People look to others they trust to help them make decisions – including purchasing decisions
Increasing your business’s Web presence begins with forming trusting relationships with your customers. There is a lot of transparency on the Web and the companies that are able to build trusting relationships with customers are the ones who will succeed in the future.
One of the ways to build trust with customers is through sponsorships and becoming involved in creative ways with the people, businesses and organizations your potential customers already trust.
Due to the recent conversation in the HBM Forum on Race Car Sponsorship, I’ve wanted to write the opportunities for hunting businesses to gain exposure with new audiences through sponsorships, but I wasn’t sure how to approach the topic. Then, a short while ago, Dave Olsen of Pheasant Phun and Team Huntress contacted me and introduced the concept of Team Huntress.
After hearing what the program was about I thought it would be beneficial to look at Team Huntress and the companies who sponsor the program in case study format so you can get a better feel for the opportunity to market your business with sponsorships like the ones offered by Team Huntress.
Let’s take a look at the Team Huntress story and the opportunity for you and your business to grow through sponsorships such as the ones other hunting businesses have done with Team Huntress.
First, a little background (please read the entire description at the Team Huntress Website):
Team Huntress was formed as an avenue to direct and empower women on their path toward outdoor success. By providing exploration and discovery in a safe and secure environment, ladies will be aligned to boost their confidence and self esteem.
Team Huntress also offers:
* Certified Hunter Safety Program
* Instruction for proper firearm (handgun, rifle, and shotgun) and archery use
* Small class size – 18 or fewer per outing
Read the following reviews for more on Team Huntress:
The Team Huntress secret formula: Guns + Archery + Massages = Happy Women
For $995, you get the best of both worlds that outdoorswomen inhabit – archery and firearms instruction with tons of spa treatments and tons of cool gifts that you find someone has left on your bed each night (seriously, I came home last time with some great swag from Prois, RealTree, Doeville and Tanka Bar).
Revolutionary Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic
That formula – instruction, female staff and pampering – proved highly effective at the inaugural Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic at Pheasant Phun in June. Women who’d never fired a gun felt secure taking those first steps and found they really enjoyed what they were learning. By the end of the weekend, participants were abuzz about the shooting sports and the new friendships they’d formed.
Interview: Jane Keller, Team Huntress
The end of the weekend, participants were abuzz about the shooting sports and the new friendships they’d formed. Participants and instructors evolved into a close network of outdoor friends. It is the goal of Team Huntress to leave you with an “I can do anything” attitude. I have bonded with friends in the vast outdoors who will guide and support me every step of the way!!! Team Huntress is here to help empower you for outdoor success, support and encourage you on your journey through life, and always be Your Personal Outdoor Adventure Network of Friends.
Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic
What do the ladies of Team Huntress have in store for you:
* Firearm and archery clinics
* General outdoor safety and first aid clinics
* Outdoor photography
* Wild game cooking
* ATV, GPS and nature walking
* Yoga, massages, wine tasting, star gazing and much more
Team Huntress Sponsors
Beyond the price for attending each outing, Team Huntress uses sponsorships for monetary and product needs. There are a variety of ways businesses can get involved with Team Huntress. Here are a few of the businesses that are sponsoring Team Huntress.
Doeville – Product Sponsor
As part of the Team Huntress Outings, participants receive gifts each day. Doeville became involved as a product sponsor with Team Huntress by providing a leather hunting diary ($40 value) for each participant in the Team Huntress events.
Hunting businesses that are just starting out are often strapped for cash initially, but the need to gain exposure still remains. One of the ways to gain exposure without giving direct monetary compensation is provide product sponsorships that resonate with potential customers.
By providing a hunting diary for each participant in the Team Huntress event, Doeville was able to get their product and name in front of potential customers. Not only will the participants of the event remember Doeville for hunting apparel, jewelry, and art products for themselves, but the products at Doeville also make for excellent gifts for others.
There is opportunity for your business to provide product or service sponsorships with events and organizations that cater to your target audience. By putting your products in front of your target audience and letting them use the products in a setting where they can understand the full benefits of the product, you’re connecting with potential customers while building trusting relationships that can mean long-term business.
When considering a product sponsorship opportunity, think about the audience and who they connect with. In the example of Team Huntress, it might make sense for a hunting apparel business to outfit the event with the necessary shooting apparel while also offering an introductory offer on related hunting and shooting apparel that includes men’s, women’s, and children product lines.
Faini Designs – Sponsor a Scholarship
Faini Designs became involved with Team Huntress by sponsoring a scholarship for a woman to attend the Team Huntress Event. Faini paid the cost of the outing and the participant was able to partake in the event that she may have never been able to attend without the sponsorship.
Today, as a result of Faini providing the scholarship, the participant is shooting archery nearly every day while being active in the outdoors.
Having your business attached to success stories is most importantly a wonderful way to give opportunities to those who may not otherwise be able to participate in such events as Team Huntress. Also, having your business as the sponsor in a situation like Faini is a way to build trust with your potential customers. Not only did all of the participants at the event become exposed to Faini, they now have a story to tell when they talk to their friends and family about their Team Huntress experience and the name attached to the story is Faini Designs.
Team Huntress also takes time during each event to highlight each of their sponsors and the benefit they provide for their customers. They also offer space on their Websites for sponsorships, which are year round marketing opportunities to expand your audience and build trust with your potential customers.
By attaching your business with stories that your potential customers connect with, you can begin building the trust necessary to acquire long-term, quality customers that can carry your business for a long time.
Look for opportunities to sponsor individuals who can participate in events like Team Huntress. Look for a story that can be shared by your potential audience and look for genuine businesses that can help you build trust with your potential customers.
Other Ways to Sponsor
As an outfitter, Dave Olsen knows that it’s difficult for outfitters to offer free outings for businesses who promise video time or reviews for the hunting experience. There can be lots of disappointment as expectations are not always met with such arrangements.
It’s for this reason that outfitters need to look for these opportunities to provide access to facilities and hunting property with quality and trusted organizations and businesses.
By establishing clear expectations for return on investment with trusted organization, there is a lot of opportunity to expand your audience by being a host outfitter.
Be a Host Outfitter
Hosting an event like Team Huntress provides great exposure for an outfitter who is looking to expand their audience. By hosting such an event, an outfitter can become part of the story that will be shared by all who take part in the event.
In the example of Team Huntress, Dave hosted an event at his property with Pheasant Phun Outfitters. Pheasant Phun has actually been named the most women-hunter-friendly outfitter in the United States and such recognition can mean business. Such recognitions can increase the level of trust between outfitters such as Pheasant Phun as he looks for hunters who are looking for comfort with a quality hunting experience.
Look for hunters who can provide experiences that include:
* Positive, but reputable reviews
* Potential repeat customers
In a situation like Team Huntress, there may be potential for participants to return (possibly with their entire family) if their experience through Team Huntress is positive. This would be an example of building a trusting relationship that provides return for the hosting business.
Hosting an event like Team Huntress provides opportunity for outfitters to market their businesses without providing cash for advertisements and the like. However, there are risks involved with hosting events since the investment of hosting hunters without cash payments is always risky.
Be sure to perform due diligence with organizations and businesses before offering to host an event. Once you’re sure you’re working with reputable and trusting individuals, work to make their experience a story that can be shared throughout the hunting industry and watch your audience grow as you potentially gain a larger audience and more trusting customers.
A final way for a business to fully embrace the sponsorship opportunity is to become a full sponsor with an organization like Team Huntress. Hunting businesses, especially those in the consumable arena (ammunition, targets, scent, etc.) can become involved with sponsorships and see great return on their investment.
In a situation like Team Huntress, participants are generally new to hunting or are looking to expand their knowledge of the sport and the outdoors. Through the event, participants get a lot of exposure to products like ammunition, for example. This exposure would be away for an ammunition company to build a trusting relationship with potential customers are they become familiar with the products. When the participants leave the event they will look for products from companies they can trust and are familiar with as they continue the participation with outdoor activities such as shooting.
The opportunity to become involved with organizations and events like Team Huntress can mean great reward for businesses. Look for organizations and individuals that look to build trusting relationships with their own audiences. Look for individuals that are passionate and serious about their craft. Passion is contagious and its passion that breeds the stories that customers share.
Opportunity to Reach Women in the Outdoors
When Dave contacted me he brought up an interesting point about the opportunity for businesses to reach a potentially underserved audience – women who are passionate about the outdoors, shooting sports, and hunting.
Team Huntress is filling a need for women who are looking to empower themselves and become more involved in the outdoors and activities such as shooting sports and hunting.
Is your business exploring the potential in reaching out and connecting with the eager women in the outdoor audience? Perhaps your business could be the one to fill a need like Team Huntress.
Another example of a company reaching out to build trust with the female audience is Harley-Davidson with Women Riders.
Acquiring new customers is difficult and as business owners we look to align our products with audiences and potential customers who have the highest likelihood of connection with our business. Acquiring new customers requires businesses to look at all options and there may potentially be a mutually beneficial option for your business and women in the outdoors.
Conclusion – Building Trust
There is opportunity for your business to connect with new audiences while building trusting relationships with potential customers through sponsorships.
The form of sponsorship can vary:
* Scholarship Sponsor
* Host Outfitter
* Big Sponsor
The goal of any sponsorship you consider is that the relationship with the organization and their audience should be about building trust.
Have you had experience with sponsoring events, outings, or other hunting businesses?
Please share your thoughts in the comments.
To contact Team Huntress about sponsorship opportunities:
Jane Keller Founder/Outdoor Concierge
18526 398th Ave
Hitchcock, SD, 57348
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Please note that no monetary, product, or service has been provided to Hunting Business Marketing or me (Dayne Shuda) for the writing of this article.