Racing sponsorship in the new era
This is the third post in the racing sponsorship arena. I kind of left the series hanging with a lot of theory, but not a lot of practical application to back up what I was saying. In essence what I said in previous posts was that market recently has taken a different turn. With the explosion of the internet into what many call a web 2.0 phases there seems to emerge thinking in marketing surrounding social media. It is widely accepted that the old style interruption style marketing doesn’t work as well as it once did. So how do we approach this concept of social media and utilize it into a great sponsorship package used to pitch a business.
Do your home work
First, and most important thing, is to do some research about the company you intend on approaching for sponsorship. I wrote an article about all of this in my newsletter. If you email me I can send that back issue to you, and if you haven’t signed up for the newsletter yet, go over to the left side bar and sign up. I do try and keep the content a little different between the newsletter and the blog posts. Doing research, in a way, shows respect for the company and the person you are pitching. You need to understand the product the company sells so you can be a useful part of their marketing plan.
A racing website
One thing I would recommend is getting your own web site to help build your following and have your following a place to gather. I would suggest a blog style website or a standard website that has some sort of social engagement tool to it; a forum is a pretty common tool. A blog is good because it is easily updated and allows users to leave comments on each of the posts that get put up. If you were to write a post about one of your sponsors business, you need a way to answer questions get feedback on what you posted about. This is the social media part of the marketing. People are more willing to buy things people they know recommend. By building an engagement system into your website, you are building friendships that can be a great incentive for a business to sponsor you. The bigger following you have, that fit into a business’s demographics, the more your race team has to offer them. Even if you are not computer savvy, a website can easily get up and running for less than a couple hundred dollars. I will be putting up a Rolodex page with some links to help with the process of getting a web page up and running.
Tack able sales leads
The next idea to incorporate in to a sponsorship proposal would be to offer a way for a business a way to track the business you send them. Using special coupon give a ways with your name or a special code that the business can track as people come in to redeem them. Let’s say you are sponsored by a chain of hair salons, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays are particularly slow days for them, work out a special $3 off coupon only to be used on those two days and have it so people can download them off the web or receive them from you at the track. If the salon business triples on those two days with people redeeming coupons, the salon will definitely see sponsoring your car has some direct result pay off. The whole concept of the rolling billboard on the trailer and the car is still necessary, but is not very measurable. When times get tough, business looks for measurable results.
Another idea that might work for some businesses better than others would be to bring you sponsors out to the track to directly engage with your following. Through your website or by handing out fliers the week before, organize a little meet up, or barbecue or something early in the afternoon before the races and introduce your customers directly to your sponsors. This will give your sponsors direct social connection with possible customers with someone like you and your race team as a trusted buffer between the two. This will allow the business to build to their following of their own through you and your team.
This is just a small sampling of ideas that you could use to actually help your sponsors build their business and give them some measurable results. There are many other ideas that can work, be creative, and think outside the box. Just keep in mind the social aspect of the marketing. Build your following and connect them to your sponsors business. If anyone has any creative ideas, or things they have done that worked, leave them in the comment section or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include them in a future article.
Until next time, take care of your sponsors.