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Author Topic:   First time putting together a professional program: Q's for 2001
Steph
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 60
posted August 15, 2000 10:47 AM UIN: 6762482
We're a UMP Modified team and just got a new car. I would like to kick up our sponsor search for 2001 to a new level. Right now, it's been pretty much someone coming to us or one of our fans doing the legwork on our benefit. My husband, the driver, is willing to do more (in terms of appearances, etc.) if it means better dollars, but it would be up to me to put the program together. I really have no idea where to start.

It seems to me that our team is one of the very few that is totally owned by ourselves. It seems that most other (fast) teams have a car owner, then someone else drives it, and the motor is owned by a third person. Since we own all of that ourselves, it's a very expensive hobby. With the new car, we hope to be one of those fast teams (and so far so good with two races under our belt we're starting to look better). I'd really like to bring the expense down a bit by securing some sponsorship.

I've been reading the ideas at High Performance Marketing, especially the local stuff (http://www.hpm-inc.com/articles_local_level/contents.htm). I'd like to create a full-blown program like what they're describing. Has anyone bought their materials or used their services? Any Comments?

The articles on the HPM site are all very helpful, but I'm still confused as to how much money someone would be willing to pay. It seems that most people in this area greatly under use their sponsors and feel lucky to get a couple hundred dollars, or up to a thousand per season. Although many do more through discounts and things like that rather than hard cash.

I really liked the raffle idea posted on the 4M and am thinking of doing that also (100 tickets at $20 a piece).

For "traditional" sponsors... How do you determine the "price" of different sizes/locations of sponsor ad/name placements on the car? What about things like personal appearances, or parking the car at the sponsor's location? Let's say that you got $1000 for putting the name on the car... if they wanted a personal appearance at a sale or something, how much more would you require to do that? I mean... what is the added value of having you and your car there to that business. How would I know, since I'm not in that business? I'm having a hard time determining a price.

For ad/name placement, how do you decide which sponsor goes where? What if two sponsors want the same "spot" on the car? What is typically considered the best spot anyway? Is it first come first served? What if someone with bigger dollars comes about later? How much would you require in order to totally change your color scheme to match the sponsor?

Any help or links to other sites would be appreciated. Sorry so long...
--Steph--

97crew
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 24
posted August 15, 2000 04:35 PM
I am curious if you run at a local track every week or if you plan on running around a circuit like the usmts?

The reason I ask is because the answers will very to your questions. For instance if you are running a circuit then the local joe blow garage my not benefit from the advertisement because he may not get any business from you running all over different states. However a sponsor like Hometown Chevrolet will benefit because he may have a website and can sell cars in any state that he wants.

You have to first determine if your sponsors can benefit from the advertisements. You see a lot of trucking companies because they benefit where ever you run.

Hope this helps a little!!!!!!!!!!

X-1R Guy
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 101
posted August 15, 2000 10:22 PM
OK, here we go and take notes! I was personally responsible for bringing X-1R Performance Lubricants into the dirt track market, and in just 2 short years making it the #1 lubricant of the Hav-A-Tampa Series. So i think I know what I'm doin here. I served as Director of Dirt Track MotorSports for this company, but have since gone into business for myself. I dealt with a tremendous amount of teams and drivers over the years and know how its done on a professional level.
First of all lets face facts, a local team is only going to attract local sponsors. So if your gonna stay local, realize this and contact local companies that could benifit from your team. Dealerships are an excellent source of funding as well as towing companies and such. Show the company what you have to offer, but DONT promise what you cant deliver! Be honest about what you can provide and do it! An honest and reasonable amount of funding to request depends on the business, example: a dealership may have as mush as $2000 dollars to spend for a local advertising campaign such as your race team. Where-as a local towing company may only have $500. Needless to say the $2000 investment gets the primary spot on the car(doors)and the $500 dollar investment gets half the quarter panel.
This is not bad for local advertising, add it up. Say you get $2000 from a primary and 4 associate sponsors at $500 each, thats $4000 dollars. Then there's plenty of room on a car for $200 and $100 dollar ads. Local beer distributors are a good source also. I bet with some well spent time and a good presentation you could make this work. Then theres the products that you use to maintain a racecar from week to week that takes money from your paycheck to race, such as gas, filters, lubricants, nuts & bolts, belts and so on. Help from a local parts business sure would be helpful there.
Make sure every person on your team represents the team well and knows how to shake hands and smile. You never know who the person is you shake hands with! Also remember you never know who is sitting in the stands on any given night, so always be professional and NEVER cause an embarrassing scene if at all possible, sponsors dont like to be associated with trouble makers.
I think if you can keep the car up front and presentable you'll get noticed after awhile.

So get out there and knock on some doors and let em know what you have to offer. And never leave without some kind of a reminder that you were there, such as a business card or better yet a proposal of your needs and what you have to offer. Dont be a pain in the rear to a prospect, but make a few followup calls to remind em that you would like a meeting to discuss your intentions.
I know its hard to attract sponsors, but with some creative thinking and determination you can do it! And remember that some sponsorships have come from the strangest places.
I hope this has helped, and good luck to you!

x13jc
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 134
posted August 16, 2000 07:11 AM UIN: 27426975
Steph, here are my two cents worth. I am a driver. I am also a sponsor of a few race cars.
If you are going after the "BIG" sponsors, here are a few questions that will be asked. 1) DO YOU have liability insurance for the sponsor? If not, don't bother. When a big sponsor puts their name on a race car, they want to be shielded from lawsuits in the event a catastrophy happens involving your driver/car.
2) More money for appearances? Never ask the first year in your RELATIONSHIP with this sponsor. NEVER! You need to prove yourself to them. Plus, you should at least do one appearance at any event they ask you to attend.
3) Invite "the" person who makes the decision to fund your team and his family to your track to watch you race. Offer to PAY for all the tickets.
I could go on and on, but I think that a good relationship is key. Get your foot in the door.

Steph
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 60
posted August 18, 2000 10:34 AM UIN: 6762482
Thank you for all the input!

We will be racing locally, two to three tracks all within a couple hundred miles.

What do you think is the best way to begin the types of relationships you describe. I've heard of teams doing m*** mailings, and others going around door to door. Would a combination work? Mail out something saying you'll be coming around in the next week or two, and then show up? I guess I just don't know what is normally done.

Regarding liability insurance, where would I get this, or what is it called? I've never heard of a lawsuit such as this (but remember, I'm new to the sport).

Thanks again for all the help.

[This message has been edited by Steph (edited August 18, 2000).]

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