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Marketing Skills And Sponsorship


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Hi I was just wondering if you guys would think that a marketing degree would be helpful if one were to go pro racing, because the way I see it, racing is still a business and racers need sponsors. Right now, I am going to school to learn how to market myself better in order to attract sponsors. Come next year I'll be able to start my first race. I

 

How do you guys get sponsor ship?

I know some people just get lucky, and the sponsors find THEM instead. I ask the people at the track and all they say is "just be fast, just get in the top 3"

 

I've always wondered, do you pro racers go phone a shop and a company and ask

"hey can you sponsor me? I got x, y, and z. I can do this and that! Can I get a contract then?"

or

show them a power point presentation?

 

I don't like the idea of "getting lucky", because I'm a go-getter when it comes to this type of thing.

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What does a sponsor want? Put yourself in their shoes for a minute, that might give you a direction to start looking in.

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What does a sponsor want? Put yourself in their shoes for a minute, that might give you a direction to start looking in.

 

Wow, quick reply

 

Well, during a recession like this, I'm pretty sure most sponsors won't be trying to look for anyone to sponsor.

 

I understand that in this situation, sponsors would like someone to market their products for them and they hop onto the "racing sponsorship marketing" in order to do so.

 

But the thing I want to know is, do you guys think it would be a waste of time going through school for a marketing degree? I want to know that I'm getting the right idea, and from what I know, racers don't all have to get 1st in order to get sponsorship.

 

From all the racers at the track that I talk to, they don't make any mention of going to school to learn to market or even BOTHER with a marketing degree. They all say the same thing : Seat time, money, and get 1st.

 

If you were in my position, would you think this would be the way to go?

 

Thanks for reading.

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Clear question, and my opinion would be if you want to go racing, go racing! Work on getting good at that. There are some terrific books on marketing, I know Keith has read more than I, but Al Reis and Jack Trout (not sure if I spelled that correctly), have written some good books on the subject. I'd say, get educated on the side, and work towards the main goal directly.

 

C

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Well, being a racer and Director of Marketing for an aerospace company I guess I can give you some input here.

 

 

If you want to be a profesional racer, like factory rider, do it for a living kind of thing, then I don't think you need to learn marketing, you need to learn how to win races.

 

At the highest level the riders don't market their brand, they have managers and team managers to do that. Teams obtain sponsors for the most part (although riders do have personal some sponsors).

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  • 2 months later...

To go pro you have to start at amateur in the regional (club) racing ranks.

 

Starting out, most likely your sponsors will be local and they'll be friends of friends that are riders and business owners. You have to continuously promote your team to everyone you meet. You "get lucky" by networking as hard off the track as you race on the track.

 

A local business owner is probably doing it for fun themselves but they still need something in return. Find out what it is and make sure it gets done. My sponsor wants the bike on display at their location and stickers on the bike. The owners are riders, the manager is a rider and several of the staff ride.

 

Here's how I got my sponsor...networking. I was speaking to a friend about racing. A woman nearby, Chrissy, overheard it and was interested. Her husband, David, is a mechanic. I needed a mechanic so they joined the team. She takes photographs, he wrenches. He has a life long friend, Louis, that rides likes to paint bikes as a hobby. Louis painted the bike and wanted to help out more. Louis is a sales person so I told him I needed a sponsor. Louis has some friends who own a bar and talked to them about the team and they agreed to sponsor us for a race. After the race the bike was put on display at their bar and I got a chance to speak to the owner. We agreed to continue the sponsorship for the rest of the year.

 

My answer is you have to get through the amateur and expert seasons via networking. You need two seasons, one being expert level on an AMA class machine, 300 expert points, and at least one full season as an expert to be qualified for an AMA Pro license.

 

Mid-way through your expert season is where your marketing skills will come in. That's when you need to start thinking about how you're going to pay for pro and when you need to start talking to companies. Really though you don't want to be doing this. You'll be too busy with keeping everything going to go racing. Find someone to help you with marketing and to do the sales.

 

I'm broke. Paying the bills this month will be interesting. But I'm going racing. I've picked up sponsorship from, of all places, a local country western dance bar called Waterin' Trough. It's just barely enough to continue racing for the year but barely enough is enough.

 

They recently celebrated their 6 year anniversary and the team bike was prominently displayed to say the least. Here's some pictures.

 

All photos by Rubenphotos.com

The bike was on the stage for two nights.

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We had The Way to Happiness booklets and flyers available.

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one of the waitresses on the bike

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Prizes being thrown to the crowd.

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oh yeah, there were a lot of people gettin' happy too.

IMG_6589.jpg

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