5 Things to Consider Before Signing a Sponsorship Agreement

If you’re just starting out as an entertainer, a sponsorship agreement may sound like a wonderful opportunity. It can be a great source of cash to support your craft while you promote another company’s brand in return. Even so, not all sponsorship agreements are created equal. No matter whether you’re an up-and-coming artist, a concert organizer, or a seasoned entertainer with a strong fan following, ask yourself the following questions before you sign any legally binding documents.

1 – Have you done your homework?

Research is a critical step before you enter into any kind of contract or partnership with a company. Your findings can help you decide whether the sponsorship is a good fit for you. After all, money isn’t everything. You may want to consider whether the sponsor’s image and message align with your own ideals. For example, an oil company may not be the best sponsor for your climate change awareness concert. Find out what the company stands for and who else they’ve sponsored in the past.

2 – Do you understand the legalese?

If you’re new to the contracting world, you might feel a little uncomfortable about some of the legal terminology in your sponsorship agreement. Do you understand how the other party has outlined their terms on intellectual property, confidentiality, and termination? Do you know what is meant by a noncompetition clause? It’s essential to make sure your contract is clear and communicates the terms with zero ambiguity. A lawyer can explain these concepts to ensure you don’t sign an agreement you don’t understand.

3 – How’s the money?

In addition to the specific amounts, your sponsorship agreement should outline how your fees will be paid. Are they payable in one lump sum, or in installments attached to specific milestones? The contract should also spell out how you’ll deal with merchandising—for example, who can create it, how you’ll set the price, where it can be sold, and whether you’ll share the revenue.

4 – Are you clear on the sponsor’s requirements?

If you need a sponsor for an event or program, the sponsor will likely ask you to use its trademarks in association with that event. Make sure you understand what specific designs you’ll be required to use, how you’ll use them, and where they’ll be displayed. You may also be required to use your sponsor’s products or services. Think about whether you’re comfortable using the company’s marks and products in association with your own brand.

5 – What’s in it for you?

Sponsors will always think about the value you can offer them, so why shouldn’t you do the same? Consider what your potential sponsor can do for you, besides pay fees. Can the sponsorship affect your relationship with fans in a positive way, help you connect with a wider audience, or broaden your networking opportunities? Do you feel as if the deal will help your career overall? It’s equally important to feel good about your sponsor on an instinctive level. If they seem excited to work with you and they’re giving off positive vibes, you might have a great partnership on your hands.

There are plenty of other things to consider about your sponsorship agreement, like liability, intellectual property, and your right to terminate the agreement. You should ask an attorney to walk you through these more complex elements while you navigate the basics. The entertainment lawyers at Calevoso Law can help you analyze your sponsorship agreements on several levels: their legal viability, their strengths and weaknesses, and their compatibility with you as an artist. Call us for personalized legal counsel and knowledgeable service.