Friday, March 12, 2010

Sponsorship 101 - tips for the upcoming rider

There are a lot of questions about sponsorship that pop up regularly on bulletin boards. From the other side of the sponsorship request, here are my "Sponsorship 101" tips:

• I would recommend targeting companies you are familiar with and already use and like their products or services.
• Before contacting anyone, do a bit of research on the company. Find out who they already sponsor, in what area… if they already have a ton of riders in your geographical area, your chances are lower than if you can help promote the company in a new market.
• With that information, think of how you are a good fit and some good reasons why they should sponsor you.
• Find out who the person in charge of sponsorships is + their personal contact info.
• Send him/her an email outlining who you are, a list of accomplishments and how you can help the company.
• Starting the email with a bit of flattery never does any harm: “I use your products/services and they are fantastic”
• Always focus on what you can bring to the table, instead of a “riding is expensive, please help” approach.
• Always keep a positive mindset, you’ll definitely get more “NOs” than “YES’s”. But failure is just practice for success.
• If you get a NO, reply with a “Thank you for your time” email. Doesn’t cost anything and will make you stand out. Who knows, the company might say YES in the future.
• And after you get a sponsorship, following up + keeping in touch is a big plus.

Answering specific questions:

Should I email? Yes.
Write a letter? I don’t personally like letters, much rather do email but could be different for other people.
Email then Call? Sure.
Email my proposal to several people in the company? NO. That’s annoying.
Try different reps? Not a big fan of that idea. Get the right contact from the get go.

Can you be an amateur and gets sponsors? Maybe if it’s a young riders’ team or something like that.

I get tons of requests weekly and unfortunately, have to say no more often than yes so don’t get depressed if you don’t succeed right away.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Edison
__________________
Patricia Da Silva
VP Marketing - ECOGOLD, High-performance Saddle pads and Horse boots
www.ecogold.ca

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