SpeedTalk Store - Opinion Columns

Race Team Startup Advice

Questions on funding your team

Moderator: Team

Postby Matt » Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:14 pm

Here's 12 tips and ideas for everyone.

1. I have read about a dozen marketing and sponsorship books. The best two that I've read are:

The Great Money Hunt by Andrew Waite
Winning Sponsorship by Andrew Waite

Both of these books have a ton of valuable information and tips in them, and are a step by step manual to obtaining and keeping sponsorship. No B.S. is included in these books. It is the same soild principals used by top Nascar, Champ, and F1 teams. If you are serious about obtaining sponsorship, these are the books for you! I've read both these books many times and I still use them often for reference.

2. Another good resource for Sponsorship info is Ernie Saxton's website, www.saxtonsponsormarket.com There is a ton of free info, tips, and testimonials on this site. I am also a subscriber of his monthly newsletter. The newsletter keeps you up to date on the sponsorship world with press releases and articles from the pros, and is worth every penny of the $85.00 subscribtion price. Sometimes he runs promos on his website, and you can get it for as low as $60. Still, go and subscribe. You will not regret it.

3. Image, Image, Image - Everytime that I visit my sponsor I do the usual stuff; shower, shave, dress nice, make sure all my documents are organized. But just before I leave, I spend a few bucks and have my pickup truck washed. Why? Because I'm sure if I went there with it looking like I just competed in the Baja 1000 someone would take notice, and it would not reflect good on my image and character. Little things like this can make a huge difference. The sad truth is: Normally people with money will only want to do business with other people who have money. You don't have to be Mr. Moneybags, but at least you can look like it!

4. Email - I don't know if anyone has ever thought about this before, but everytime you send an email it records the exact Time/Date that it was sent. It is a small chance a sponsor will notice this, but what if you sent your email to them in the evening or on weekends. The sponsor might view the Time/Date it was sent and say "Man, this guy is a workaholic. If he's this determined, just think what he could do for my buisness!" Like I said, it's a very small chance that they will notice it, but you never know!

5. Promotional Handouts - This year instead of having made the big autograph posters that all the other teams have, I opted to have baseball type Trading Cards made. The Trading Cards are a hit with the kids and are a lot cheaper to produce. I also had Temporary Tattoos made of our primary sponsor's logo. The kids loved these too, and they were extremely cheap to produce - 1,000 for $85. The sponsor thought these were awesome as well! The Trading Cards and Temp. Tattoos were just another thing that set our team apart from the competition.

6. Graphics & Promotional - I've found that it pays to check around, get multiple quotes, and research testimonials before buying any Graphics or Promotional services and work. Some of these firms will screw you over in a heart-beat if you don't check around. They also have a certain lingo for terms in the business. Get to know the lingo so you sound more knowledgeable. To give you an idea, I called a local well-known website designer to get a quote for designing and maintaining our website. The quote was $1,700 per year. After that I called a local part-time website guy in my area. His price was $500! I went with the $500 guy, our website looks great and is updated every week. I also have custom artist renderings designed for our proposals. The renderings have pics of our equipment with the primary sponsors logo and colors. A lot of top pro teams do this. The first guy I called wanted $1,200 per image! Again, I went to a local part-time graphics guy and got a whole package of all equipment pics done for $200. Checking around will save you alot of money that you can put back into your racing efforts.

7. Talk to other teams - Many times people think that talking to other teams and racers is flirting with the enemy. On the track, Yes, but in the pits, No. If you honestly approach other teams and ask them for advise, most of the time they will help you. I have learned a lot from other racers and teams that have been doing this much longer than I have. Sometimes it's amazing how much you can learn from them.

8. Don't be afraid of making mistakes - This is a learning process. I will tell you even though I have had success, I have put literally ton's of work into it, and have still made many mistakes throughout the past few years. Even though I try to avoid mistakes, it is still going to happen. So get over it and learn from it.

9. Don't Be Stupid - I see so many racer's putting their whole proposal on their website. Proposal vampires are out there, and if your proposal is a good one, they will copy your proposal almost word-for-word. I've been a victim of them, and actually I've been a Proposal Vampire myself once or twice. Instead, just put up some marketing info, sport demographics, and your contact info. If someone is interested, they will contact you. I've also seen people put their sponsorships up on eBay. I don't think this is a good idea either. If you take notice it's about a 99.9% chance that someone will buy it. It's a waste of money, and shows for the most part a lack of iniative to go find the sponsor yourself. Plus, then everyone (your competitors in your series) will see your asking price and cut-throat you. All this leads to is poor business ethics. And the whole "Advertise Here" stickers on the side of your car are a crazy and out-dated method.

10. Race Results - To much emphasis is placed on results. Sure I know that your out there to win, but the chances are slim to none. That's why it's called racing! Place your empasis on a marketing program that drives the sponsors sales. Most sponsors that I've dealt with don't care what we placed results wise. They just want to see an increase in sales, period! It is more important to market and sell the product to the fans before and after the race. If you never win a race in your career, but can sell the sponsor's product, you will always have a sponsor!

11. Testimonials - Sponsor Testimonials are great to use in your proposals. I called one of our smaller sponsors the other day to see what he thought of our program so far. The month before I had done a promo/link for the sponsors product on our website. (the promo was not included in our original agreement) The sponsor said that because of the website promo, his website hits had increased over 30% and he was selling them so fast that he could not keep the product in stock! He was estatic and already commited to supporting us for 2008. He also said that no other team that he has sponsored had ever done anything like that before. - (Another small cheap promo lead to a sponsorship extention.)

12. Remember one thing - A business, marketing, or sponsorship plan is only as good as your actions and detication to pursue it. You can have the best plan in the world, but if you don't put in the long hard hours of work to make it happen, it is useless.

I hope these tips help you in your sponsorship pursuits. Good Luck out there!
Matt
New Member
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:05 pm

Postby racer24 » Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:59 am

This topic is excellent. I am a current atv racer and am 15 years old. This past winter was my first year of ice racing, in a 10 weekend series with two events each day (heat and a feature) I won my first time out and never finished a race worse then second. I ended up winning the points championship by a little over 40 points over second. This was pretty good for my first year. However, now this year i am wanting to get into a race car. I have been involved with stock car racing since i was about 4 and have worked on the cars in the pits and in different drivers shops. Now i feel it is my turn to get in and in hopes of someday getting to NASCAR, or somewhere close. I love the atv racing but really feel the need to get in a car to start my full time career. The car i am looking to run and the series will cost me about $20k for about a 15-20 race schedule. As you probably know, there is no way a 15 year old will afford this on his own, and i would also like to keep up the atv racing and shoot for another championship in a higher division. So now, what will i do. I am a very dedicated person to the motorsports world and greatly support it. I have done my research and have put together a professional proposal. I am very organized. I talk with anyone and everyone i can and take all the advice i can. I know it will take time but i do feel that by the 2008 asphalt racing season i will have a sponsor on board and will be on my way. I started this whole process about a year ago, doing research on different divisions and tracks and drivers. Then once i knew what i wanted i started putting together a game plan. MY goals, what i need, expenses and so on. I then went to the proposal, i spent about 4 months on a 7 page proposal that i still add more thigns to all the time. But my time,effort and research is starting to pay off. I had contacted many companies in the past 2 months. ONly five of them wished to see the proposal. BOOM, the fifth one i contacted started seeing possitive asspects immediatly. HE saw the good things that we would do for him. We talked about what we could do. This is only for a two state racign series but i want my sponsors to have as close of exposure to what the NASCAR ones do. If the deam is signed, we will be making appearances at different locations, bringing the company to the track, have the sponsor set up a product booth at the track, give out promotional material...well you guys know most of this but these are a few of the minor things of the many that we will do. But they did not come aboard yet but were sure interested and stated several times that they would like to come aboard as big as they can. They also did tell me to stop looking for other sponsors. This is how interested they are. This shows that if you put enough time and effort into it, it can work out. I only sent out 5 proposals and i have a sponsor interested in funding the team.

Ill keep you posted with more info.
I could quit racing anyday, however, today isnt that day and tomorrow isnt looking much better. I will never quit!!!
racer24
New Member
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:41 am

Postby Matt » Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:47 pm

Great. Sounds like your'e on the right track racer24. But, I will give you a word of caution. Never, ever, quit searching for sponsors, no matter what a company tells you. A deal is not done until you have the cash in hand, or at least a contract signed. I have seen many deals fall through at the last minute.

Also, beware of talking to a person who does not have the authority to make the overall sponsorship decision. Sometimes these people will get caught up in the idea and lead you on, when in reality, they never discussed it or got approval from their boss.

But, it sounds like you have a great plan and understand the overall sponsorship concept. At your'e age, you should be proud of the accomplishments you've acheived so far. While your'e learning first hand the rules of business and selling which will help you in a future career, most of your friends are probably sitting on the couch playing Xbox!

Excellent job and good luck.
Matt
New Member
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:05 pm

Postby racer24 » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:14 pm

Yes, i understand that. I am not going to stop, i am still searching everyday for more and more. The person i am speeking with is the Franchise Marketing President. We are getting in contact with the president of the company and looking to schedule a meeting.
Yes, most of my friends play video games or hang out and sit at home. NOOOOOOO WAY not me. I spend hours on the subject of racing. I spend time looking for ways to better improve my program and how i can better sell sponsorship. I am very involved in local racing and race track. IT is a dream of mine to be a NASCAR star someday and by god im going to do all it takes to get there. IF its a Friday night and a friend asks me to do something but i have a race planned, guess where i am.....at the track. I go around talking with many different people and try to get my name out there. I have a hunch that i will make it where i want to be someday.

Matt i sent you a pm could you please respond

Kyle
I could quit racing anyday, however, today isnt that day and tomorrow isnt looking much better. I will never quit!!!
racer24
New Member
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:41 am

Postby Jared H » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:42 pm

Great information ...
Jared H
New Member
New Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:47 pm

Postby stix818 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:52 pm

Thanks for the info Matt!! I've been looking into but scared to get my feet wet.
Hellbound Train Racing
stix818
Member
Member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:20 pm
Location: Quartzsite, AZ

Previous

Return to Sponsorship / Team Funding

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest