Racing Sponsorship 101...
An Evolving Guide of Sponsorship Tips for Racers
Tip #3: Forget the word 'SPONSORS' and Think about 'PARTNERS'!
'PARTNERS' ARE SO MUCH MORE VALUABLE THAN 'SPONSORS', this tip is all about getting you to CHANGE YOUR MINDSET AND YOUR LANGUAGE so that you will have a competitive advantage!
At RacingIn.com, the vast majority of racers we interact with are true GRASSROOTS RACERS. Many of them live and work in small towns where there are a certain number of business who might be potential sponsors and odds are, if there are more than 2 racers at your track, every business has probably been approached by most of the racers you compete against.
We also know that regardless of the size of a town or a business, most businesses have probably been approached countless times to sponsor something or someone at one time or another.
So, who cares... Racing is competitive, right? You're just as good, if not better, than anyone else, right? So BRING IT ON... Let's start COMPETING and find YOUR Competitive Advantage!
The USUAL First Conversation
An extremely predictable FIRST CONVERSATION with a potential sponsor might sound something like this:
RACER: "Hi there, I'm Jimmy Smith and I race over at XYZ Speedway every weekend and I'd love it if you might consider sponsoring me like you have Joey Johnson in the past!"
POTENTIAL SPONSOR: "Nice to meet you Jimmy... So, Why should I sponsor you instead of Joey Johnson?"
Take our word for it. Conversations like that take place HUNDREDS, PROBABLY EVEN THOUSANDS OF TIMES a year all across the nation! Here's how that conversation typically continues...
RACER: "I finished higher than My Rival last week and 2 out of the last 3"
"My Rival is great, but we're about to pass him in the standings and leave him in our dust"
UNFORTUNATELY, WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT, THOSE TYPES OF RESPONSES ARE THE FIRST INDICATION THAT THE LUGNUTS ARE LOOSE AND YOU'RE DESTINED TO LOSE A TIRE AS THE CONVERSATION TAKES MORE LAPS
BUT, it's alright if you've said those things... That's the natural response! Someone asked why you're better and the response just rolled off your tongue! Besides, by approaching them the way he did, Jimmy actually invited that question in return and set himself up to have to respond like this!
Here's where you get a chance to be different... to turn your FIRST IMPRESSION into your competitive advantage!
BEFORE YOU READ ANY FURTHER, HAVE YOU READ OUR LAST TIP, "What You Offer"?
If YOU HAVE NOT, then CLICK HERE before you go any further and get caught up so this will make more sense!
Alright, now that you're caught up, it's time to read on to see how you can establish a COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE in your first interaction, BEFORE you get labeled as 'just another racer looking for free money'.
A BETTER 1st Impression with a Built-In Competitive Advantage!
YOU: "Hi, my name is Jimmy Smith. I'm a local racer at XYZ Speedway and my race team has found some ways to help our partners meet new customers. Does meeting new customers sound like something you might be interested in learning more about?
See the difference? This introduction has VERY LITTLE to do with YOU & YOUR RACING and everything to do with finding out whether the person you're approaching has a desire to meet more customers.
Obviously, there are no guarantees that this will work, but we've seldom met a business owner who didn't have at least some interest in maybe meeting more customers.
ONE WARNING: BEFORE YOU USE IT, DO THIS!
Click Here to download this worksheet
BEFORE YOU EVEN GIVE THIS A SHOT, YOU BETTER MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY TO RESPOND AND CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION!
So, here's another worksheet to add to your sponsorship binder!
The key to this worksheet is that you have got to make sure that you can continue the conversation that we've outlined above with the partners you try to engage
As we've said, there are no guarantees that everyone you introduce yourself to will become a partner. However, if you're not able to quickly and effectively communicate how your race team can act as a bridge between your fans and their business, your chance of success is much lower!
PS... IF YOU'RE CONFUSED ABOUT THIS STEP, CLICK HERE to go back to the first tip where we outline these 4 tasks that you should be able to accomplish for your partners.
Once you download and complete this worksheet, you'll be able to answer when you hear this:
POTENTIAL SPONSOR: "Well, I'm always interested in finding new customers, tell me more about how you can do it!"
AND THAT'S WHERE THE FUN BEGINS!
GOOD LUCK... We'll catch up in a couple weeks with our NEXT TIP!
In the meantime, feel free to send us your feedback directly at this link, or simply leave your thoughts, a suggestion or two or any other comments below!
Remember.... This Sponsorship Tutorial will evolve with another tip every couple of weeks from September of 2014 though February of 2015. If you don't want to miss one, make sure you sign up to receive them all directly via e-mail.