We will keep reminding everyone that it is as hard to place sponsorship as it is to find it. Remember that fact when considering and crafting your approach but there are some fundamental things you need to think about, do and factor into your sponsorship finding plans. we are often approached by parents of young karters, and young riders and drivers starting out on their career in motocross, circuit racing or any type of motor racing… the biggest hurdle is always budget, always the need for sponsorship.
sb:mktg is a retained design, branding, marcom and motorsport sponsorship activation agency who identifies and secures sponsorship opportunities for teams, rights holders, organisers and brands… sb:mktg plans and implements a sports marketing and sponsorship activation strategy that delivers for all stakeholders and meets the brief. But, for those just starting out with the desire and determination to be the next MotoGP or WEC World Champion here’s a few things to consider:
Know your subject.
We’re not suggesting you don’t know your own business – be that what you’re racing, where you’re racing or what championship. What we mean by this is know how your involvement fits into the motorsport world. A potential sponsor will want/need to know about, and understand, the environment, locations, support races/activity, the fans … and a lot more besides. Bear in mind a potential sponsor may not be aware of your type of racing and they might not be motorsport fans themselves! Remember on of the big reasons they would sponsor you is to get more people seeing their brand… so, if a potential sponsor asked you how many spectators and/or viewers saw you race last season could you tell them and back it up with real data?
Do your homework.
Research the the potential sponsor’s business. Have they been involved in motorsport before – if so; how, when and where? Try and put yourself in their position and think about why this might be of interest – are their competitors sponsoring motorsport or using motorsport to promote their brand? Think about what you can’t see and what you can see: If the potential sponsor you have identified isn’t sponsoring sport ask yourself why and try and answer this question in your proposal.
Think about the sponsor.
What do they want? It could be a whole range of things but let’s take it they want the basics – ultimately they want to drive business to their shops, stockist, dealers or website. How they achieve this depends on their marketing plans and how you support their motorsport [although this applies to any sport or entertainment sponsorship] sponsorship activation and make yourself a valued marketing asset, brand ambassador and catalyst for marketing activities that will extend to providing social media and video content and may extend to on and off track experiential and fan engagement marketing where you will be the ‘main event’ so you will need a strong understanding of the brand and products/services you will be representing.
Pick your time.
Is there a right or wrong time? The wrong time is when you have run out of money – we get calls all the time from riders, drivers and teams who are desperate for budget and ask us to find them sponsors with days or weeks to go before the beginning [or end] of a race season. Really? What are you thinking? …how long does it take you to prep for the first test never mind the first race and you think a brand can jump through a burning hoop and integrate your project into their marketing plans and redirect budget and devise sponsorship activation and get brand manager approval for the livery and sort hospitality and notify their contacts and do a press release and secure images for website updates and brief their social media and marketing communications agencies?
It’s all about the power and relevance of your proposal to the brand you are approaching [remember your homework] and take the time to compose and tailor your proposal to the needs of the sponsor; not your needs.
Plan your sponsorship proposal and presentation.
Think about how you present yourself and the value you bring to the opportunity …. and remember it takes investment to find investment.
Preparation. Apply the same care and attention to detail you would when building an engine. Spend time and money getting your proposal right, you have to be proud of, and confident in, what you produce and you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. Your proposal demonstrates how you go about the business of motorsport and the importance you place on marketing – this alone will put you on pole. Ideally you have an agency like sb:mktg to do all this for you but if doing this yourself here are 10 top tips to follow:-
No ‘death-by-powerpoint’ – don’t have 500 slides when 5 will do the job
Don’t over design your presentation and include special effects
Don’t over promise and set the bar too high for yourself
Be honest and accurate about the data and stats you include – i.e. spectator or TV/online viewer figures
Show clearly what your marketing assets can provide – PR, fans, followers and web visits etc
Don’t try and apply a brand to your car, bike or team unless you are an expert in livery design
Don’t try and be a marketing expert… remember you are the ‘racing’ expert
Don’t suggest this is for one season – show how the opportunity can grow
Don’t cut corners and get input from trusted friends
Don’t send it without spellchecking it and checking names, titles and contact details
If you would like sb:mktg to be involved in your motorsport program please get in touch here