Best Practices: Pitching to Win Sponsors


Mascot Sports’ Tim Cole offers his insights into how to pursue meaningful sponsorships that match up with your event.

OAKLAND, Calif. (February, 2019) – It’s been just a couple of weeks since Tim Cole represented Mascot Sports in the inaugural Run Happy Pitch Fest presented by Brooks Running at the 2019 Running USA conference in Puerto Rico, where Tim and the Bay Bridge Half Marathon were the judges’ top pick.

For those who weren’t able to be at the conference, the Pitch Fest offered three participants the chance to present to judges from Brooks and Nuun Hydration in a Shark Tank-style competition. With just 12 minutes to sell their events, the pressure was on.

Before a live audience, each presenter outlined what makes their event special and worthy of VIK sponsorship. It was an exciting event and each of the presenters was lauded by the judges. The Hartford Marathon Foundation and Savannah Sports Council also pitched events.

But only one could come out on top, and that was Mascot Sports. Tim (pictured) is the company’s VP of Events and presented a brand-new event, the Bay Bridge Half Marathon, that will be held for the first time on May 5, 2019. A sold-out field of 1,500 runners will traverse the recently upgraded pedestrian walkway of the Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco as part of the course.

“What if there was a way to show you the Oakland that you don’t know?” Tim asked the judges. “We have a way to bridge that gap and change the running industry – and it will only be strengthened with your involvement.”

He had their attention. And in the process of delivering the winning pitch, he also imparted some valuable lessons about how to make events of all kinds appealing to sponsors. Read on for those insights.


The Oakland renaissance – and running

This week we caught up with Tim for an hour as he took a quick break from nailing down final details for an upcoming Mascot Sports event. The young company, founded in 2017 by CEO Ryan Dawkins, is making a name for itself by focusing on the things that make Oakland an awesome destination.

And yes, contrary to outdated perceptions about Oakland’s culture and vitality, there are many.

When we asked Tim to tell us about the East Bay city’s running scene, he waxed prolific about the city for a good five minutes. In fact, at first he didn’t talk about running at all. He focused on the big picture: grassroots arts and culture, a trendy dining scene, affordability compared to the sky-high real estate costs in San Francisco, and of course, the legendary Golden State Warriors. Oakland has a strong sense of local pride, of overcoming a bad reputation, and emerging triumphant, unique and proud.

“We’re excited for the future and we’re in the best place we can be in Oakland. I love everything about 'The Town', and we love being the go-to event production company in the city,” he said of Mascot Sports’ future. 

With that background set up, who wouldn’t be eager to hear the next part of the pitch?

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Pitching to Win Sponsors
Pitching to Win Sponsors
Gain insights on how to nail your next sponsor pitch with this best practice guide featuring the experiences of Mascot Sports' Tim Cole in the Running USA Pitch Fest Presented by Brooks Running at the 2019 Industry Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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