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Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by MVrog, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Someone said recently, on here, something about sponsors. It was wide of the mark, so instead of us older blokes grouching at each other, why don't we teach these young puppies a thing or two.

    Let's start with sponsors.. how to get them and keep them.
    There aren't too many Donny Pask, Dick Hunter, Jack Walters types out there, so share your experiences about how you got funding to go Racing.

    No dirty yarns about Randle either. Oldfield has told them all, by now.

  2. The software has censored Richard Hunters name
  3. Yeah!!! [​IMG]

    How to get 'em is hard. How to KEEP 'em is easy. Look after them!

    An example, if I may, but not from the world of bikes, but from speedway.

    Years ago, a very well-known and respected sprintcar driver in Sydney landed himself a really good sponsorship deal with a newsagent out in the Western suburbs. The sponsor looked after him well and even began to get involved with sponsoring events and features at Parramatta. All was going well until one Friday night, said driver won the feature race and, in the process of giving his after-race interview, he said, over the track PA, "Yeah, and I could go heaps better than this if I had a real sponsor."

    Now I'm pretty sure he didn't mean it the way it came out, but you don't have to be a genius to figure out the way it sounded. The sponsor, who was standing on the dais with him, looked nonplussed and climbed down after the interview was over, walked to his car and never darkened the door of PCR again to my knowledge.

    Look after your sponsor.

    Getting a sponsor involves lots of hard work.

    1. Prepare a glossy CV that shows off you and your team to its very best. Have professional photos taken if you can and make it as "whizz bang" as you can. I guess in these digital days I should say that a professionally put together Powerpoint presentation could also fill the bill here. Stress your career thus far, highlight your outstanding performances (you don't have to list them all) and let the sponsor know where you are right now and where you think you could be (with his help) in 12 months from now.

    2. Research your market. Try to find some area of marketing where you can add some value to the sponsor's business. That way the sponsorship becomes a two-way street and its is mutually beneficial. Then approach potential sponsors within that area of business. Too many rides see sponsorship as just something they can GET without considering that it is also something to which they have to GIVE themselves.

    3. Be prepared to knock on lots of doors and have them slammed in your face (politely and otherwise). Get used to disappointment but don't become discouraged.

    4. Invite your potential sponsor(s) to an event where they can see you perform and assess if you and your team fit with their business model. If it's a race meeting, invite the potential sponsor to join you for a barbeque and some drinks in the pits when the racing's over. Seeing the friendliness and camaraderie that is always part of these occasions can go a long way to convincing a sponsor that your effort is something with which he'd like to be associated.

    5. Look for quality, not quantity. Most racers are running "mortgage specials" The advertising that you see on their bikes is usually for businesses that they own, or their relatives or friends own and it usually involves no money at all, merely payment in kind for running a couple of stickers on the bike. There's nothing wrong with this, as "contra" deals help grease the wheels but it can look amateurish and, if you want to impress, having a major, PAYING sponsor looks so much more professional.

    6. Be aware of how important the personal touch is. In these days of emailed CV's and digital presentations, it is tempting to think that flooding cyberspace with begging letters is somehow going to bear fruit. It MIGHT, but the chances are very slim. Face-to-face communications gives you the chance to sell yourself and there is just no substitute for it.

    7. Be CLEAN. I know that sounds silly, and I know that motorcycle racing is a grimy sport (especially dirt motorcycle racing), but try to look sharp and clean and keep your bike and gear clean. Polish your bike and repair accident damage as soon as you can. Yep, I know the budget's tight, but the sponsor is looking at you and he'll be more likely to part with his hard-earned if he sees that you take pride in your outfit.

    8. Don't restrict your search for sponsors to the motorcycle trade/car trade. In fact, I'd say look there last. Most bike shops, panel beaters shops, etc are already involved in sponsorship deals and are unlikely to have anything left over for a new deal, especially in the present GFC.

    9. Try to have something unique that you can bring to the table. A niche, and "angle", something that makes you stand out from the rest. I can't suggest what that could be as everyone is different, but stand back and look at your racing effort and see if you have something that nobody else can offer and major on that in your sales pitch.

    10. Be prepared to GIVE. Yes, I know I've said it before, but if you can go to a sponsor and say, "If you back me I can do THIS for you." it will immediately help him/her to look more favourably upon your proposal. It's got to be a two-way street.

    There, without even having to ponder it too much, my immediate thoughts. A great idea for a thread, top marks for thinking of it.
  4. Hey RC, with respect I think Rog wanted stories of how it used to be. The above is more applicable to now and definitely is NOT how you got someone like Donny Pask as a sponsor. Even though sponsors weren't really sponsors back then, they usually bought the bike paid the entry fee and that was it, the rest like oil fuel plugs etc was left up to you. :idea: You would have stickers on the bike from Castrol, RK Chains, Champion spark plugs, Shell fuel etc, all organised by yourself. Some were better at it than others. :wink:

    Apart from Team Kawasaki(sort of) everyone else was basically a privateer. :wink:
  5. The bloke who looked after his sponsors best (and consequently kept them, year after year) was John Warrian. He kept detailed records of his racing, peppered them with photos clearly showing their logos, and met with them every year to ask what they wanted in exchange for his flying their flag.
  6. Jeffrey Sayle had the same ones for years too. He probably lives in a house made of silastic.
  7. no leaks there :LOL:
  8. Only in the dunny.
  9. Now that is utter rubbish Hornet......they probably wanted him to win and I for one cannot remember him winning a race ever!!! Can you? Where? When? Who were his sponsors??
    Everyone remembers Jeff Sayles sponsor.....the larger than life Mr Pask!!!

    Last I heard was that Pasky has his own finance company called LCF. Stands for Last Chance Finance.
    A very likeable rogue :LOL:
  10. Didn't Warrian win the 6 hour, in the early days?

  11. Nope :(
  12. Must have been thinking about someone else.
  13. I can also recall John Warrian (RG500) being blown off by multitudes of TZ350s more often than not :rofl: Nice guy though :)
  14. Never met him. Back on topic, eh.
  15. JW led the Castrol Six Hour for 5 and 3/4 hours, riding solo on a Ducati in 1975.

    With victory seemingly in his grasp, the bike's gearbox allegedly seized and he retired. For years afterwards it was said that, had he not been required to run Castrol GTX in the engine, the bike would have made it through. Understandably, Castrol, as the major sponsor of the event, was most miffed by this and went to extraordinary lengths to refute the allegations.

    The truth, it has latterly emerged, is less than controversial. Sources close to the team have admitted privately that the bike was about as illegal as it would have been possible to be and that, rather than face the mandatory post-race strip-down and discovery of the chicanery, the bike was pulled from the race.

    Whether any of these scenarios are true or not, it makes for a great story. And it ensured JW's legendary status, especially amongst the Ducatisti, for evermore.

    Sorry for the O/T diversion.
  16. Who were his sponsors??

    Well, you know everything about racing; you should know.
  17. This was meant to be an educational thread, not a shitfight.

  18. You see i dont know everything (nearly). :LOL: That was a question.......I could not tell you who his sponsor(s) were. He looked after them so well that it must be a well kept secret. :rofl:
  19. From memory, and please don't quote me, Warrian's sponsor was Cycle World in either Brisbane or the Gold Coast (I think more likely Brisbane).

    I also think I remember seeing him ride Eddie Lopez's "La Peca" 900SS once or twice.
  20. JW was sponsored by Dunlop and TAA for nearly all his racing career, that I knew of anyway. Their logos were prominent on all his gear, his helmet and any of his own bikes. They were quite big, too.

    Apart from seeing them, I also had the privilege of seeing his sponsorship portfolio once when I drove him to Mascot for a flight back to Brisbane....

    I should add that looking after your sponsors doesn't necessarily mean winning everything; Coca-Cola are probably still chuckling about the exposure they got sponsoring Wayne's V8, and he didn't win in it.