How to Secure Sponsorships in 2019

A very common topic and question in Sportsman Drag Racing has been “how do I secure sponsorships?”. This has long been a question asked by many racers because at its core, sportsman drag racing is seen as a more of a grass roots level sport whereas with the Mello Yello Drag Racing Circuit, it features professionals. Most of your class and bracket racers are normal folks who have a passion for cars and a competitive drive and compete at the expense of their free time on the weekends. Although there are some professional drag racers at the sportsman level, they are far and few in between. So, is it possible to obtain sponsorship? The short answer is yes.

 

If you’re an everyday racer and a working man or woman or business owner even, there are numerous ways to obtain sponsorships for your racing operation. So, let’s take a look at exactly how you can secure deals with companies. First off, in today’s day and age, it’s best to refer to sponsors as “Marketing Partners”. The term sponsor gives off a negative connotation where the company feel’s they are sponsoring you the driver in a one-sided deal that is more beneficial to you than the company. However, the term marketing partner puts an emphasis on a partnership, which is exactly what these deals are. You, the driver and race team must prove your worth to the organization or company you are seeking a deal from. Whether this is done by your personal at the track support for other racers, great sales skills from a skill set you’ve acquired over the years, or you are known as a fierce competitor and are capable of winning numerous championships, company’s need a “why” to partner with you, and you’re why should be unique.

 

With that being said you don’t have to be a Divisional or National Champion to secure deals with these companies. You do however have to provide value, and it is important to over deliver on what you promise. The best way to demonstrate your worth, value and skillset is through a “Marketing Proposal”. This 3-10-page document will be put together professionally and highlight all of your accomplishments, skill sets, and what you offer, while giving the company a snapshot view as you as a person and what you stand for. It’s a great way to get a foot in the door once a relationship has been built with people at that company. No matter how good your proposal is, it is important to not overlook networking and relationships as your odds of converting a sponsorship is significantly higher when there has been a long-lasting relationship with the company. If you haven’t already started your journey of looking for marketing partners and marketing yourself as an authority figure in any regard, I highly suggest you begin and prepare so you can reap the benefits in the upcoming seasons. It’s because of these best practices and points I have shared with you today, that I was able to land over 6 marketing partnerships in the course of a few months. I look forward to hearing your success stories.

Sample Marketing Partnership Proposal

Click here To Download

Off Season Project | Importance of Planning and Partnerships

This Off-Season has been an exciting and hectic one for all of us involved with team Bigley Motorsports. Coming off a hot 2018 season competing in NHRA Division 1 Super Comp and clenching the title, it was time to up the ante for 2019 with the addition of competing in a second class. We are excited to announce that we will be competing in NHRA D1 Super Street in 2019 in our 2002 Pontiac Firebird Super Stock car. None of this would be possible without the help of our great Marketing Partners and Sponsors including BTE Racing, KB Trailer Sales, Todd’s Extreme Paint, Numidia Dragway, K&N Filters and Insinger Performance.

 

With so much to do, and so little time in the off-season, we’ve had our hands full every single weekend. It’s been a long, grueling but rewarding process over the last few months and things are finally coming together to say the least. What started off in 2018 with a near blown engine, lead to us having to pull out our current 522 cubic inch Big Block Chevy to be sent out to our Engine Builder, Huntsville Engines. Alongside a fresh engine, meant a new power glide 2 speed transmission, which we had the great fortune of gaining a very meaningful sponsorship with BTE Racing to help us with the transmission and converter. BTE has supported us completely throughout this journey and we are proud to represent and expand the brands reach in the North East and look forward to a long-lasting partnership.

 

Fast forwarding from January 1 when it all began, to now March 27th where we are nearing the end of this long journey. From weekly maintenance on the car, to completely re wiring and adding electronics to the main frame of the car, upgrading various parts, and so much more, we have essentially created a rebirth for our Firebird and couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Without the help of our sponsors, our team’s hard work and our diligent planning week in and week out, this project would have never been completed on the short time basis it was allotted and we very much so look forward to testing the car over the coming weeks. We will be debuting the car at the first NHRA Division 1 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Event at Maple Grove Raceway.

The Mental Game: Race Day Routine/Prep

One of the most important if not the most important aspect of drag racing is, your routine. Everything from pre-race rituals, to the time you’re called to the lanes to make a run and when you’re strapped in about to go down the track against your opponent is crucial. When you’re establishing your routine, you need to keep two basic things in mind. First, your routine needs to be rigid enough to be just that: a routine. By doing this we can hopefully accomplish a few things: 1.) do the same things for each run, in reference to your racing vehicle: maintain consistent engine temp, consistent trans temp, a consistent burnout, stage the car in the same manner each run, etc. And 2.) to achieve a state of comfortable, controlled and calm focus for each time you stage your car.

Your routine needs to become second nature to you, in the fact that you’re comfortable repeating the same steps and same motions each time you’re on the track. For me, and many driver’s it even goes as far as repeating little things you found yourself doing at a specific event. For example, if someone I was friends with watched me from the starting line round 1, they would need to come up each and every round after that to not break the routine. Or if I went to use the restroom when my class was called, I would do so each and every round. Subconsciously, it gets me race ready and comfortable and my routine, while flexible is so rigid it becomes robotic.

With comfort comes confidence. I am a firm believer that confidence in any sport or capacity is the number one factor to success. Having confidence helps to not only create focus but also drown out any fears or concerns about your skills, your car or the opponent you’re racing. Being that we need to achieve a state of acute focus for a very short time period, it is of the utmost importance to not let anything mentally throw you off your game or distract you from the task at hand.

So, to recap what we’ve discussed thus far, your routine needs to be rigid enough to be comfortable and familiar, to build confidence, and achieve focus. But on the other hand, needs to be flexible enough that nothing happening outside of your control, nothing your opponent does, nothing the track officials do or at the head of the staging lanes, has a negative effect on both your focus and routine.