Digital Media · Sponsorship

How do you determine sponsorship levels for a media website?

Andrea H Special Projects Director

January 7th, 2015

We just launched our website and already have a big-name company reaching out asking us to send a package about sponsorship levels. The site is a media company for dog owners.

Honestly, I am not sure how to put this together. Does anyone have advice on what should be included under each tier or a template.

I was thinking under one tier the ability to sponsor a series, another tier have a story sponsored and another tier be included on email newsletter.

Also, they asked about analytics -- social and website. For a newly launched company, should we provide all the details?

Would love any advice.

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Derek Liu Startup Guy

January 9th, 2015

Media websites can get very creative in their approach to packages, especially as a founder you will know the effective ways you can craft messages to your audience that are honest, direct, yet unintrusive at the same time.

On the other end of the table, sponsors have standards which they use to measure vales of what's worth paying money for in a package.  Direct to customer email blast, front page video ad, homepage take over, site wide ad banner campaigns, to name a few.

Often media companies present a three tier package offering with different price points and levels of presence.  Depending on the brand who is the sponsor, the higher level doesn't just mean "take over of all real estate in our website" but can be something more interactive such as a charity auction event or interview with a celebrity that you have connection to.  Be aggressive on your pricing even on the low end and it will help determine the appetite of the sponsor.

Of course, all packages are designed knowing what messages or products the sponsor is trying to get across, so let them educate you about them before putting anything together.  If they hold big promises, don't be afraid to fly out and meet them in person.  When starting out, the cost for travel is the cost to learn about the business.

Lastly, metrics is everything that makes or breaks the deal.  Your unique monthly visitors, unique monthly registered users and a US/international break down is already enough to tell 80% of the story to your sponsor.  If your unique is not spectacular as you're only starting out, focus on your growth rate and engagement rate.  Having a story to tell on how much longer your users engage in your site, or how much clicks/posts/likes they make mighty shine a different light if your uniques are not up there yet. 

Do note that most sponsorships are A LOT of work and is almost guaranteed to deter you from the vision of your business.  I'm sure you don't wake up every morning and think "where is a good place for a skyscraper ad". :)  Maybe the time for sponsors is not now but later, when your stats can command 5x or 10x the money for the same amount of work.  That can only be determined by you.  Good luck!

Ian Foley Advertising & digital media executive

January 7th, 2015

Yes, we work with publishers to put together digital sponsorship packages. Happy to provide template packages and how you might go about providing sponsorship ROI analytics. Please message me

Chris Wexler SVP, Director of Media and Consumer Enagement @ C-K

January 7th, 2015

Do you know what their objectives are and what they are trying to accomplish?  I would make sure that you deeply understand why they called you and tailor your response to their needs.  The more you deliver on their objectives, the more $'s you can pull out of them.

Simple, I know, but it is surprising how often companies in your position try to guess vs. ask.

Robert Hoskins (4,400+)

January 7th, 2015

I published 18 online magazines for 8 years and we put together a lot of the media sponsorship opportunities for many of the categories you are asking about. You're welcome to PM me to discuss

Alex Littlewood

January 8th, 2015


Andrea, would you perhaps draft up a synopsis of what you learned, even if it's high level it will be helpful!