How to Obtain Racing Sponsorships

By Hannah Rice Myers

Whether you race for fun or are serious about making it a career, you will need sponsors. From derby cars to go karts, late models to sprints, it all requires money. Not only do you need spare parts for the car, you also need a top notch motor and a trailer to haul the car to the track. When all is said and done, the cost for one season of racing can cost well over $30,000. This is where sponsors come in.

Create a profile. Before you begin your search for sponsorships, you will need to create a personal profile. This should include information about the driver such as how long he has been racing, his win-loss record, description of the car and the tracks he plans on racing. You will also want to include a picture of the car, if it is ready, so that the prospective sponsor knows exactly where the money is going.

Make a list. Sit down and make a list of every possible need you may have presently and may need in the future. This can include everything from tires to engines. You will also want to include the estimated cost of fuel for running the car for the season, as well as how much it will cost you to travel to the track. Some sponsors will commit themselves to providing certain parts for the season, some will write a check for a specific amount, and some gas stations will sponsor a certain amount of fuel for the year.

Decide how much a sponsorship is worth. When an individual or business sponsors you, they will receive a place on your car or trailer. However, the size of the space depends on the amount of the sponsorship. Someone who gives you a $1,000 sponsorship will obviously deserve more space than someone who sponsors you with $500. You need to decide how much space you are willing to give a sponsor, as this will help you receive larger amounts of sponsor money. Many businesses will want as large a space as they can get.

Do the leg work. Unless you are racing in NASCAR, it is highly unlikely that well known companies such as Budweiser or Aflac will sponsor you. It is more to your benefit to visit local companies instead, like restaurants and garages. When you approach them, be professional yet friendly, and explain to the owner or manager that a sponsorship is the best advertisement available for the business. Explain that the business name and number will be on your car for all to see at every track you race. This will at least catch their attention and give them something to ponder. You will also want to leave a copy of your personal profile.

Leave no stone unturned. You might bypass a little mom and pop's general store believing that because it is a small business, it has nothing to offer you. This is not always the case though. In fact, the smaller business is not only more likely to sponsor you, it is also more likely to give you a larger amount. This is because many of the local racers will go to the bigger businesses, and once inundated with sponsorship requests, the business will develop a no sponsorship rule.

Follow up. If a business owner tells you that he needs a week or two to think it over, don't let that discourage you. While some may use it as a means of putting you off, hoping you get the hint, there are others who are being sincere. Once the week is up, follow up with the business owner in person, not over the phone. You are more likely to be successful in obtaining a sponsorship if you are face to face with the business owner. In addition, the business owner may be up front with you, telling you that he can't afford to sponsor you at the present moment. Again, don't drop the ball. Politely ask him if you could check back with him in a month or two. Many will agree to this, and so you need to keep a list of the places you need to return to and when you need to return. A typical racing season lasts about seven or eight months and you will always need the money.

Drop off photos. A racing sponsorship does not begin and end with the initial check. If racing is something you want to continue doing, you will need racing sponsorships every year. Keeping a good rapport with your current sponsors basically ensures a sponsorship from them the next year. Throughout the season, bring them photos of the car which displays their business name, as many will want to hang it up for their customers to see. You will also want to update them periodically on your success. People are more likely to sponsor again if they see that the driver they are sponsoring can drive the car and win the race.

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