can pick whatever sponsorship option best suits theirs goals and needs, and once they have purchased the sponsorship we connect them with the person that they’ve sponsored in order to get logos or any other collateral materials needed to complete the sponsorship (for example, a logo needed for an event banner and flyers). Funds are held by the company for a 7 day time-frame where the sponsored and the sponsor connect with each other. Once that time has passed, funds for the sold sponsorship are sent to the sponsored user, and whatever amount was selected to go to charity is sent to them as a donation.

Q: As an digital ad agency, we’re always on the lookout for effective advertising channels. Today and in the future, how do you anticipate that businesses will best use the service to promote their products and services?

A: Businesses are and will be able to pick and choose sponsorship opportunities that best suit their demographic, needs and goals. As the service grows and more sponsorships are sold through Sponsorist, the larger the list of matches we will be able to make in the future. Sponsorist’s goal is to be the go to resource for both people looking for sponsors, as well as for businesses looking to sponsor and support events and initiatives in their area. Since the company is in South Florida, that is the focus right now although we are receiving listings from all over the country.

Q: Non-profits seem to be real winners in the Sponsorist equation. Can you tell us how they benefit and what the initial reactions have been?

A: It is really a no-brainer for nonprofits to signup on Sponsorist, as they are then eligible to receive donations from people that normally may not donate or even know about their charity. Nonprofits get a portion of each sale simply for being nonprofits, and so far the response has been great. Most of the local charities in South Florida that we have reached out to have signed up, and even a few national organizations that were requested by some of our users (such as well known charity:water) have signed up as well.

Q: In your experience so far, what types of sponsored and sponsor relationships seem to work the best? That is, what types of listings seem to have been the most successful?

A: So far, the most success has been in technology and luxury events. The tech community in South Florida is growing and Sponsorist is getting a great reaction from that community, with many of the tech events in the area using the site to seek sponsorship. This is helping us create both supply and demand for tech event sponsors in the area, with some national companies (Microsoft Bizspark, SendGrid) having already sponsored some of these local events. We also had an exciting event listed on the site for a fashion show at Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. A local luxury beverage company called onli Beverages sponsored that event, which gave their drink great exposure to the high end demographic their product targets.

Q: In 140 characters or less, give us your twitter pitch. We’d like to share it with our followers!

A: Sponsorist allows anyone to buy and sell sponsorships for events, groups, and teams, with a portion of each sale always donated to charity.