A (Sponsorship) Word to the Wise

A Word to the Wise
By Milt Gedo (c)2005

There is a phenomenon among racers when it comes to sponsorship that I’ve seen innumerable times and have never understood it: A racer will take sponsorship advice… from another racer WHO DOES NOT HAVE A SPONSOR! The biggest problem I have with this phenomenon is that the un-sponsored racer usually has nothing but negative feedback and advice to pass along, and thus helps to advance many myths about sponsorship, which is ultimately NOT in the best interest of sponsor-seeking racers.

If you’re a racer who is SERIOUS about sponsorship, one of the first (and best) things you can learn is how to evaluate statements through your internal “filter”. Realize that one racer's shortcomings are just that: their personal shortcomings. The next time you hear a racer bellyache, “Nobody wants to sponsor a Sportsman race team”, your internal filter should edit that statement to read, “Nobody wants to sponsor MY Sportsman race team.” Big difference. If one were to examine the reasons WHY this particular racer can’t find a sponsor, things might become a little clearer.

For example, maybe our bellyaching racer has no clue on how to find a sponsor. Perhaps he has no list of actions to offer a potential sponsor (other than the worn-out “I’ll put your logo on the side of my car and trailer” routine), maybe he over-valued his race program and priced himself out of sponsorship, maybe he’s a rube with zero social skills and even fewer business skills. Worse yet, maybe this ignorant bellyacher contacted only one or two companies for sponsorship, got rejected, and simply gave up! Now this bitter racer will tell everybody within earshot, “Don’t even try to get a sponsor… nobody wants to sponsor a Sportsman team.” WRONG! Nobody wants to sponsor HIS team, that’s all.

Let’s look at this subject logically for a moment. Would you solicit tuning advice from another racer whose car has a constant mis and runs at the back of the pack? Of course not! Would you solicit chassis advice from a racer whose car leaves the starting line like a slug or whose car always tags the wall coming off a corner? No way! Why then do so many racers solicit sponsorship advice from racers who do not have sponsors? It makes no sense!

More from Milt: (Sponsorship Seminars)