Whether as driver or a championship, you are always looking for sponsorship. It doesn’t matter if you are a highly paid F1 world champion or Formula E team or a small fledgling championship, sponsorship and financial investment is a vital part of your life.
More time is to be spent on attracting sponsors/investors/partners than any other single activity in motor-racing and your championship or team or you are a brand that has commercial value and which must be protected from adverse comment, whether poor performance or non-payment of bills or off-track sponsor-adverse events. It is the commercial value that is your key to a successful and well sponsored race, but that also involves communication to people who can invest in what you have to offer.
We aim to get you into someone’s boardroom every day for consideration, but that means knowing what you’re selling. The truth is that no-one can get you into a targetted and effective boardroom every day, but we can work at a high standard and if you’re working efficiently with us, between us we’ll find you sponsors or tell you why you’re not getting them. In many cases, a bad payment record and a reputation for chaotic administration is enough to scare off a sponsor however slick the raceday appears to be and that is because they’re associating their name with you. If you are leaving a trail of debt behind you or have done in the past, or you have a non-race
life that has adverse publicity associated with you, sponsors will be happy to talk to you to keep their options open, but they’ll never put their hands in their pockets.
So many times we’ve heard the same story
“I keep finding sponsors who are really interested but I just can’t close them”.
In reality, there’s a reason why a sponsor who has shown interest won’t pay you and it’s to do with protecting the sponsor’s reputation. It may also be that the sponsor is not convinced of the benefit. If you are serious about getting a company to pay you for your sponsorship, then our brand reputation management can help.
This also means giving something valuable back to your sponsors and it should be your goal to have no white space on your calendar.
We meet lots of drivers who can turn in a pretty good lap time and are getting good results in the gym but they suck when it comes to generating money to go racing. We meet championships that have huge potential but you only need to turn up on the day to see why sponsors are not flocking in. You can have the greatest facebook following, but it won’t generate a sponsor unless every box is ticked.
And that includes NOT using email for the first approach. It makes us cringe when we see the cheap looking proposals that even promising championships send. Most people have no idea how this looks against those other high quality glossy proposals the companies would have received from other people seeking sponsorship.
And if you want to lose a sponsor, or potential sponsor, then there is a simple recipe:
a) Write short texts to them, often misspelled or in poor English….and we don’t mean poor English because it’s not your native language, we mean poor English because it’s rushed and not read properly. We have hundreds if not thousands of texts from drivers, teams and championships that have been sent but where we can’t actually understand what they’re saying or asking for …..from native English speakers.
b) On race day, be rude to anyone. If you’re busy and stressed administering on raceday, then do it entirely behind closed doors and get someone else to do the front on house job. They don’t need to be an expert on the sport as long as they know enough. Bernie Ecclestone started out as a second-hand car salesman who ran a small team, but whilst ruthless behind the scenes, he always had time for people, even the little people. If he was passing a marshall, he’d say “Hi – you’re doing a great job, and I thought I’d just tell you so. Have a great day”. It took him less than 10 seconds. If there was a dispute with the drivers, he’d step in for and try to resolve it and it he couldn’t he’d take it up later with the officials and let everyone know what he’d suggested, why and what the official response was. It was this attitude that built him an billion dollar empire.
c) Don’t pay your suppliers ….it gets back to sponsors who monitor financial risk alerts and when they see that they’re sponsoring someone on those risk alerts, they panic about their reputation.
And Bernie never passes a sponsor without speaking to them, and they pay him increasing sums because of it.
When you get a No! you’re not getting a No, you’re getting a “We Can’t!”. You’ll hear every reason under the sun for why they couldn’t allocate some of their budget for my racing, but in essence they’re saying one of three things, either “We don’t sponsor racing” or “Your reputation sucks!” or “Give me something of some value which doesn’t risk my reputation!”. There are sponsors happy to sponsor someone who always comes second because they’re brilliant in front of the camera or microphone, all over twitter and facebook and always friendly with everyone.
If you strip down what most people offer, it’s little more than stickers on the car and banners and an occasional bit of hospitality. Why would anyone pay tens or hundreds of thousands for that?
One of the leading sponsorship coaches says “To get your head around sponsorship I want you to imagine that the business world is run by leeches. Not humans but leeches.”
He’s right. The owners of companies want to extract and suck out the blood (money) from the market and provide consumers with a valuable service or product that looks impressive and so consumers pay their bills. Others are more giving and charitable but again, they are fulfilling a genuine agenda or goal. Sponsors are always desperately seeking something that is important to them.
We identify a limited number of companies that might fit your profile and find out what they want, their goals and their needs and we design how your motorsport ‘Product’
will help them achieve these goals and then we carefully communicate what you have in a high profile package straight to the right person and get their feedback. (If you have made a contact, it’s always more impressive to have your “agent” contact them because that’s what the people who have already made it do). As agent we can communicate the message that you’re not after ‘mere sponsorship’, you are helping companies grow through sport. You cannot just sell a sticker on a car or a banner on the roadside or an advert in your livestream and expect it to pay for your budget.
To pay you a large amount of the sponsors hard-earned money you need to offer something that they ‘Desperately Want’, plus you need to convince them that you are the best route to getting it. £10,000 pays for a lot of conventional advertising or facebook or google advertising, so you need to show that you can offer more.
The business world is a very unstable and competitive place right now. It’s hard work and however good you may be at meeting people, it’s a hard world where a poorly written email or text says “I’m sloppy about business and I’ll put your reputation at risk and there is probably a storm around the next corner.”
So in order for you to get sponsorship you need to prove to a company that you’re not a reputational risk either directly to them or by being financially unstable, that you’re organised and well administered, that you can race or run a proper event, that they can bring guests etc and you’ll treat them properly as VIPs, that they will benefit big time if they invest in what you are offering them, that it’s a quick return, that their money will be used to enhance your performance and not to pay off old debts so that there’s nothing left to run current events and improve things. You must supply your sponsor (client) with the following a) the ability to generate more Money and b) the ability to generate more Clients.
That’s all you need to do. You need to show them a strong business plan that uses Motorsport to earn them more money and/or more clients and expect a sponsor to ask to see your business plan and the books to date. Most marketing is digital and a company would prefer to spend £50,000 on facebook advertising or in webpage adverts than a sticker for race cars and around the track. People only really remembers the sponsors on the side of a car or track if they’re really rememberable. Create a fanzine or fan membership site and push adverts with your updates and your sponsors will love you.
At Motorsport2.com, we:
- ……can give you many more ideas.
- ….. handle all of your paperwork ensuring everything looks really professional
- ……and we handle access by Sponsors to material for their advertising
- …and being from business, we know what works in an annual report
- …..and we know about corporate hospitality and after dinner speaking and how as you can provide this added value to sponsors