Well it has been a while since I posted. Here is the update.
I didn't make my deadline of six months. But I am making a lot of progess, and learning more and more each day about the "business" of racing and our industry.
Through persistance and hard work I have found 10 marketing partners for the 2006 season. We will be starting our series in a few weeks. Our team is now 100% funded, and I will be spending nothing this year out of my own pocket!!!
During my sponsorship search I have also found another 14 major prospects that are interested in our team for 2007!
In case anyone is wondering (and I'm sure you are), in order to obtain these partners I followed the following steps.
Start by making a list of companies that seem like a good fit for your team, sport, series, audience demographic, etc. Then do research on everyone of them. When I say research, I mean checking out their website, reading their press releases, visiting there business if possible (just to do some recon), and always reviewing a financial report on their company. You can find most major companies financial reports online. My favorite site is Hoovers Online.
After it looks like a good prospect, just start calling!!! If they requested a proposal, I sent them one.
To obtain our 10 marketing partners for the 2006 season, I had made over 400 phone calls and sent out over 100 proposals. My total cost for everything was $1,200. That includes proposal cost, shipping, phone bills, fuel for travel, etc. Not to bad, considering that we are now fully funded!!!
And in case anyone wants to know, we haven't started our season yet and I am already working on 2007 proposals and prospects!!!! For 07 I am looking to expand enough that I will be able to quit my full-time job and run my team for a living.
I want to emphasize one last thing. A lot of racers complain about not being able to find sponsors, but how many racers out there are supporting the companies that do sponsor racing?
I make it a regular habit now, that if I am going to make a purchase of something, I will purchase from the company that supports racing regardless of price differance. I then call the company and talk to the marketing department. I tell them that the only reason I am buying from them, instead of XYZ corp., is because they support racing and I have seen their race car, and I also own a race team.
This does a few things. 1. ROI - It tells them that their motorsports marketing program is working and providing a return on investment!!! 2. Low Key Threat to Business - It tells them that you are an avid race fan, you care enough to call, and regardless of brand-loyalty you will buy from someone else if they quit supporting racing. 3. Ice Breaker - It gives you a great way to open a dialog about your racing efforts, marketing successes, and build a relationship with someone in the company's marketing dept. for future endevours.
The reason why I am saying all this is, It Is Important! I just did this the other day to a company, and now they will be joining us as an associate partner this year, and we are already discussing a bigger commitment for 07!!!
Good Luck In 06 Everyone!