So again, it’s that time of the year where we are all looking for support and sponsorship to take us into another season of racing. But, there are clearly mistakes we are making, if not we’d be getting sponsors, right?
For the teams it’s time to have a rest, while the mechanics are set to spend time with family they haven’t seen for at least six months through their dedication to the sport. However, for us the media side of the team the work is still on-going. It’s time to find and secure sponsorship.
Sponsorship is a huge part of racing motorbikes, but it’s so hard to find in this current climate.
Getting the balance right
Getting the balance between yourselves and the business you are hoping will sponsor you is very important. I’ve seen many times a press release which states the company will be around for a whole three years, a year to grow and become noticed in National championship with another season in those to climb to the World championships in the third season for example. However, is this what the company in question is looking for? Will being in a World championship benefit them? It might benefit yourselves but without the sponsorship you won’t be there anyway! So make sure they will want to be in it for the long haul before sending them an email, letter or phone call.
It’s definitely hard because if you compare us in motorbike racing to such sports as Football we are an unfortunate small sport. However, the amount of investment in pretty big!
Often it’s all about getting the basic things right. Unfortunately due to budget issues in the sport, there are very often never a PR manager involved in the team which means the team manager is left to do all the cold calling.
Although one thing that comes to mind when I think about sponsorship is that you’ll be representing their company, so first impressions will count – just as they would if you were going for a job interview with a company.
Another thing, I’ve read plenty of sponsorship proposals which all state what the riders aim is for the season ahead. However, they haven’t asked what the company will be looking for from the sponsorship they hope to receive.
Obviously it is very important to let the company you wish to impress with all the good stuff you’ve achieved over the past season, but it is also very important that you don’t overload the sponsorship proposal with irrelevant information that the company will just skim over.. It is important that you ask what they are looking for from the sponsorship. It may just be a couple of free tickets, but it might be something entirely different which throws you by surprise..!
Make sure you sell the standard things before you mention the add-on’s like hospitality etc. The media and marketing exposure they will receive rather than the added hospitality for any weekend, because they might just think “why should I invest for just one weekend hospitality”, ultimately they could buy that cheaper if they wanted to!
You can also ask which is always more important than telling, it would turn your sponsorship proposal into a two way conversation, which means you’re more liking to get replies and interest about what you are offering. Asking how you can help develop the company is another way you can turn the proposal on it’s head and ask, rather than telling the company things they aren’t interested in!
The WeBuyAnyBike.com guys only know too well these mistakes riders make. However as 2013 Eurosport, Billy McConnell and Karl Harris sponsors they sure know when they see potential!