Hey, race fans! When I first started reviewing sponsorship proposals at AMSOIL, one caller rattled off his accomplishments and told me about the vehicle he planned to drive during the upcoming season. “So, whaddya think?” he said. “You want to sponsor me?”
After many years reviewing thousands of sponsorship proposals, I’ve identified some key considerations when seeking a sponsorship. I sat with Josh Weise during his Sponsored Rider Podcast at Hay Days Grass Drags and we shared some tips that can help you land a sponsorship.
Pro Tip: Find a sponsored team or booth at an event and ask them who to contact!
Contact the Right Person
AMSOIL is a 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 online contact form and hitting “submit” means the right person is not likely 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, do some research before submitting your resume and find out how and who to submit it to. You can also ask someone in another department or at an event for the right contact. They’re familiar with our process and will make sure your inquiry gets to the right place.
Pro Tip: Be humble, engaging and eager to learn.
Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease
When I was in high school applying for part-time jobs, I’d grow frustrated not hearing back after my initial interview. “Did you follow up?” my dad would ask. “Well, no.”
We receive multiple sponsorship requests and questions a day. Some get lost in the shuffle, whether they end up in our junk mail or are sent to the wrong department (see first tip!) or get buried in 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 present. Chartering 1,000+ events annually requires a lot of effort and the team is frequently dispersed. We still do our best to make decisions quickly and get back to people promptly.
Pro Tip: Do your research to fully understand the brand you want to represent.
You want to get noticed? Influencer marketing is all the rage these days and the main channel is social media. AMSOIL wants to get in front of eyeballs, so seeing someone with strong content and following on social media 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, that’s our kind of “influencer.” Plus, singing our praises can score you some free product.
Be authentic. Get to know the brand you want to represent; it will be expected once you’re sponsored. If someone asks you a question about the company or products, you should be able to answer it. At the very least, you’ll need to know who to contact at the company to get an answer.
Pro Tip: Be prepared and show your work.
Prep Your Resume
The first thing to do is build your resume, just as you would when pursuing a job. You need to sell yourself and tell prospective sponsors who you are. Here are a few things that should help get you noticed:
- Series in which you’ve competed
- Racing accomplishments and records
- Media reach
- Social media following
Feel free to include other relevant accomplishments, too! The main takeaway is – be prepared and show your work. You’ll receive a reply sooner than later.
Learn From Rejection
Everyone experiences rejection, think of it like losing one race. 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 focusing on different disciplines. They might want to spend some time following you first, to see how you progress.