While programmatic ads continue to reshape the web advertising landscape, the market for advertising at public events still lags behind.
HelloSponsor, which just launched after going through AngelPad’s accelerator, is looking to modernize event sponsorship for brands by simplifying the experience and building up metrics so that they can measure the impact of their campaigns.
HelloSponsor co-founder Greg Kubin says that the way brands set up sponsorships is still stuck in the past. There are the obvious opportunities, like massive sporting events, that have well-established sales channels that require lots of negotiation and generally involve bidding against everyone looking for easy placement.
But there’s a multitude of events that happen each year than bring in thousands of people each that struggle to get sponsors despite bringing in attractive audiences. Kubin says that HelloSponsor is trying to make it easier for brands to “find these individual opportunities in multiple markets in a scalable way.”
Initially, that means handling a lot of the groundwork needed to discover these smaller events in the first place. A lot of the work going into HelloSponsor simply involves getting an idea of the biggest offline events that haven’t already been discovered by big brands, building a relationship with the teams behind them to figure out what kind of audiences attend, and compiling that data into a workable database.
From there, the HelloSponsor team is looking to improve how negotiations and payment for event sponsorships are handled on both sides of the transaction. For sponsors, they’re working to make it easier to provide contracts specifying details like how many people they expect to see their promotional materials and where they expect booths to be located. On the event side of things, they’re building a payments experience that doesn’t feel like you’re being pushed around by the sponsor.
Once a sponsorship has been sold, HelloSponsor wants to give brands more assurance that their money has been put to good use. As such, they’re building out a metrics platform that gives a standard interface for looking at data like how many people attended an event overall, how many promotional items were handed out, and other pieces of data an event team can provide. Over time, they’re looking at more precise systems of measurement, like using beacons to see how many smartphones went near a particular booth.
Initially, HelloSponsor is working to get races, concerts, and festivals that don’t already have strong national sponsorship on its platform. Kubin says that races are doing “particularly well, because the market is so fragmented.” Basically, a bunch of big-ish races bring in a bunch of people in valuable demographics, but aren’t big enough to be obvious advertising opportunities for larger companies. On the sponsor side of things, Kubin says food and beverage companies “really like the platform” in early testing.