Lofthouse Colliery Pit Winding Wheel - The floral display surrounding the wheel is sponsored by a local garden centre
Boat planted with flowers with sponsored by Tencreek Holiday Park
Image 1: Lofthouse Colliery Winding Wheel - floral display sponsored by local garden centre © Mike Kirkby;
Image 3: Sponsorship © David Lally;


Sponsorship is a very popular way of generating income.  Many sectors benefit from sponsorship including sports, the media and fashion.  Parks also have an opportunity to raise income this way.

Sponsorship is more targeted than advertising. Instead of just using advertising space, businesses can sponsor activities, buildings, objects or areas of the park.  Ideas for thing to sponsor include:

  • Bird and bat boxes;
  • Sports facilities (e.g. tennis courts);
  • Buildings (e.g. community centre);
  • Exhibitions;
  • Flower beds and borders;
  • Nature trail;
  • Formal gardens;
  • Lakes;
  • Sponsor a position (e.g. Park Warden);
  • Park benches and other furniture;
  • Playgrounds; and
  • The whole park.

Attracting income from sponsorship requires parks to go out and market themselves.  Carefully targeting suitable businesses will help to improve your chances of securing sponsorship.  For example target sports retailers to sponsor the tennis courts.  However attracting sponsorship and can take up a lot of time and effort and results are not guaranteed.

It is important to think carefully about the types of businesses you want to be associated with your site.  Businesses will choose to sponsor parts of your site because the association will have a positive impact on them.  However you should make sure that the association is also positive for your site and the relationship would not be detrimental.

In trying to attract sponsorship, parks need to answer the question “As a business why should I sponsor your site?”  The answer could include:

  • “It will help to address your Corporate Social Responsibility.” - Sponsorship could include corporate volunteering on site, for example a hedge cutting day.
  • “It will expose your business to more (and/or new) customers.” - It helps to have some facts and figures about your site, such as number of visitors, most popular attractions and key events.
  • “It will improve your brand perception.” For example a local business sponsoring a playground is likely to enhance its image.

Sponsorship activity needs to be sympathetic to your site.  Extensive sponsorship which detracts from an event or amenity in the park may annoy visitors.  This will have a negative impact both on your park and the sponsoring business.  A negative reaction will also put off other businesses from sponsoring on your site.

Questions to Consider

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What features and events on your site can you attract sponsorship for?

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What businesses are local to your site? How can you appeal to them?

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How much sponsorship is acceptable for your site?

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How will visitors respond?

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What types of businesses are not suitable to sponsor on your site?

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How long do you want to agree sponsorship deals?

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Is there a potential national offer?

Pros and Cons

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Guaranteed income, unlike events.

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Sponsorship provides additional income for existing facilities.

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Sponsorship can be used as a targeted way to raise money for a new facility.

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Doesn’t require providing anything new.

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Can support local businesses.

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It can be done on different scales (e.g. small scale sponsorship of a bench or large scale sponsorship of the whole park.

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Engaging with businesses is time consuming and does not always produce results.
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It can annoy visitors.
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It can be detrimental to how your brand and site is perceived.