• Forum membership has its advantages....

This IS how to get sponsored

D4D

Well-Known Member
#1
This topic really crosses a lot of the boards here but there has been a lot of talk lately around this topic here so I thought I would post it.

How do you get sponsored?

To start, these are the things you do not do:

1) Do not make a cold call or send a cold email asking for sponsorship, every sponsor is different and has different plans, needs and objectives. You need to talk with a sponsor for a long time and in-depth to get an idea of what they are looking for so that you can cater a package to them. Your first contact should be an introduction and not a sales pitch.
2) Do not over sell yourself no matter who you are or what you have done in the past.
3) No not promise what you can not deliver, be realistic.

Now for what you should do:

1) Build a relationship with the company you are approaching, do not make it all about getting their dollars. Find out what they need and are looking for and also make a personal relationship, become friends.
2) Prepare a professional proposal, include a history of you, your team, your experience and so on. include what you are looking for, how much money do you want and then include what you are doing in return for that money.
Think this proposal through 100%, what can you really do? Do not over promise but build value into the package. A big misunderstanding that having a logo on a truck is enough, that is just the begining and in many cases is the least important part of the sponsorship.
3) Be prepared to negotiate, this is all part of the game. The sponsor does not want to undercut you but they will usually have a dollar figure determined before they ever speak to you. The key is providing them with their desires while also getting enough money to fund your race effort.

Know lets assume you get the sponsor, there are a few more things to keep in mind:

1) You built a relationship with them to make the deal, keep that relationship intact.
2) Go out of your way to provide more value then you promised, this will help for next years negotiations.
3) If you can not deliver, be it race wins or maybe you can not make it to an event. Be straight with your sponsor, it is a small industry and word spreads fast, you can not afford to have a bad name.


So why did I write this, what makes me an expert? I am the marketing manager at Bully Dog Technologies, we sponsor Casey Currie, Greg Adler and Josh Baldwin as well as the CORR series itself. I have worked in marketing around motorsports for 15 years. In recent weeks we have announced a lot of big deals and now I get the dumbest calls, emails, faxes (Yes, some jacka$$ faxed me his 1 page proposal :rolleyes: ) sorry if any of you are members here that have sent this crap and I have pissed you off. The off road motorsport market is blowing up, there are a lot of companies looking for the right deal and I hope that you can land one. I like you, want to see this all grow but for that to happen everyone has to be a professional.
 

tre5

Well-Known Member
#3
Hey, you wanna sponsor me? HAhahaha
 
#4
On the flip side, companies looking to get involved with racers and race teams should extend the same professional courtesy and also practice #2 and 3.
2) Do not over sell yourself no matter who you are or what you have done in the past.
3) No not promise what you can not deliver, be realistic.
 

Jeff Furrier

Well-Known Member
ADVERTISER
#6
I think I get the same faxes! I’m honestly always very thankful that racers think enough of our companies to consider us as a potential sponsors, but hate to say many proposals hit the trash before they get to a desk.

I recommend racers consider hiring someone to do the PR and hunt down sponsors; you may get way more back than you’ve invested. The reality is that many of the professional PR guys have sponsors lined up or at least have done enough homework to know who’s got money to spend. When we’re presented proposals, the first thing we want to know is if the team has professional public relations, or at least a dedicated team member or employee that handles the PR. It’s my experience that racers are too busy racing to properly handle the team marketing at a high level.

I was presented this program from Ken Schrader’s team last week; I think it’s a very sound concept and could work of off road racing. Read the article then follow the links. http://www.prwebdirect.com/releases/2007/12/prweb575314.htm
 
#7
I have been away from the sport a long time, but there are a lot of things the same. Are you marketable? What does your team look like? If you had money or a Company that was in the sport would you sponsor your self and why? To many people need the money to race with out anything to give back to a sponsor. When we got back into racing I knew it would take alot of effort and money of our own to get any help.YOU HAVE TO PROVE YOURSELF FIRST. We continue to look for help to make our team better and know it will take alot of work when it happens, not for the weak at heart.
 

450grl

Well-Known Member
#9
Thanks for a very informative post - I don't think there are enough of these around!!
 

D4D

Well-Known Member
#10
Robert is a good example of how to do it right, he is now being represented so that he gets the best package possible. But even before he made that move he represented himself very professional when talking with sponsors and always represented his sponsors well at events. he is also very loyal to the guys that have backed him over the years and that is very important.
 

zetapsi827

Well-Known Member
#11
What advise can you give to a new team? One that doesn't have much history or experience. It's hard to land a sponsor to just cover entry fees with a 2 man team. I understand what you're saying above though. Solving a customer's problem is one of the principles of business to business marketing. What else would a small team have to offer besides advertising though?

Also, what advise can you share on building relationships? the only relationship i've built so far is the one with the guy that works at my local autozone. (since i go there so much for parts) I never hinted to him about sponsorship, and then the other day he told me to talk to his boss about it out of no where. So i guess this is a starting point. Being a two man team, there's not much time to do some marketing work.
 

D4D

Well-Known Member
#12
What are things that you can or are willing to bring to the table? Exposure is always important but do you have other values, are you involved in other things that you can bring exposure to your sponsor, do you have skills maybe doing fab work when they need it on a project, can you do art, maybe build them ads?
Being new to the sport and a small team is not always a negative. Some sponsors want to be involved from the ground up with a team so that they can really make it seem like it is their team. Bully Dog has done this with Casey Currie to a certain extent but it is impossible to do with our other drivers because they have been around for ever.
Your experience at Autozone is what building a relationship is all about. With going out after sponsors it is a little different but it is along the same lines. You and the company both know you are looking for cash to go racing but do not make every conversation about that topic. Bring your personal life into conversations, ask them about their life, get to know them. Basically make friends with them. I will give you a perfect example. I have been pitched by a team for 9 months but we have become friends, we have gone to races just to hang out, gone drinking and all that. In the end they got our sponsorship becuase they made the effort and went out of their way to deliver what I am looking for. I understand that you do not have 9 months to invest but you still have to make the relationship. You can go to the races, any races and see some sponsors that simply watch from the skyboxes and are never part of the team. Maybe that works for some people but in the end most sponsors want to be a REAL part of the program and involved. They want to bring their bosses, clients and co-workers into races and have them see the marketing dollars at work and for those guests to get excited about the program.
 
#13
On the flip side, companies looking to get involved with racers and race teams should extend the same professional courtesy and also practice #2 and 3.
2) Do not over sell yourself no matter who you are or what you have done in the past.
3) No not promise what you can not deliver, be realistic.

i agree with robert 100 %
 

NittoTim

Active Member
#14
I couldn't agree more, companies are not just expecting you to run a sticker. Your ROI, return on investment, weather it be TV coverage, magazine editorial, magazine advertisements from other associate sponsors, additional sales of product, posting good reviews on RDC or other websites, promoting and being an employee of each of your sponsors 24-7.

Those are just a few things off the top of my head. ;)
 

TCPRacing

Well-Known Member
#16
Glad I am not sponsored.
Yah, don't be fooled...Sponsorship is not FREE money, you have to work hard for it. And in some cases, once you get what you have always wanted (a free ride on sponsors money) it takes the joy of racing and turns it into work.
 

jamminjeff10

Well-Known Member
#17
Yah, don't be fooled...Sponsorship is not FREE money, you have to work hard for it. And in some cases, once you get what you have always wanted (a free ride on sponsors money) it takes the joy of racing and turns it into work.
Today 16:37
This is why off road racing is what it is, you gotta have the money and really love to do it. Most desert racers race because that is what they want to do to get away from the daily grind, it's what they like to do.

Now on the other hand, short course is way more marketable, making it viable for teams to actually do it for a living. Anyone in short course that wants to do it for a living, it is alot of work. If you have the money to pay people, good for you, but if you are starting out, be prepared, there is alot of work to be done, both on AND off the track.
 

D4D

Well-Known Member
#19
That is one of those things that a sponsor does not care about. Here is the deal, while it may cost you $150,000 to go racing for the season you have to be realistic as to what it is worth to a sponsor. Most of the time unless you are a top team in one of the pro truck classes you are never going to get a sponsor to pop for the amount you need to cover that $150,000. There are very few teams in off road that do not have to pay anything out of pocket for a season. NASCAR is one of the only series in the USA where most teams are fully funded.
 

DezRacer25

Well-Known Member
#20
As a racer I don't have time to fully take care of a sponsor. Does anyone know of a good PR firm or two to help promote a very proffessional team.
 
Top