Racing Sponsorship 101
An Evolving Guide of Sponsorship Tips for Racers
This Tip Presented by
Tip #2: Don't Start Looking for Sponsors Until You Know What You Can Offer Them!
You've gotten the 'Thank You's' from last season out of the way (Tip #1) and it's time to look at next year.
For many racers, the first step to finding new sponsors is to just start sending Facebook messages to random companies whose pages they like. Messages that say something like, "Hey, I'm Joe Smith and I'll be competing for my track championship next year at Ye Olde Speedway. Do you want to come on board next year!?"
YES, we've received messages like that, quite often actually, and here's the response we usually send:
"Thanks for reaching out to RacingIn.com and we're glad you found us, but what in the world does, 'do you want to come on board' actually mean?"
Oddly enough, we almost NEVER get a reply to that and that's one of the observations that led us to developing this evolving sponsorship tutorial. We believe that if every racer had a better understanding of exactly what sponsorship is and how you can benefit your sponsors, you will have a better chance to find more sponsorship and then have more money to spend on your car!
Sponsorship... It's about what you offer THEM!
If you really want to develop new sponsorship, you need to be able to answer this question:
What can I offer to sponsors as ways of exposing THEIR brand, communicating THEIR message, showcasing my support of THEIR business and introducing people directly to THEIR products or services?
One word is the key throughout that question... THEIR
You see, as much as the act of RACING on the track is all about YOU versus the competitors, Sponsorship is actually all about THEM, your sponsors! If you want to earn real sponsorship support, you have to be able to tell your prospective sponsors exactly how you are going to EXPOSE, COMMUNICATE, SHOWCASE, and INTRODUCE their business and their message to your fans.
Click Here to download this worksheet
So, here's where you get to learn by doing!
If you're really focused on doing this, then download the worksheet and print it out so that you can maintain an ongoing sponsorship binder and stay organized as you develop your program and seek out more sponsors!
To get stared, here are some definitions to think about as you fill this out:
EXPOSE: This is simply the process of getting the logo or name of your sponsor shown visually
COMMUNICATE: This is how you spread the messages about your sponsors business that they need spread to help grow their business
SHOWCASE: These should be ways that you can SHOW OFF your sponsor's products or services.
INTRODUCE: How can you play an active role in actually getting race fans (and maybe even other racers) to interact with your sponsor's product, services, or into their place of business?
We'll get you started with one for each and maybe that will help you understand the task a little better.
EXAMPLE 1: You can EXPOSE sponsors by putting their logo on your race car (Yeah, this is the most basic thing you can do... and believe it or not, most of hte actual sponsorship proposals we ever get ONLY have this on it!) Spend some time thinking about where else you can put your sponsor's logo that race fans and other racers will see it.
EXAMPLE 2: You can COMMUNICATE a sponsor's message by putting a coupon on a hero card you hand out
EXAMPLE 3: You can SHOWCASE your support of your sponsors by mentioning them whenever you are talking to people at the track
EXAMPLE 4: You can INTRODUCE race fans to your sponsors by actually putting their product in their hands for them to try it! (NOTE... this is by far the MOST CHALLENGING list to come up with... so, we're leaving a comment box below for people to help out!)
Now, it's YOUR TURN to see what you can do
We're going to leave this tip right here and the next one will take this to the next level where you are able to now take that information and use it to reach out to prospective sponsors.
The bottom line is this: If you go to a restaurant, you can't order unless you have a menu to look at. If you approach a sponsor without a list of the ways your racing can help grow their business, you're like a restaurant without a menu.
GOOD LUCK and we'll catch up in a couple weeks with our next tip!
GROUP PROJECT: As this tutorial continues, we want to use some of your actual ideas in future lessons. Please, offer at least one comment below not just for us, but for the benefit of all the racers reviewing these tips!
Format your comments something like this: I can _________ my sponsor by _______________
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.