Everybody always wants to know how to get sponsored in motocross. With a tough economy, every penny counts in our expensive sport. There are a few things to know about sponsorships and how to get the best deals, save money and build relationships with companies. Take five minutes to learn how to do it.
Step 1: Understand the different types of sponsorship
• Paid Sponsorships: Unless you are lining up at the gate in Anaheim, chances are paid sponsorships are beyond your reach. With tight budgets, many pros are lucky to get free product these days! To get these sponsorships, you need an agent.
• Product Sponsorships: If you compete heavily regionally or nationally, chances are you are eligible to receive product sponsorships with companies who are willing to give you free product. Even these deals can be hard to come by, but some are still out there.
• Discount Sponsorships: The most common sponsorship level out there right now are heavy product discounts for riders who meet certain criteria. These deals can range from 35% off to 75% off. The majority of motocross companies offer many sponsorships in this level to riders all across the country.
Step 2: Understand The Purpose Of Sponsorships
• The most effective form of marketing is word of mouth or peer to peer. Meaning, you are more likely to buy a product or service from the recommendation of a friend or someone you talk to. Companies offer you sponsorships in return that you will help let others know about their products and services. The purpose is that you promote the company and their products in return for discounts.
Step 3: Understand Your Sponsorship Worthiness
A common misconception about sponsorships is that you have to be on the podium to get sponsored. In fact, companies will sponsor riders based on a variety of factors when offering riders a sponsorship. Here are a few to consider.
• Personality: How you write and communicate to sponsors makes a statement. Be sure to put effort in talking to sponsors because you are making an example for how you will talk to other friends and riders about product.
• Bike and Brand: Various companies will offer more sponsorships to specific riders on specific bikes and brands. Look out for new products made for specific models. Chances are you could get a sponsorship to be carrying that new product on your ride.
• Demographic Information: Not all sponsorships belong to the 14 year old rider who is winning everything. The weekend warrior can also pick up some sponsorships too. Companies look for age and demographic information to balance out their sponsorship offers.
• Reach: Companies take into consideration your overall reach. Do you have a website? Lots of facebook friends? A Twitter following? Do you ride with several friends at the track? All these contribute to your overall reach. Companies want to sponsors riders who have a bigger reach to friends, family and followers.
Step 4: Understand How To Get Sponsored
Now, how to get sponsored. The old fashion way is to send letter resumes to companies. Nowadays, you can send them via email or use a sponsorship website like MXSponsor.com. Online websites like MXSponsor.com are the most effective ways to get sponsored and there are often tens of thousands of sponsorships available for the taking.
So if you are a rider out there looking to get sponsored, here is what you can expect.
1.) Make an Effort. If you think you can call or email a company and think they will sponsor you just because you asked, you’re wrong. In fact, you will probably show the company that you are not interested in working hard for them or the sponsorship. If you use a sponsorship website like MXSponsor.com, be sure to fill out your profile completely providing as much information as possible. Put a lot of time and effort into it. Riders on MXSponsor.com who fill out their profiles completely get about 30-40% better deals than riders who put in the basic info.
2.) Include images and video: The old days, a rider rep would scout people at the track and watch you race. Nowadays, you can submit photos, videos and results that show your sponsor worthiness. With digital cameras and GoPro helmet cameras, you can send companies some proof of your skills.
3.) Have appropriate expectations: If you are strictly a recreational rider, have the right expectations. Don’t set your hopes up high that you will get a bunch of free stuff if you are not riding a lot. Unless you make the case to the companies that you would be a valuable representative both on and off the dirt bike, don’t be disappointed if your sponsorship offers are less than you hope.
4.) Companies Sponsor People – Not just Fast Riders. If you are really fast, you might get a lot of deals. But if you are fast and a jerk to others, don’t expect to keep any of your deals for very long. Companies are very relational. If you work hard for them and are a good person on and off the track, you will be fine. We just see so many riders who are fast but can’t get a contract longer than 1 year because they are such jerks to work with.
5.) Communication is Key: When you get sponsored, you will greatly increase your chances for bigger deals if you communicate with your sponsors often. Keep sponsors updated once a month on your results and your upcoming schedule. These updates are best received via email. Sponsors are busy and if you don’t hear from them in a while, its because they are working hard to keep giving you good deals. They also have many (often hundreds) of other sponsored riders just like you.
The biggest piece of advice we can give is to really put a lot of effort into the relationships you build with the companies. Many of the companies are friends with each other and you will begin to create a good reputation. And a good reputation in this industry is worth its weight in gold. You might not ever get the factory deals, but you can make a lot of friends and get some good discounts if you work hard.
Thanks for reading and good luck out there!
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