Sponsorship Game Face

Sponsorship Game Face
By Beverly Terrill (c)2005

If you were going to sponsor a race team, how would you choose them? Let's say all the teams at the local track offer the same basic deal. I'll get some free tickets, they'll show their car at my business, etc. So who gets the deal?

Consider this scenario, ABC Race Team is running great this year. They are first in points and have consistently finished in the top ten. It's a family run operation and uncle Jack takes care of the sponsorship. Uncle Jack's approach is to send out proposals offering the normal bells and whistles, but he spends as little time with potential sponsors as possible. XYZ Race Team is new to the circuit. They are a tight knit group and hard working, but not a lot of race experience. However, when the potential sponsor talks to uncle Jack he's dry and not overly friendly. The person responsible for sponsorship at the XYZ team is Rex. Rex is friendly, has a great sense of humor and is excited about what he has to offer.

In my day job I deal with many personality types, luckily my personality meshes with them all. How can that be you ask? Here are some tips for putting on your game face for sponsors:
  1. Love what you do – If you don't care about your sponsors, only about racing, then getting sponsors is not the job for you.
  2. Believe in what you have to offer – If you are giving up too many Saturday mornings – rewrite the proposal, but know above all else that you can help your sponsor.
  3. Forget the pressures of getting the sponsor – Instead, focus on the excitement you feel when you are at the track. Excitement is like laughter, it's contagious.
  4. Genuinely care about your team and sponsor – Nothing is worse than being insincere. It will show – there's no way to hide it.
So if I weigh Rex with these four attributes and an inexperienced team against uncle Jack and the winning team – Rex will win every time.

You still need to do all the normal stuff – nice proposal, good research, team image, etc. But just as important is making sure the person that represents your team; loves his job, believes in his team, is excited and cares for the sponsor.