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Sponsorship: Piggybacking Pays Off

Give and Take

Gigapixel Creative , a graphic design company located in Manhattan, actually does nearly all its business through sponsorship referrals, events and other nontraditional marketing methods.

Why go this route? "It is really all about being in front of the right audiences," says CEO Yao-Hui Huang.

Gigapixel Creative was recently a sponsor for a Chinese real estate forum at the Princeton Club, ensuring that the company was put in front of top real estate developers.

On the other end, Gigapixel Creative has spawned The Hatchery , which is essentially an " American Idol meets venture capital" event, says Huang.

Entrepreneurs at Hatchery events are either Web- or technology-based, and they speak about their start-ups as well as request funding or further business development in front of key players. The events are sponsored by law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge , which also enabled Huang to meet the partners and Gigapixel Creative to receive some of the company's business.

It aids both sides, though. "Being a sponsor at a Hatchery event brings brand recognition, prestige and business," says Huang.

So how can your business find suitable events to sponsor?

Web networking is an efficient and effective way to identify, attract and contact prospective candidates.

"Our experience is that a well-crafted, personalized email with a concise value proposition and call to action (suggesting a time for a call to discuss further, for example) for the prospective sponsor, yields results," says Jay Turo of business-plan development and venture-capital research company Growthink .

When evaluating your marketing strategies, consider sponsorship opportunities. They offer not only broader brand recognition, but also may bring new business.

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