• Ian Henderson

10 Ways to get more motorsport sponsors

1. Website – to attract quality sponsors you need to have a web presence and it needs to be professional in every way, from up to date content and attractive design and of course it needs to rank. If Google can't find you then neither will sponsors. In short your website is your shop window, if it looks amateur in any way, imagine what people will think of your team. Yep you guessed it ...amateur.

2. Business Cards – getting known and referred to, is paramount to winning sponsors. A business card can open doors, and it sets the tone. There is a reason that the humble business card is the most popular business marketing material ever. Don't scrimp. You will be judged on the card as much as on your racing results in the eye of a prospective sponsor. Ensure they are professionally designed, use both sides to convey what you’re about and are on great quality card. A matt laminate finish is the most practical in a pit environment.

3. Package sponsors – much like crowdfunding, your potential sponsors need and want to get their money’s worth. Make it accessible using a package for each different level of support. Ensure that each level gets something. A custom t-shirt or hat is perfect for the grass root support. Further up the support packages should include VIP hospitality and personal appearances as well as the usual swag. Most circuits have great hospitality suites which are easier and often cheaper than trying to do it pit side.

4. Personal / team branding – you have to look the part. Invest some money on professional branding, every potential sponsor touch point (web, social media, merchandise, hospitality areas, team clothing, business cards, printed marketing materials and of course your car or bike) should look amazing, you want people to buy into the brand. A good branding designer will be able to help you with this.

5. Social media – make sure your following is a good size before you start looking for sponsors, if you only have 100 followers on Facebook you will not be putting their brand in front of many people, if you have 10,000 loyal followers this is exciting for your sponsors. Post often, especially in the build up to race weekends, keep it on topic and never post when the red mist is still down. Use lots of photos and post across multiple platforms, there are software packages that can help you schedule posts.

6. Elevator pitch – you need to have a well thought out, practised and business focused elevator pitch, you never know who you may get to speak to at a moment’s notice, so you need to be able to SELL the opportunity. Your branding designer should work with you on this as part of building your brand.

7. Network – get out and meet business people, there are literally hundreds of different business networking groups all over the country, don't forget to talk to fans in the pits too, you never know who you could be talking to.

8. Sell t-shirts online for supporters with sponsor details on. There is nothing better than seeing your business name on a fan’s chest. You might even make some extra cash, there are many platforms for online ordering, so you don't need to invest in stock.

9. Build a compelling Powerpoint presentation setting out all the advantages of sponsoring you and your team; how it can help the sponsor sell more products and services as well as building their profile. Try not to go overboard with the number of slides (12 is a good maximum) and never have too much information on the slides, they are there to support you talking, not for you to read from. Have your designer build them using your branding, maybe throw in some eye catching and memorable infographics too.

10. Video, build a YouTube following, it is easier than ever to film your own content with your smart phone or a small vlogging camera. Think video diary rather than the full on epic and keep it snappy. Make sure you fill in all the data when you up load and include the keywords you want to be found for. This is also great practise for when you are interviewed on the podium.

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