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Old 12-01-2004, 11:36 PM
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Default TIPS ON GETTING SPONSORS

     

i was snooping thru dirt wheels and found this nice little topic for getting sponsors(caution:LONG!!!)

It’s no secret that much of the motorsports world revolves around sponsorship. There wouldn’t be such a thing as NASCAR, Indy Cars or Top Fuel dragsters if it wasn’t for the fact that companies like Goodyear, Pennzoil, and Pep Boys support the teams with sponsorship dollars and products.
Of course, there are certain forms of motorsports where the average guy can race without any help from sponsors. Dirt bike motocross, ATV racing, go-karts and street stock cars all fall into that category. However, if you’re really serious about winning in those types of competition, sponsorship can certainly help.

Basically, every sponsor you can get will help in two ways; your racing expenditures will be cut, and you should be going faster and looking better by using your sponsor’s products. All right, easy enough to say, but how does a local racer talk a sponsor into investing in his team?

WHAT SPONSORS LOOK FOR
We spoke with several ATV aftermarket companies and the most important thing that they look for when considering a sponsorship is what the rider can do for them. After all, none of these companies are in the business of just giving away products and money! The whole deal is, you have to sell yourself to a sponsor by convincing them that it is in their best interest to support you.

There are basically two types of sponsors ATV racers can pursue. First are local cycle shops and businesses that can gain from exposure at the race tracks in your area. With these types of sponsorship you have the advantage of meeting face-to-face with them with your proposals. The other type of ATV sponsor is the national aftermarket company that is usually located quite a distance away. In this case you’ll have to sell your racing program through the mail and on the phone. Let’s talk about local sponsors first.

LOCAL LEVEL SUPPORT
Nearly every one of us can recognize this scenario: we start our racing career by buying a quad from a cycle shop. We make lots of return visits to that shop to buy parts, oils and riding gear in preparation for our first race. This is when your quest for sponsorship should begin.

If you’re doing it right, by the end of your first season the guys at the shop should know who you are and where and when you race. They know this because you always fill them in on your racing exploits and tell them how much you enjoy their products and service. Discuss how serious you are about getting better results, how hard you train, and how good your quad and pit area looked at the races.

Show them some pictures of you and your machine. If you happen to be wearing a T-shirt or jersey in the picture with the shop’s name on it, well, you’re definitely on the right trail. Always try and be upbeat about your results and experiences and try to avoid any negative talk or blame (of course, there’s always room for constructive criticism on racing parts that don’t work as well as they should!).
All right, so you’ve put in a good season at the local track, and the cycle shop guys know it. Now is the time to look for some support from them for next year. Start by reviewing your past association with them—how much you like their service, products and image. Begin by asking if you could return the favor by working together with them for the coming season. Tell them everything you can do for them—prominent stickers on the quad and your hauler or pickup (graphics companies can custom-build stickers at a reasonable price), always wearing their T-shirt, jersey or jacket at the races, mentioning them as a sponsor at trophy presentations and in any local sports reports, and helping steer other racers to the shop by talking about their services and products.

At this point, the shop may make you a deal—for example, 20 percent off all parts, free oil and lube, etc. You may counter with "yeh, that sounds great but I could use a couple more T-shirts and jerseys too". Or sometimes they may simply ask "well, what do you want?", so be prepared with some proposals and chances are real good that you’ll walk out of there with a bonafide sponsorship deal!

However, if the initial answer is no, that’s when your salesmanship skills come into play. Begin by asking them why the answer is no and they may say "well, no one ever goes to the races" or "those guys don’t buy parts". Well, you know there were X amount of people there last week and the big race next month will be drawing X amount of racers and all these guys have to buy their parts, gear and oils somewhere, and it should be their shop, right? And what about all the people in town who see the quad and hauler and wonder if that’s something they would like to do? Or you may be giving a talk and demonstration about ATV racing at school or with the Boy Scouts, and so on and so on...

PIZZA BOWLS
Some ATV racers have been successful working with local businesses that have no direct connection to off-roading, such as restaurants, gas stations, bowling alleys, etc. You have to put forth a bit more effort to sell your program to these guys. Begin by putting together a complete resume (see details later in this article) and making contacts with the business owners. Having an "in" by knowing this person certainly helps (one of your pal’s dads or a friend of your own dad?). Explain how non-race related sponsors tend to stick out and be noticed more. Sell the fact that most of the people at the races are potential customers and that their advertising dollar can go a long way during the course of the season. Invite them and their family out to the races to join in on the fun of rooting for their team.

AFTERMARKET COMPANIES
The people who tend to provide the most sponsorship are the big ATV aftermarket companies like those you see advertising in Dirt Wheels. Virtually every one of them is involved to some degree in racing sponsorship. There are also ATV sponsorship opportunities from the various motocross gear companies like Scott goggles, Bell helmets, etc. To get support from any of these companies you will need to put together a resume.

We spoke to several of the people who make the final decisions on sponsorship and they offered a couple of key points on the subject. First off, all resumes should be typewritten and concise. Handwritten resumes generally go straight to the garbage can. A couple of good-looking photographs of the quad, the rider, and the hauler are also essential. What these sponsors are looking for is professional appearing and outgoing racers who will always put their product and image in a good light. They want you to be the rider that the up-and-coming racers look up to and will emulate by buying some of the same products.

Most of these companies have several different levels of support, for example Level 1 may consist of a 30 percent discount, Level 2, 50 percent and Level 3 100 percent. Unless you’re a top pro, plan on spending a couple of seasons working your way up the ladder (this is where feedback is so important, check last section of this article).

At some of the big National races, many of the representatives from these companies are in attendance. Find out who they are and don’t be afraid to go up and introduce yourself. Actually meeting them face-to-face can make a difference when it comes to handing out sponsorship.

RESUMÉS
Yeh, we know that resumé is kind of a scary word, but putting together a racing resumé can be fun. The key is to keep it short and to the point, make it easy to read, yet have all the information a sponsor is looking for. We put together a typical ATV racing resumé here in this article for you to pattern yours after. Just as important as the resumé is a second page of pictures. The key here is to start with great original color photographs and have them copied on a high-quality color copier. Two or three photos are plenty.

The key to getting a good still shot of your quad and hauler is to have the photographer get down low to the ground and close to the subject, filling up the frame. Always have the sun at your back and don’t allow any shadows from trees or buildings to ruin the shot. Try to have a scenic or clear background—no garages or junky cars. Take a whole roll of pictures from different angles and pick out the best one. If you have a good action shot from the races, include that as well.
Additionally, you may want to include a third page with your resumé of clippings from the local sports section, race paper or magazines about the races you attend or a brief description of any TV or radio time those events may have had.
And finally, send your resume in a large 8x10 envelope so you don’t have to fold it. Always use high-quality, thick paper. To save yourself some effort, make a quick call to the company you have in mind to make sure they offer sponsorships before you send in the resume.

FOLLOWUP IS THE KEY
Ok, so you got your sponsorship and now all you have to do is go out and race and have fun all season, right? Wrong! It’s your duty to keep all your sponsors informed of your progress throughout the season. If they’re local, call them up or stop by on a regular basis and fill them in on how you’re working to promote their company. If your sponsor is 2000 miles away, send them an occasional note thanking them for their support and letting them know how the races are going.

Always show up at the races with a clean quad and sharp gear. If another rider is interested in purchasing something from your sponsor, ask them to mention your name when they order. At the end of the year, send all your sponsors a signed photograph for their wall, or if you had a really good year a Thank You ad in the local racing paper will really impress them. If you follow all these rules, you’ll probably have all of your sponsors sign on for another year.

One final thing to remember is that even though a winning season is important, it’s not a do-or-die situation from many sponsor’s perspective. If you present yourself in a positive, professional manner at the races, are friendly with the other competitors, and give plenty of feedback to your sponsor, you can still receive support simply by giving a 100 percent effort every weekend.



i will get a "how to" for writing a resume if anyone needs to hone their skills or just flat out dont know "how to" like me hope this helps you racers out there.
ryan
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Old 12-01-2004, 11:57 PM
Aus_Rider_22's Avatar
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Default Re: TIPS ON GETTING SPONSORS

Awesome find there Ryan!

Here is an article I scanned from ADB's 2003 Riding Manual.



I reckon maybe a mod could make this a KB thread. Definetly great info in here for all riders looking for sponsorships at any levels of racing.
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: TIPS ON GETTING SPONSORS

maybe so. that would be so cool! one thing i would really like to see though, more of the younger riders in the youth and mini classes being backed somehow. focesed more on the littler tracks where the pros are made and shaped into what they are today. i know that if i knew i wanted to do this when i was a kid. i would be looking up to everyone who has made it to the top that has never forgot who, how, and where they came from. our generation is changing so much these days, it is time to get started on the lower ranks instead of all the PRO riders. one day, they wont be there, and someone like my son maybe the next Gust, Byrd, Ellis, or the guys in huvos and division 4. they should go out, find someone who has a good potential, family support and maybe a small sponsor like a food mart or something, and put them on the map. i just hope that the little guys/gals out there doing it now, will continue to strive to excellance as long as they can. thats why i posted this. i know there are some younger riders on here that are way to good to NOT be looked at by honda, yami, or any other big supporter. but if they make it to the top being a privateer with little to no support, i commend them!!! way to go early! ok this is getting long LOL
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: TIPS ON GETTING SPONSORS

i just noticed the last paragraph in the "how to keep them sweet" area. the sponsor keeps their riders in THEIR gear! ALBA had some pretty trick looking Troy Lee jerseys last year for some of their riders. i asked if i could getone but they only had a few made to see if it would work out. but they said that next year may be in the works to get me one. that would be so dam cool! but i think i would have to get the pants though LOL. does TLD make boots to, if so, it looks like an upgrade is or may be in the process LMAO
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: TIPS ON GETTING SPONSORS

Sponsorhouse.com is the way to go.

SponsorHouse
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Old 12-02-2004, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: TIPS ON GETTING SPONSORS

first off, only4strokes, welcome to the site. i hope that you will find everything you are hoping to find and more, as well as help others with your knowledge. feel free to ask for anything at all. someone here can help you find what you need or at least point you i a direction.

as for sponsor house, they have a good program there, but i feel that a good rider writen sponsorship and contacting your "wanting" sponsor, it shows some good professional level. helps in the long run i think.
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: TIPS ON GETTING SPONSORS

Yep, have to say I agree with Ryan. Although Sponsorhouse presents things in a very professional and does work, some sponsors may look at how far you have gone to get their attention.

I think the best piece of advice for a rider to have if looking for sponsorship is this;

" Think of what YOU can do for the sponsor, not what the sponsor can do for you! "
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Old 12-02-2004, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: TIPS ON GETTING SPONSORS

Quote:
Originally posted by TRXman86
first off, only4strokes, welcome to the site. i hope that you will find everything you are hoping to find and more, as well as help others with your knowledge. feel free to ask for anything at all. someone here can help you find what you need or at least point you i a direction.

as for sponsor house, they have a good program there, but i feel that a good rider writen sponsorship and contacting your "wanting" sponsor, it shows some good professional level. helps in the long run i think.
Well, thanks for the gracious welcome TRXman...it's appreciated. I'm here to help out in any way I can with anyone's questions and maybe hope to get my few answered as well. I agree with your comment on SponsorHouse.
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: TIPS ON GETTING SPONSORS

my hole concept on getting sponsors.. is to send out as many resumes as you can and hope for the best the worst thats going to happen is they will say no
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