Sponsorship and Marketing
Disclaimer: While based on facts about drag racing, this page contains the personal views and opinions of one racer - Michael Beard
When conducting that all-important sponsor search, more than any other time, your racing operation is a business. You are in the business of advertising and marketing for your prospective sponsor, and when soliciting the potential sponsor, you are marketing yourself.
Be constantly aware that what your sponsor is most concerned with is promoting his business's image and improving sales. Approaching a sponsor with an idea for increasing sales will appeal much more to the owner or management of a business than "I need money to race". Moreover, the sponsorship you seek does not have to be monetary, and the businesses you approach should not be limited to those that are automotive related. Besides body shops, parts stores, and gas stations, it is a very good idea to consider restaurants and just about any other business you can think of. If you can use your racing operation to help a business improve its image and sales, you've got a prospective sponsor.
You should be able to show your sponsor a nice looking, well-kept car, and a record of both your racing and promotional achievements. Local and national press is easy to gain for you and your sponsors if you have a winning and/or unique team (and who doesn't?). The key to getting coverage on your team is go after it. It's highly unlikely that a magazine or newspaper is going to seek you out. Contact them when you have something print-worthy, and keep an eye out for special issues that are solicting article contributions.
Present a professional image. Set goals for the coming racing season. Offer to show your car at the sponsor's business. Give your sponsors regular updates on the team's performance and accomplishments. Show them where their business has received local and national attention because of your racing operation, and give them copies of the articles and race results. The more effort you put into promoting your sponsors, the more willing they will be to help you, and continue to do so.
And remember... it never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is no.
Copyright © 1996-1999 Michael G. Beard
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