Race Car Sponsorship - Prospecting (Part 2 of 4)
After finishing up your marketing presentation, it’s important to know where to hunt for sponsors. A simple online search for a local business directory is a great place to start. Also, driving around town and looking for businesses is an easy way to find potential sponsors. Once you’ve compiled a list of companies, you must decide which ones could be a good fit for your race team.
Not all businesses will have the budget for motorsports sponsorships. Finding companies who will be interested in marketing towards motorsports fans will give you the best chance at sealing the deal. Sponsorships significantly benefit businesses that sell directly to consumers. It’s smart to keep this in mind when searching for companies to pitch to. However, this doesn’t mean you should only target motorsports-related companies. Businesses want to reach consumers and motorsports fans are consumers. Sponsorships can come from unexpected places!
Another great way to discover potential sponsors is by attending networking events. Meetup.com is a resource that can help you find business networking events to check out. Other national organizations, like the American Marketing Association, can also help connect you with people in marketing and business.
Some of the easiest companies to connect with can be found around the racetrack. Although you don’t want to interfere with anyone else’s deal, reaching out to friends and family is a great way to find businesses. If you ask a business to sponsor you and they decline, it doesn’t hurt to see if they can point you in the direction of a company who would be interested.
The most important part of prospecting is creating relationships. This process takes time. Your network will support you and help you succeed. You should learn as much as you can about the companies you want to work with.
A common misconception is that deals only happen in the off-season. In reality, some deals may take years to finalize. In fact, McKenna had a deal that needed six years of work. Patience and persistence will go a long way when you’re working on putting deals together.
It’s important to realize that this process takes lots of determination. You’ll have to be okay with hearing “No”. McKenna said she’s gotten much better through practice. She recommended engaging and connecting with as many people as you can. Ninety-nine people may say no, but the one who says yes will make it all worth it. Prospecting takes lots of time, effort, and practice, but it’s not impossible! If you keep trying, the sponsors will eventually come.
Thanks for watching and be sure to tune into our next segment – The Meeting and Pitch.