When I first started reviewing sponsorship proposals at AMSOIL, I received a call from someone seeking sponsorship. He rattled off his accomplishments and told me about his vehicle he planned to drive during the upcoming season. “So, whaddya think?” he said. “You want to sponsor me?”
I was tempted to think I had the next Ricky Carmichael on the phone. Had I not known better, I would have given him everything he wanted. Luckily I asked our Race and Events Manager first.
After having reviewed thousands of sponsorship proposals, I’ve identified some key points to consider when seeking a sponsorship. Recently at Hay Days Grass Drags, I sat down with Josh Weise during his Sponsored Rider Podcast to share some tips that can help you land a sponsorship.
1) Contact the Right Person
AMSOIL is a fairly large company. We have several departments, each devoted to a specific task, like blending oil, shipping, marketing, IT and more.
Dropping your resume into a random contact form and hitting “submit” often means we in the Racing and Events Department are the last to see it. If it’s difficult to read, it can take even longer for the initial recipient to forward it to the right department.
Instead, find out beforehand how to submit your resume. You can also ask someone in another department how to submit it. They’re familiar with our process and will make sure you know whom to contact.
That also goes for you social media peeps! If you send a summary of your racing career in a Facebook message, our social media team will tell you to send the same information to the Racing and Events Department.
2) Squeaky Wheel gets the Grease (But Not Too Squeaky)
When I was in high school applying for part-time jobs, I’d grow frustrated after not hearing back from people after my initial interview. “Did you follow up?” my dad would ask. “Well, no.”
We receive multiple sponsorship requests/questions a day. Some get lost in the shuffle, whether they end up in our junk mail, are sent to the wrong department (all the more reason for tip #1!) or fall to the bottom of our inboxes while we’re out of the office at an event.
Follow up to ensure we received your request. We typically discuss sponsorship proposals as a team prior to making decisions. This means our whole team must be here. Chartering 1,000+ events annually isn’t easy and a lot of times we’re not all here. But we do our best to make decisions quickly and get back to people.
3) #Hashtag Everything
Get noticed, people!
Influencer marketing is all the rage these days. Its main channel? Social media. We here at AMSOIL want to get in front of eyeballs. And if we see someone on social media whose content is heavily followed, it means a lot to us.
At the end of the day, we’re selling oil. If we find someone who loves our products and can tell others about them, then we consider them an “influencer.” Plus, singing our praises can score you some free product.
Make sure you’re authentic, however. Know the brand you’re representing (or want to represent). If someone asks you a question about the company or products, be able to answer it. At the very least, know whom to contact to get an answer.
4) Have Your Resume Ready
The first thing we tell someone who requests sponsorship is to send their resume. Just as you would when pursuing a job, you need to sell yourself and tell us who you are. We want to see a few main points:
- Series in which you’ve competed
- Media reach
- Social media following
Feel free to include other cool things, too! But the main takeaway is this – show that you’re prepared. You’ll receive a reply sooner than later.
#5) Learn from Rejection
Everyone experiences rejection. Don’t take it as a sign you shouldn’t be racing. Ask for feedback from the company representative about what you can do to improve your chances next time. Sometimes it’s simply not a good fit. The company might be choosing to shift its racing focus to different disciplines. They might want to spend some time following you to see how you progress.
Do you want to apply for sponsorship from AMSOIL?
Be sure to check out yours truly and others on the latest Sponsored Rider Podcast from Hay Days. Subscribe for all the latest tips and tricks on getting sponsored.
As always, we’ll see you at the races!