What came first, the chicken or the egg? You need sponsors for your car but you have to make the car attractive to potential sponsors in its current state. When it comes to figuring out how to get sponsored, having a popular vehicle platform that the aftermarket has latched on to will certainly make things easier. But even that is only one piece of the puzzle. Focus on prepping the car, and more importantly, your skills in the car, will play a major role in your chances. This applies more to racers than it does those looking to get sponsorship for car shows.
First things first. Do all of the maintenance and keep the car in top form. The car needs to be reliable. Get out the bucket and the sponge and wash it. Make sure the car is presentable. If you’re preparing for car shows, pay extra close attention to the details. If maintenance work needs to be done for the car to perform better, get that done and document the installations – avoid modifying the car too much right out of the gate, as you don’t want to land yourself in a high class where you won’t be competitive if you’re just starting out. Try and keep your car as close to stock as possible in the beginning. If it’s too late for that, hey, don’t worry too much. You’ll probably have a tough time racking up race wins in the beginning but you can focus your efforts in other areas.
Start a “build thread” in one of the popular make/model forums for your car to share the progress of your project, or better yet, create a blog and store all of your write-ups in one central location – most sponsors will expect you to have a blog (your own website) anyway. Then use the make/model forum as a place to share some of your installations and have people click over to your blog for more information. Documenting and sharing your build and your event coverage is going to be the foundation for everything you do to get sponsored.
Need some advice from the pros? Good news, you’ve got some excellent reference materials available to you from some accomplished authors/drivers. Pick a few that look interesting and read them!
Racing Books and Guides
Watch some videos on Youtube in your free time. Browse some of Rob Schermerhorn’s videos, as well as those from Hooked On Driving. You’ll find some awesome tips and techniques and hours of footage.
The old saying still applies – focus on the nut behind the wheel. Of course there’s nothing like seat time. Get out to the track and get some time in, preferably with an instructor – and please, listen to your instructor! The more you improve, the better results you’ll get at your events. And that makes it a whole lot easier to attract sponsors. Successful race events make you more influential in the eyes of potential sponsors. It helps you become an authority, someone others will listen to, someone who inspires others to follow in his/her footsteps. This will have a massive impact on your chances of getting sponsorship.
The reality is that sponsors want to have their name associated with winners. If you’re looking for sponsors for your racing efforts, you need to be a good driver. You will have a tough time landing any sponsorship deals if you have no experience and no results to show them. Practice, practice, practice! Sponsors or no sponsors, improving your driving skills will only make racing more fun and fulfilling. Put the time and energy into your preparation and you’ll be in the best position possible to attract some good sponsorship deals and do what you love doing at the same time.
Share Your Favorite Resources
What books, guides, and/or tutorials have you found useful in your quest to become a better driver? Post a comment below and let us know.