GAINING SPONSORSHIP IN MOTORSPORT
One thing that stands motorsport out from pretty much any other form of sport is the requirement to find funds to be able to do it. It is sometimes known as a rich person’s sport, and we can see why. Many racers and teams are self-financed hobbyists, Gentleman Drivers, looking for that white knuckle experience of thundering around Donington and the explosion of emotion when they race over the line in P1.
On the other hand of this, there are the young and talented racers whose parents scour the land to find funding to get their prodigy out on the track, knocking on every available door, and scraping together everything to enable them to have a go at fulfilling their dreams.
What they both have in common, is that you still need money to race, and the most popular way of doing that is by sourcing racing sponsorship.
In this day and age, sponsorship in motorsport is no longer slapping a logo on the side of a racing car and receiving a boatload of cash. Now, with the popularity of social media and the number of followers you have as the measuring stick against which to measure your appeal, sponsors are looking for strategic partners that can provide value in other ways, helping to promote their brand in the best possible light, to the correct audience.
Essentially, the most invested brands are looking to hire drivers and teams as their employees. Whilst it may not be in writing, this is most definitely what they are after; people to push their products, increase exposure, and drive sales through the roof.
The importance of social media in securing race sponsorship
Whether it’s a person, a team, a charity or a corporation, social media has given unfettered access to almost anything you can think of. Celebrities from all walks of life gather to share news of what they had for their lunch, or which new colour they’ve picked out for the spare bedroom. Influencers, with their hundreds of thousands of followers, can command seven figure sums to simply mention a brand on their vlogs. It’s the way of the world we live in, so if you want to drive a harder bargain with prospective sponsors, then ensure you have the platform from which to shout to as many people as possible.
Get the right audience, though. Find and try to appeal to people who share similar values to you, or who will be happy to support you with a share of your post to their own followers. Engage with your followers too. They’re here to be able to communicate with you as somebody who might be living their dream. Your social media profile would be nothing without your followers, so engage with them.
I’ve got ten thousand relevant followers on Facebook, now what?
Just the same as you found followers who aligned with your brand and what you wanted to say, sit down and write a list of sponsors whose message reflects your own, and who would benefit from having access to your followers. Sometimes, it’s easy to take the cash of a brand to put the logo on, but how will you sell their knitting needles to the ten thousand petrol-head followers in their late teens and early twenties that you’ve picked up? A brand, without a doubt, needs to see that the audience you can put them in front of is the right one for them.
Drivers and race teams who have a higher social media following are no doubt more attractive to brands and other motorsport sponsors. These brands want to promote their product or service to the largest number of possible people. However, the number of people and the beliefs of these people is just as important. For example, whilst one driver may have a large following, it could be for the wrong reasons: perhaps they’re controversial, destructive, and under bad light from the media.
Instead, you want to build a loyal following, a following you interact with regularly. One devoted follower is worth five or more regular followers—something to keep in mind whilst creating your brand as a driver or team in motorsport.
Once you have the list of prospects, ensure you have a professional proposal document put together which highlights what you can do for them and why.
What to include in a sponsorship proposal?
A sponsorship proposal is your first and potentially only way of pushing your message to a prospective sponsor, so make it count. It needs:
To look professional – don’t send a word document, put some effort into creating a slick PDF and/or printed brochure. A sponsor who is worth their salt will see that effort into the introduction can equal effort into the partnership.
Important figures, such as your social media reach, how many people engage with you and your brand.
The levels of exposure that your championship can bring for their brand. Don’t focus only on you as a driver. If you’re a low-key driver in a high profile championship, you’re as exposed as any of the others on that track.
Some real hooks for what you can do for them. Are you well connected in other aspects of your life? Do you have business relationships that they see value in? Don’t be afraid of selling yourself as a businessperson, and not just a driver.
Gala Performance has sponsored many drivers over the past few years, with mixed results, but the most successful relationships were the ones which started small and grew over time, so we know the value of There are of course many other ways to achieve racing sponsorship, but from the perspective of a team that receives countless proposals each year, both good and bad ones, this is our list of what you could do to appeal to companies like ours. We’re not currently accepting or considering sponsorship proposals at this time, but if you can work on the above stuff, then you’ll not be a million miles away from securing that all important funding.
If you have any questions about our products or the teams and championships that we do work with, then why not visit our blog or give us a call on 01709 803457 and have a chat to the team.