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How-to get car sponsorship

Posted by Ludachris, Nov 18, 2013

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  1. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

    3,626
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    Joined Nov 12, 2001
    Roseville, California
    Does DSMtuners sponsor cars? No, not directly. But over the years we've helped DSMers obtain sponsorship in different ways. If you're looking to get free car parts or find companies to help you out with the expenses of racing, think of DSMtuners (and other forum sites like ours) as a tool at your disposal to help secure sponsorship from DSM vendors and other businesses. DSMtuners will be one of the places where you bring exposure to your build, your event coverage, and yes, your sponsors.

    Now let me go over some techniques and strategies that should help you position yourself to get sponsorship. It's not hard, it's not expensive, and you don't have to be a salesman to pimp yourself out. You simply have to get good at sharing what you're doing with the world (via the web).

    Everyone Loves Build Journals, Including Sponsors
    If you've spent any time on DSMtuners you most likely have come across one of the most inspiring sections of the site - the Build Journals section. Countless DSM owners have put together pages and pages of entries documenting their builds. How does a Build Journal relate to getting sponsored? Sponsors like to see everything that has gone into the car they're being asked to sponsor. If they can see that you're committed to the build and the documentation of your racing efforts you're far more likely to be considered for a sponsorship deal. Not only that but your build journal tends to help promote your sponsors when you talk about parts installations - which is also very attractive to sponsors. But you'll need to go beyond just the build phase and also document several events, likely even an entire season of race events, and post about them in the Motorsports and Racing forums too:
    Racing & Motorsports - DSM Forums

    In-car Videos Are Important
    If you don't have a GoPro, you should plan on buying one. It's not critical, and you'll be able to land sponsors without, but you'll open the doors to even more possibilities with in-car video footage. You'll be able to post videos on YouTube like this (notice the sponsor logos?):

    www.youtube.com/embed/gRH73XgKgXI

    Win Some Events
    This sort of goes without saying, but you'll need to be fairly successful as far as result go if you're looking for racing sponsors. So practice, practice, practice! Improve your driving skills. Your car should obviously be reliable, well maintained, and it should look good. This means you'll have to plan to spend some money initially before you can even attempt sending anyone a sponsorship proposal. Go pick up some racing books and train your brain to drive faster. Go to some SCCA solo events, some NASA HPDE events, etc - get an instructor to ride along with you. Get as much seat time as you can and listen to your instructors.

    Launch a Blog to Share Your Photos and Write-ups
    If you're really serious about getting sponsored, the single best thing you can do is start a blog and use it as a central location for all of your racing efforts. Not only will it be an organization tool and a way to promote your existing sponsors, but it will also act as an "online portfolio" that all potential sponsors will see. Most sponsors will expect you to have a dedicated website anyway, and a blog is the perfect solution for this situation.

    The main sections of your blog should consist of your blog entries (build updates and race reports), a page that describes your goals and your experience (like an About Me page), a page dedicated to existing sponsors, a Photo Album section, a Contact Me page, and maybe a page that talks about how sponsors can expect to benefit by sponsoring you. You can add more than that, but don't go overboard. Keep it simple and make it look professional. If it sounds intimidating, or you need a visual on setting up a blog, here's a quick video walking you through the process.

    Promote Your Racing Efforts on Your Blog, in Forums and Through Social Media
    You will still need to post threads on forums like DSMtuners to promote your racing efforts and your blog. It simply means you'll post threads with write-ups and photos on the forums, but you'll also point people to your blog for more details and additional photos. You always want to plug your blog. The most effective plan would be to post everything on your blog and then copy some of that content and post it in forum threads as teasers. Creating a blog isn't as hard as it sounds - go with an inexpensive host like Bluehost which offers 1-click Wordpress setup and you can have a basic blog up in running in 5 minutes or less for less than $8 per month.

    Don't consider yourself a writer? You don't have to be a best selling author. Just make a solid effort when it comes to sounding professional and post good photos (and videos if possible) in all of your updates. Figure an update per event, or maybe one per month. Potential sponsors will take notice when you share your blog updates in the forums. Let the visuals do most of the talking. The idea isn't to write a book, it's to capture an audience and get people talking about your racing efforts. Don't sound like a jack ass, use high school level grammar and writing and you should be good.

    So does DSMtuners offer sponsorship? Well, let's just say we offer you a path to sponsorship :) Using our forums can certainly help you get sponsored. So start participating and build up your racing portfolio in our forums and through your blog. That's where you'll need to focus your efforts. It's not easy to get sponsored, but these days it's almost impossible if you don't use forums as a tool to bring exposure to your efforts.

    Much of what I describe here about car sponsorship can be found on CarSponsorshipGuide.com, with even more detailed information on setting up your blog, tips on using forums to promote your efforts, links to driver improvement books, tips on taking advantage of YouTube, sponsorship proposal tips, quotes from actual sponsors, etc.

    Quick Recap:

    - Get seat time and improve your driving skills
    - Be sure the car is properly maintained and prepped
    - Set up a blog in 5 minutes and document all your events
    - Share your build articles and race reports from your blog in forums and social media
    - Save up for a GoPro and post videos on YouTube
    - Embed those videos in your blog and in forums/social media
    - Rinse and repeat after every event
    - Act professional
    - Create a sponsorship proposal
    - Think positive, but be prepared for rejection
    - Remember that racing is a business
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2014

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  2. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

    3,626
    950
    Joined Nov 12, 2001
    Roseville, California
    Just wanted to add a little bit more info - some have asked what they could realistically expect from trying to land sponsorship. The answer is, it depends. If you've done a good job at building an audience for your racing efforts (via documenting everything in your blog, in forums, in social media, on Youtube, etc), you might even get sponsors coming to you.

    In the beginning you might not get much more than deep discounts on parts. You'll likely have to show a history of winning on your blog (race wins, a class championship, other accolades) before you can start scoring free parts. But again, if you're able to build up a good following online through your updates, sponsorship becomes MUCH easier to obtain. The more influential you are in your community, the better.
     

    Street Build 8K  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
    manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 7K  23

    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    435.0 whp · 399.2 lb/ft · 1G DSM
    Loading...

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