The interesting thing, however, is that from a marketing standpoint it may be better for you to put together a pro-rally program and sell sponsorship for that. Because of the larger market and higher visability it MAY be easier to get bigger dollars for a more visable program. (I'm struggling with this decision at the moment as well - build a $7,000 car and run a regional season or put together a $60,000 season program which could end up costing me less)
I think if a person can find a lot of little sponsors here & there and can provide proper sweat equity, a Club Program would be the way to go. If one can market oneself to a large sponsor, go for the National Program. The main thing is not to overreach. Make sure you can deliver what you promise to a sponsor. Happy small sponsors have the potential to become happy big sponsors. Unhappy big sponsors can foul your effort for years.
Keep in mind that no sponsor cares to see you bang around the woods in a 20 year old car(as much as some would like to have it be so). Equipment must be up to date and present a professional appearance. Likewise the team.
Another thing to consider is WHERE your potential sponsor wants exposure. There are some fair-sized regional sponsors out there who wouldn't have much interest in a national effort, but WOULD be interested in having your car on display all over the region. Much of the money available for sponsorship - even in large companies - is locally based.
Sponsorship in northamerican rally is such a funny topic to me. I wonder how we got so fixsated on sponsorship in the rally comunity?
Let us take a fairly sucessful, from the spinsorship angle, club rally team and examen it a bit.
Subie Gal racing has managed to raise a fair bit of money and or parts from her efforts in club/pro rally. I do not belive she has gotten to the point of braking even but non the less it is a good example program. What is important here to learn is that it is not having the car drive in front of a few hundred people in the woods that have broght value to the sponsors, it is Jamie Subie Gal Thomas' endless and long hard efforts at promoting her sponsors to local press, parades and so forth that have broght vaule to her sponsors.
Effort sounds a lot like work to me. If I take my weekend time to go to a parade, or meet with a reporter, or produce press releases I am working and I need to vaule that against other things I can do with my time in fact I need to look at how much am I getting paid for that time vs other things I can do to earn money.
So if a team raises $5,000 in cash or directly needed parts how much time did they put into getting, maintainting, and reporting for the sponsor? What eles could I do to get $5,000? Would it be more or less effort? I could paint two houses to earn $5,000. I could paint the two houses in one month on the side while keeping my real job. I wonder witch works out to more $'s per hour for my time?
Well I know the answer in my case, I earn a lot more per hour doing work than I am likely to earn trying to get a sponser, thus I have no sponsors, everyone will need to do the math for them selves but everyone should remember that sonsorship is work/time and that work/time needs to be valued against other things you can do with that workeffort and time.
I am certanly not envious of those with sponsorship, they have worked for that money and in most cases got paid very little per hour for their time.
>Keep in mind that no sponsor cares to see you bang around
>the woods in a 20 year old car(as much as some would like to
>have it be so). Equipment must be up to date and present a
>professional appearance. Likewise the team.
Not always true, there are many types of monetary supporters that can want different things.
we all think they just want results but they may also just want but not limited to:
show car and appearances
even just friendship.
If you just sell TV signage on the rally TV show to a huge corporation
you'd better make sure:
there IS a series and a TV show.
Rally isn't alone, a couple years ago Trans-Am had been halking a signature event offshore that never happened, CART almost lost Elkart and are paying a bundle to get it back on TV since the show's time was already booked. If your sponsoring corporation's home base is in Milwaukee and was planning on having 5,000 employees show up there because you promised it, you'd be in hot water.
If you had sold an eight event club rally season for 2003, spent the money and then had no races, could you afford to give the money back?
Could you renegotiate for a different series or method of promotion? even if it cost you more than you'd have expected? could you withstand a lawsuit? Was you contract well written?
Now that you are a professional making money as a marketing company, is your tow rig capable of passing DOT checks and cross-border scrutiny? (our local circle track racers are routinely stopped by the state police and rigs checked because they take purse money).
Have you worked with a team that had sponsorship to "learn as you earn"? It may be the best time you spend.
I'll throw in my .02 worth , having had some small sponsors in the variuos forms of Racing I've done. First of the race weekend end does very little for most sponsors you and I are likely to have. It is the parades and car shows and magazine stuff that they really are paying for.
Of course every sponsor is differant , for the D-sports racer my buddy provided all the labor to build the car for free. His intent was to show off his work at races and have racers come to him for work. The race car fabrication is not his main source of income for his shop but he enjoys it the most. Now as many have said your sponsor and you must agree and what is going to be accomplished.We agreed ahead of time as to what he wanted. I ran the car at all the local events and passed out cards. On the Datsun and Miata I did the car show thing.
For the motorcycle roadracing I had two gravy sponsors: they liked racing and loved to talk about the weekends race result. I suspect they really wished to ride but didn't like the risk involvoed.
At the moment I find it easier to continue my wheeling and dealing on car parts to pay for some of the expsense then do all the work required to make a sponsor happy
On a final note , of all the things the death penalty should be legal the one top of my list is people who take sponsorship money and run.
A repo firm , if you are that inventive then the sponsorship deal should work out great for you. Good for you in recognizing the importance the sponsor relationship.
I'm with you painting house is waaaay to much physical labor for me. I tried physical labor once it was awful , I'm still in therapy
Painting was an example for our younger readers, I have not done it since college. I get paid a bit more these days... making the opertunity cost of my time even harder to overcome, it no longer takes me a month to get an extra $5000.
By the way I am glad you have an opertunity and will be joining us in the woods, as I said most of us will welcome you with sponsorship as we know you had to work to get it - now it would be even better if you are planing on Gp2.
I think it would be worthwhile to discuss how to pitch a sponsorship.
Networking friends and related industries is a good start. I've come up w/ a pitch based on the target market for a friend. I understand that for some, sponsorship is a softcore genital extention. But what linkages do the upper seeds look for as manufacturer sources are primarily attached to pros?
In D.I.R.T ( my experiance prior to this year) Local (not even regional) sponsorship is the rule. Small tracks, weekly programs, breed local sponsors. There is no such thing as "Local Rally" (yet).
I guess I'm asking, what do you think the clubrally "market" is? I have some ideas. but what are yours? And if clubrally has a market is it really a "club" sport?