Behind the Brand - Meet Meghan Gilmartin, Events & Sponsorships Manager at Pirelli Tire LLC, USA

June 27th, 2024

Meet Meghan Gilmartin, Events & Sponsorships Manager at Pirelli Tire LLC, USA. With a rich background in sports and events management, including stints with the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Diamondbacks, Meghan now drives Pirelli’s partnerships and events. Committed to sustainability and with a passion for the company and its culture, Meghan reviews countless proposals, offering crucial insights into what makes a standout sponsorship pitch. Whether you want to compete in the Rebelle Rally or seek sponsorship for another venture, her advice is essential. Discover more about Meghan’s journey and her top tips for successful sponsorships in our exclusive interview:

Could you share a bit about your background and your current role? 

I have a strong background in sports and events. While attending the University of Georgia, I worked for the athletic department in a number of departments such as promotions, marketing, and ticketing while also working for the football team in a recruiting and nutrition role. Upon graduating with a degree in Marketing as well as a degree in Sport Management, I went to Cincinnati to work for the Bengals. My leadership team there then recommended me for a Group Events role at the Arizona Diamondbacks where I worked for three years on events ranging from 20 people up to 30,000. When I came home to Georgia, I was excited to get back into events and was excited to start with Pirelli and work with them managing all of our partnerships as well as all events.

Tell us something that you love about Pirelli that many may not know. 

One thing I love about Pirelli as a company is our commitment to sustainability. Beyond producing high-performance tires, Pirelli is deeply invested in reducing our environmental footprint and promoting sustainable practices throughout our operations.

What I truly love about Pirelli as a culture is the people. Working at Pirelli, I have met people from all over the world and have experienced so many different cultures which I really appreciate.

Navigating the world of sponsorships as Pirelli’s Events & Sponsorship Manager, you encounter countless proposals. What, in your view, distinguishes an outstanding proposal? What elements make a sponsorship pitch truly stand out and be memorable for someone in your role? 

An outstanding proposal stands out when it aligns with Pirelli’s brand values and objectives. While we do get countless proposals, the ones that connect to our brand make me stop and consider the partnership. A proposal should demonstrate an understanding of our target audience and should demonstrate how the partnership will help us reach and engage with that audience.

A pitch that is memorable should incorporate creative ideas that go beyond traditional sponsorship formats and showcase a genuine passion for collaboration.

What are some DO’s and DON’Ts when it comes to submitting a proposal to a company? 

Do: Research the company thoroughly to understand its brand identity and objectives. Tailor your proposal accordingly to demonstrate how the partnership can add value to the company.

Don’t: Send a generic proposal without customizing it to the specific company or industry. Also, avoid making unrealistic promises or overestimating the benefits of the partnership.

What are some key factors you believe contribute to a successful (and enduring) partnership between Pirelli and its sponsored organizations/events? 

Key factors that contribute to a successful partnership are trust, mutual respect, and clear communication. Transparency about expectations and the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances are also really important to a partnership. Both partners should feel that their expectations are being respected and worked towards for a lasting partnership.

How do you weigh the importance of social media metrics, such as follower counts, against qualitative factors like authenticity, content quality, and engagement levels? In other words, can a strong voice and exceptional content offset a smaller social media following in sponsorship considerations? 

While social media metrics are important for evaluating reach and potential exposure, qualitative factors such as authenticity, content quality, and engagement levels carry significant weight in sponsorship considerations. A strong voice and exceptional content can certainly offset a smaller social media following, especially if it resonates deeply with Pirelli’s target audience and aligns well with our brand values.

For women aspiring to compete in the Rebelle Rally and starting from scratch in sponsorship outreach, what five “getting started tips” would you recommend to help them attract and receive support from companies? 

  1. Clearly define your goals and objectives for the rally and how sponsorship support can help you achieve them.

  2. Research potential sponsors that align with your personal values and the spirit of the rally. 

  3. Craft a compelling sponsorship proposal that highlights your unique story, skills, and the benefits of partnering with you. 

  4. Leverage your network and reach out to contacts within companies or industries that may have an interest in supporting female empowerment and adventure sports. 

  5. Be persistent, professional, and grateful throughout the sponsorship outreach process.

Why Rebelle? 

Rebelle Rally offers a unique platform for women to showcase their skills, determination, and teamwork in a challenging and empowering environment. Pirelli is proud to support events like Rebelle that promote inclusivity, diversity, and the spirit of adventure.

Lastly, any words of wisdom for our future Rebelles? 

Believe in yourself and your abilities. Embrace the challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth. Surround yourself with a supportive team and community. Stay focused on your goals, but also enjoy the journey and the camaraderie of fellow competitors. Lastly, always remember, you are capable of achieving remarkable things when you set your mind to it.

2023 4x4 Class Winners, Team #187 Limestone Legends, who competed on Pirelli SCORPION® Tires.