So you’ve read through several articles here and you’ve seen how much work we’re suggesting you do to position yourself for sponsorship deals. What should your expectations be? Well before you start putting together your Xmas list filled with all the free parts you plan to receive, let’s talk reality. Racing is expensive. You’re going to spend a lot of money, even with sponsorship, and even when doing low level amateur racing – especially if you’re just starting out. And if you’re new to racing you’re going to have a much harder time getting sponsorship deals. So plan on spending more money in the beginning while you learn the ropes.
The level of sponsorship you can expect to receive will depend on several variables – your: experience level, achievements, influence and following, type of vehicle, etc. If you’re just starting out you’ll need to set your expectations pretty low. Considering you’ve done all of the initial prep work to make yourself attractive to potential sponsors, you’ll still probably start out looking for price breaks and discounts on stuff you need in the beginning – fluids, plug wires, replacement parts, etc. If you have an extensive online presence via a blog and heavy forum activity, you might be able to score some free parts from companies who have taken notice, but most likely for lower dollar parts. But hey, savings is savings.
The bigger sponsorship opportunities will come when you’ve got some clout. Are you competitive in the series you’re racing in? Are you making a name for yourself in your region or in your relevant online community? Have you set any track records? Are you a contender for a series championship? Are you receiving tons of messages about your build updates and event write-ups on your blog and in the forums you’re active in? The longer your accomplishment list becomes, the more authority you appear to have, the better chances you have of landing some nice sponsorship deals. Even then you’re going to have to work hard to sell yourself and show how you can help bring each sponsor a return on their investment. The more you win and the more you build a following, the easier it becomes to show value to potential sponsors. That’s when the bigger deals become possible – free parts, heavy discounts, cash for event fees. But by that point you will have already shelled out a great deal of cash to fund your racing efforts.