All the preparation you’ve done to make yourself attractive to potential sponsors – setting up your blog, participating on forums, attending and documenting several events, building relationships in the make/model community and racing community – it’s all been leading up to this point. It’s time to submit some sponsorship proposals. Outside of the potential rejection you will likely face, this is the easy part.
Hopefully by now you’ve already talked to some of the companies you’ll be requesting sponsorship from in various forums and/or at events. It’s always best to have some sort of basic connection set up before sending a sponsorship proposal. The better the relationship you have in place, the better your chance will be of landing a deal. Give the potential sponsor a call and talk to them, get to know their needs and talk about their products before you send over your proposal.
Sponsorship Proposal Templates
Several sites out there will want to sell you a sponsorship letter template. The reality is you don’t really need one. If you spent your time doing the necessary prep work for car sponsorship, the letter itself will be no big deal. You can find a sponsorship proposal template like this one on Scribd that will do just fine. The key is to make sure you spell out what you’re looking for in the deal and what you can bring to the sponsor in return.
Here’s a short checklist of what should be included in any sponsorship proposal request:
- Self Introduction – a brief summary of you and your racing effort plans
- Racing Effort Plans – more details about the series you plan to race in and goals
- Why You Chose Them – your chance to gush about their products or services
- Value You Will Bring In Return – talk about your blog, your forum participation, and other prep work – focus on ways you might be able to reach their target audience better than them
- Mention Current Sponsors – if you have other notable sponsors on board, mention them
It’s critical that you talk a lot about your online efforts since a large part of what you’ll bring to the table is online exposure. This may not seem like a big deal to you since talking about your racing efforts online is something you do anyway, but think of it this way – aftermarket parts companies don’t always have the time or resources necessary to heavily promote their products in all markets online. The more you show you can reach that audience for them, the better shot you have of getting free parts from them. It’s much cheaper for them to throw some free parts at a sponsor who is talking about their parts in forums, on a blog, on social media, etc than to spend money on advertising in that market.
The most important part of all this is to sound confident and professional, not desperate and starry eyed. You will be providing a service in return for this sponsorship and there is a lot of responsibility that goes along with that. You’re not asking for free money or free parts. You’re asking to partner with this sponsor to help bring them more exposure. The more you sound like you understand that you will be acting as a brand ambassador, a product advocate, an extension of that company’s marketing department, the better you’ll be positioned for their sponsorship dollars. If you’re like me, this will make you choose your sponsors carefully. Nobody really wants (or should want) to represent a company they don’t believe in.
We found a video on Youtube, though not specific to car sponsorship, that might give you some more good ideas:
Once you wrap up your sponsorship proposal, and have included your contact information, send it to your contact at the company you’re hoping to get sponsorship from – even if they aren’t the person making the decision. It’s always a good idea to have them look it over, give you some feedback, and forward it on to the person who will make the decision. You can follow up with the decision-maker later. Keep in mind that larger companies will receive tons of sponsorship requests. It might take some time for yours to get through and actually read. And timing is important as well, as marketing budgets for larger companies are typically planned and executed on towards the end of the year.
If you have any tips, advice, or stories of success obtaining car sponsorship, send us a note. We would like to add these contributions to our site to help our readers.