Affiliation and Sponsorship – Working out the Good from the Bad!

ShadowForgeArani here today to give you the low down on affiliation and sponsorship. As community leader of the Elite Academy, a business owner, content creator and marketing professional I wanted to help you work out the best way to get money from companies and so I’ve written this handy guide to affiliation and sponsorship.

1. Affiliation vs Sponsorship – What’s the difference?
When looking for brands to work with, you need to understand the difference between affiliation and sponsorship.
Affiliation is defined as follows: the relationship between two companies that are officially connected to each other.
Sponsorship is defined as: the act of providing money for a television or radio programme, website, sports event, or other activity in exchange for advertising

As you can see that sponsorship you are paid to advertise whilst affiliation is about forming a relationship with the company at hand and getting something mutually exclusive as a benefit.

2. What does a Sponsorship deal look like?
Sponsorship deals take many forms. You may have seen your favourite YouTube creator do a video sponsored by a beauty brand or a company for one or two videos. The chances are they were paid a small amount of money to mention the products, brand and more as a form of advertising whilst doing their content. This is what a sponsorship deal generally looks like, the company you approach or approaches you will have an understanding of your content, the type of content you produce and be genuinely interested in supporting your brand whilst getting some free advertising.

There is also usually a contract with strict terms and conditions. Some sponsorships may also give you free equipment to trial or showcase or products about to hit the market. As you can imagine these are what many successful streamers build their content on as additional income from the usual subscribers and so forth.

3. What does Affiliation look like?
Affiliation has more forms than sponsorship but have less of that personal touch with you as a brand. Many companies use mass marketing to try and get those involved. “Buy our product, get a code for others to get discount, sell a certain amount and get rewards.”

These companies usually mass market this deal and will target anyone who wants it. Popular companies to do this are energy drinks for streamers and esports for example. Other companies send out mass marketing messages to content creators or streamers and those who fit into a certain demographic. They’re indiscriminate and in most cases, they get more out of it than you do in terms of the relationship!

4. How do I get the right sponsorship/affiliation for me?
Research. Research is key into working out if you want to work with various businesses. Secondly its also about networking. Sometimes you have to make that first step. An enquiry email, a cheeky tweet or getting your community to rally round and help promote you for a brand are all ways to help.

To help make it simple I’ve created a checklist of things for you to do when deciding whether to work with a brand or not:

Ask Questions – If you’re approached out of the blue ask companies/brands questions, what do they like about your content? Have they got examples of things they liked? Why do they want to work with you in particular? These answers can very quickly give you an idea if they’re mass marketing or sought you out in particular.

Read the terms and conditions – This is hugely important. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Check the requirements of the agreement to see if you get equal input/output or enough that you benefit. If you’re also not sure talk to someone you can trust about the offer or seek legal advice.

Get in touch first – If you have a company/brand you would love to work with send them an email or a DM and ask to get in touch. Sometimes start-ups would love to work with creators to help advertise their brand. Business is about trade-offs and getting the most out of a situation. You’ll get rejections but it can also be an indicator to see what it is you need to do to win future deals!

Check they align with your brand – I cannot stress this enough. You do not want to work with products that have no association with your content, you or your brand. It can actually reflect badly on you more than the other company. Just because you get money off for shifting X amount of goods doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for you. It’s okay to say no to a brand it shows you have integrity.

Research – I also cannot stress this enough. Research the company or brand you’re working with. Check their social media, look for news articles that may have public backfire, especially in the wake of current social media events regarding harassment and similar offenses. Also look at other streamers working with the brand. Would you like to be associated with them?

Finally, DO NOT be greedy – If you are lucky to get a sponsorship deal, do not be greedy if you’re offered products. If you’re partnered with a big tech brand such as Elgato, don’t go asking for everything on their product line, pick 1-2 items that can really benefit your stream to advertise. They may offer more and then you can take it. But nothing says red flag than a greedy monster wanting all the free stuff!

So there you have it! If you have any questions about affiliation and marketing simply hit us up in the discord server!

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