After writing a few entries walking you through the process of prepping for sponsors, I figured it would be a good time to create an introduction to the series. If you take anything away from this guide it should be that preparation is key in all of this. Yes, achieving race wins, or at least high finishing positions, is very important. Very few companies want to sponsor a car/driver that doesn’t have a winning record. Having a charismatic personality would certainly help immensely, as you will be acting as a sales person of sorts. But neither of those things will matter much if you don’t build up your online image and reputation first.
What to Expect From This Car Sponsorship Guide
In this series you’ll learn how to put yourself in a strong position for sponsorship interest through your online participation. I’ll walk you through tips on developing a strategy and where to focus your time and effort. The general idea is to build up an online reputation/portfolio via blogging and being active on <"/prepping-for-sponsors-step-4-spread-the-word/">forums and social media before you start contacting the companies who you want sponsorship from – you need to establish yourself as an “influencer” – someone people recognize and respect in the communities you are part of. For instance, if you own a Mustang and are looking to race it, you would spend time talking about your car and your racing events on popular Mustang forums, social media outlets like Facebook and possibly even LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as blogging about it all. What this does is builds a brand around you and your car, while at the same time, creating a an audience within the target market of the sponsor. This strategy might not guarantee sponsorship in itself, but I’ve seen it work very well for others, and have used these strategies myself to get free parts and heavy discounts over the years.
Don’t expect companies to throw money at you. It’s not easy to land sponsorship deals and you will have to show the sponsor some obvious and measurable benefits to sponsoring you and your car. They will want to see a plan for how you will bring them more business. Competing at events with spectators (and placing well) is what they expect you to sell them on, as that’s the traditional pitch for sponsorship. You’ll need to do better than that old tired sales pitch. How can that really bring them more business? You need to show them that you have a following, and the best place to build a mass following these days is online.
Depending on the feedback I receive on these entries I’ll do my best to keep adding more information to help you learn more about what sponsors are looking for. If you have any questions on this series or would like me to write more about a certain topic, please send me a note.