Managing sponsorships is an important part of the responsibilities of RoboJackets leadership. Sponsors provide funds, parts, and oftentimes jobs to our many members. Up until 2019, this role was usually taken on by the President and Project Managers, who, on top of their many other responsibilities, would be in charge of organizing recruiting events, reaching out to companies, and handling any incoming correspondence from entities interested in sponsoring RoboJackets. Last year, the appointed position of Sponsorship Chair was created to alleviate some of the strain on elected leadership and centralize the management of sponsor relations.
As the inaugural appointee, Brian Epstein worked with then-President Alex Field to define the position’s responsibilities. He spent the rest of the year building out a formal structure for managing communications with sponsors. This included overhauling the sponsorship packet with the help of our PR Chair Cameron Loyd, and migrating correspondence tracking from spreadsheets to Hubspot. He leveraged Hubspot’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, which “consolidates all the sponsor information to one location, and allows us to more easily track sponsor engagement and benefit utilization.” What was previously handled primarily by the President or Project Managers through their individual inboxes is now managed and tracked through a centralized pipeline process. Incoming Sponsorship Chair Bennett Bush is excited to start building relationships with current sponsors, saying “I’m hoping to set up and facilitate multiple recruiting events – events that weren’t possible last year due to COVID – to our [eligible] sponsors.” He also hopes to create new relationships by heavily increasing our cold calling efforts.
When asked about long term plans, Alex Field envisions the role to evolve from initiator to facilitator, saying, “I think project managers and other leaders will have a much easier path to getting involved in the business side of [RoboJackets] due to the development of a proper system to reach out to companies.” He also hopes that we can expand the types of interactions we have with our sponsors, including sponsorships for longer projects and events to give our thanks to companies that support us.
You can learn more about our sponsorships and view our Sponsorship packet here: https://robojackets.org/our-sponsors/