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  1. #1
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    Sponsorship Question

    Our team/club title sponsor is a local bike shop. We are currently in the process of establishing the expectations between the the sponsor and team for next year.

    Seems that most teams/clubs are at least in part sponsored by a LBS. I'd like to propose that our arrangement be similar to those offered by other LBS' to its sponsored team. So, what does your sponsoring LBS provide to you? Some items off the top of my head:

    - equipment discount? What percentage? Is is only on certain items or all items?
    - labor discount? again, what percentage?
    - first priority turn around time on repairs?
    - bulk purchases to get a better deal from the LBS wholesaler?
    - do you have "team equipment" like TT specific stuff (wheels, helmet, etc.)?
    - does LBS just give you sponsorship cash to be used for team benefit?

    Are there different levels of service/discount for different levels of rider (i.e. category?)

    In turn, what does the LBS expect from the team members?

    - club rides originating from the shop?
    - promotional appearances?
    - just wearing a jersey with the logo on it?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Our club is in the exact same position. We have an LBS as our "title sponsor". Although we like the shop, many club members are begining to ask, "why are we giving these guys free advertising?" I think the only benefit that you listed that we get is priority service. I'd be interested to hear what other clubs get from their shop sponsors.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    Our team/club title sponsor is a local bike shop. We are currently in the process of establishing the expectations between the the sponsor and team for next year.

    Seems that most teams/clubs are at least in part sponsored by a LBS. I'd like to propose that our arrangement be similar to those offered by other LBS' to its sponsored team. So, what does your sponsoring LBS provide to you? Some items off the top of my head:

    - equipment discount? What percentage? Is is only on certain items or all items?
    - labor discount? again, what percentage?
    - first priority turn around time on repairs?
    - bulk purchases to get a better deal from the LBS wholesaler?
    - do you have "team equipment" like TT specific stuff (wheels, helmet, etc.)?
    - does LBS just give you sponsorship cash to be used for team benefit?

    Are there different levels of service/discount for different levels of rider (i.e. category?)

    In turn, what does the LBS expect from the team members?

    - club rides originating from the shop?
    - promotional appearances?
    - just wearing a jersey with the logo on it?

    Thanks in advance.
    The teams I've been on, both collegiate and USCF, had minimum race requirements. The college team was 3 races, the USCF was 10 races.

    This upcoming year, I'll be under contract to wear nothing but the team clothing on ANY and ALL training rides and obviously all races, unless I apply for and recieve written permission from the team manager. And I haven't even signed with a team yet; both of the teams I'm considering have that clause.

    The team I was on this year promoted/sponsored/put on a SuperWeek race, and had a lot of group rides. The team I might be on, if I don't re-up with the current team, puts on 20 or so races a year. I'd be required to work at some of those in some capacity. Ideally as the pace car driver...

    Both of the teams, as Elite 1/2 teams, have some sort of deal on labor as well as a heavy discount on equipment purchases, not counting team bikes. I don't think I'll be getting a team bike simply because I'm on the lower end of the totem pole on one team, but have a decent shot at another. The current team offers 10% off of retail for non-elite team members.

    Clothing deals were GREAT on my current team. I don't feel it would be right to list actual prices, but I can say that I got my skinsuit, jersey, bibs and long sleeve jersey for well below $125 TOTAL. And this is from a big name manufacturer, not cheap stuff.
    "If a non personal post makes you feel as if you've been attacked, maybe the problem IS you."

  4. #4
    Race to train jrennie's Avatar
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    I know a couple small clubs/teams that use that bike shop money to cover part of the setup and clothing order so even if it dosen't seem that the LBS is doing much I'm sure they helped pay for your kits. Discounts on parts is very common also. LBS aren't an overnight goldmine so dont expect them to just roll out the team car loaded with bikes for you, after all this is a sport where pro's sleep on couches and eat PB&Js.

  5. #5
    cmh
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    Most teams I know in my area have a bike shop sponsor that gives from 15% off to wholesale+10% depending on the team. I am not sure about service rates - but for my team little stuff is always free. I don't know of any teams that get cash from a shop. All the teams I have any knowledge of are lower cat teams - either Cat 4/5 'anyone is welcome if you pay your dues' teams or Cat 2/3/4 invite only kind of teams.

  6. #6
    Cat WTF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike View Post
    Our club is in the exact same position. We have an LBS as our "title sponsor". Although we like the shop, many club members are begining to ask, "why are we giving these guys free advertising?" I think the only benefit that you listed that we get is priority service. I'd be interested to hear what other clubs get from their shop sponsors.


    The shop didn't pay the club to have it's name on the jersey??

  7. #7
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    bump

  8. #8
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat4ever View Post
    The shop didn't pay the club to have it's name on the jersey??

    Several years ago the shop gave the club "seed" money to get on it's feet. At the time, it was much needed. Since then, no money from the shop. The club buys the jersey's and sells them to members for zero profit or loss.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jkizzle's Avatar
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    We picked up a shop about an hour from here who is on another team with one of our collegiate riders because when they were looking for sponsorships they kept asking who their shop was. The local shops werent really interested in helping out much - im guessing because either they wanted the competetive young riders for their teams or because they are both located around the college campus-their primary customer- that they didnt want to lose profit on. We get good deals on gear ordered through our shop, but seeing as its far away, i doubt we will get much in the way of maintenance. More or less I think they are just a hookup/credibility builder for us, not a cash provider. In fact i think we really only have 2 or 3 major money backers, the rest of our sponsors are just people who offer us discounts, and im not sure we will be wearing most of them on our upcoming season, i havnt seen the final jersey design.

  10. #10
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    What you are describing sounds like a shop team or a club. If your team does well you need to build the team around other sponsors and sign on with a shop for consumables and service (no mechanic?).

    Don't ask a LBS for wheel. Find a wheel sponsor. Don't ask your LBS for bikes. Find a bike or a frame sponsor. Don't ask anyone in the industry for MONEY . Find a non-industry CASH sponsor for that.

    If you are counting on a bike shop to float your team, you are asking the people in the industry with the least ability to help you.

    If you build a successful team (and by this a team that is visible and well promoted vs a team that wins - these are not always the same things) a shop will present it self to you.

    Good luck and success.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    What you are describing sounds like a shop team or a club. If your team does well you need to build the team around other sponsors and sign on with a shop for consumables and service (no mechanic?).

    Don't ask a LBS for wheel. Find a wheel sponsor. Don't ask your LBS for bikes. Find a bike or a frame sponsor. Don't ask anyone in the industry for MONEY . Find a non-industry CASH sponsor for that.

    If you are counting on a bike shop to float your team, you are asking the people in the industry with the least ability to help you.

    If you build a successful team (and by this a team that is visible and well promoted vs a team that wins - these are not always the same things) a shop will present it self to you.

    Good luck and success.
    +1000

    To expect money from a bike shop is so far out there I can't comprehend it. Unless you're a kick ass Cat1/2 team, and the shop is a BIG local player, it's unrealistic to expect monetary support.

    Like Bob Dopolina said, if you need equipment, get sponsors that provide great discounts. Don't expect your shop to do that; most are barely getting by as it is. Our college team got $0 from sponsors, but we got great deals. You just have to put together a good sponsorship proposal; what YOU will bring to THEM, and send it in. We were able to cover all equipment, nutrition and training needs through sponsorships, getting GREAT discounts. But, we also raced very well and their names were prominently displayed on our uniforms.

    I will say that unless your team is racing every weekend of the college season, and isn't getting results in the higher categories, it might be hard. They want their products on display long and often. The same applies to the USCF races. Unless you have some good Cat3s (at the very least) who are doing well in their races and could provide a good photo op, you aren't holding up your end of the deal.
    "If a non personal post makes you feel as if you've been attacked, maybe the problem IS you."

  12. #12
    Texas Fight! UT_Dude's Avatar
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    We have it easy. We're the best-branded University in the country (that's a fact, not something I'm just saying). So, we have a fairly easy job getting sponsorships. New bike shop sponsor came to us, which is kind of cool, and it's worked out very well. They give us 15% off of parts, and have set up some group buys for shoes/etc. We also have a wheel, and possibly soon a frame sponsor.

    So basically, my case doesn't apply due to the University connection. In general, I'd agree with what the above said, though. Don't expect money from an LBS. Don't expect frames or wheels either. In-store discounts, sure. Discounted labor, sure. That's about it, though.
    T E X A S F I G H T !
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  13. #13
    Senior Member jkizzle's Avatar
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    i would have thought unc was the best branded...

    we have a frame sponsor through everti though, but only like 3 guys have used the deal with them i think

  14. #14
    Wer wagt, gewinnt.
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    If I may add a few things to the conversation.

    Technically, sponsorship is when a club or team receives cash or in-kind goods.
    Merely getting a discount does not constitute sponsorship.
    But instead it is product or service support. There is a difference.

    A true sponsor should expect more in return for their sponsorship dollars or equivelant.
    While a team/club supporter should not get the same benefits as a sponsor.
    I know this may sound trivial, but it dillutes the entire sponsoring community.
    If your club or team has 1 or 2 vendors supplying support and one who actually sponsors the club/team how do you then differntiate the varying levels of money and goods the team/club receives?

    Yea, yea, forget the old tired arguments of size of logo, placement, etc...

    Also by treating a support vendor the same as a sponsor, what incentive does the support vendor have to perhaps move up to sponsor level? If said vendor has their name/logo on your jersey and team vehicle, web site, etc...why should they step up? They are getting the same roi if they were a sponsor. It is up to the team/club to have protocols in place to differentiate the varying levels of support and sponsorship. Otherwise you are doing your team/club a
    dis-service.

    If the lbs is not providing money for the jerseys and their name is on them, it is time to either get a fair value for the jerseys or wear something plain. On a final note, treat your sponsors and support vendors well, as long as the deal is fair and both parties know in advance the terms and conditions of the sponsorship/support. Sponsorship is not just getting free stuff and then going out and riding with their name on the jersey. You must be productive for your sponsors, and that does not always mean winning or placing on the podium, while good results are nice, building the brand and being a good representive is more important.

    Sponsors come first, and always reresent them in a professional manner, whether you are a club/college or pro team. Of the many objectives of a sponsorship, one of the more important aspects, is building a trusted relationship with your sponsor/support vendor. Do this and more than likely you will sustain a long term association. just my opinions.

  15. #15
    seppomadness
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    ^^^^^^ One of the better posts to surface on BF in a long while. Highly accurate.

  16. #16
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    When I hear about people getting 20% discounts off of the retail price of astronomically-priced gear it makes me laugh my head off. So you saved 20% on a $3000 frameset? Whoop-de-freaking-doo. Congratulations, that means you're only an 80% sucker for an overpriced bike that won't improve your racing. You saved 15% on GNC products? Again, congratulations on only being 85% ripped off, pal.

    Also, consider this... The "sponsorships" for my current racing team are complete and total bullsh!t. First of all, we have a whole bunch of different logos on our jersey but each sponsor only pays a very small amount. I think the primary sponsor only pays something like $3000 per year. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that the total amount of cash sponsorship is probably under $7500.

    That's not a lot of money, but it seems like enough to offset some entry fees, but nope. Because we have so many different piddly sponsors, it means that we can pretty much guarantee we'll have to redesign our kits every single year because the chances that we'll carry every sponsor whose logo is on the jersey from year to year is ZERO. Not only is this a waste of time but it is also a monumental waste of money. First year members of the team have to pay full price for their kits, other members are reimbursed depending upon how many races they entered. Based on the number of races I entered in 2007, I will qualify for exactly one (yep, one) free kit.

    Because we've had difficulty finalizing the sponsors, we didn't get our 2007 kits until June. Seriously, I kid you not. Plus, because of sponsor turnouver our team name changed and will likely change again next season. So from year to year other racers don't even know who the hell we are. How stupid is that?!

    Based on my experience (although I'm sure there are other amateur teams out there who are getting better deals) I think for teams that consist primarily of Cat 3-5 racers, the whole sponsorship thing is a load of bullcrap. Design a kit that you can use for multiple years, keep the logos off, control your own team name and your own destiny.

    --Steve

  17. #17
    wavylines
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    These statements ...
    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo View Post
    ... you're only an 80% sucker for an overpriced bike ... congratulations on only being 85% ripped off, pal....
    ... and this statement ...
    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo View Post
    we've had difficulty finalizing the sponsors
    ... might be related. Just my 2c.
    At least I offer my own disaster.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo View Post
    . Design a kit that you can use for multiple years, keep the logos off, control your own team name and your own destiny.

    --Steve
    Dont forget to put on one USCF racer per year.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curveship View Post
    These statements ...

    ... and this statement ...

    ... might be related. Just my 2c.
    Ain't that the truth.

    I think the lowest rate of discount I was eligible to recieve has been 1/3rd off. And I never bought anything from that one. Too many better deals to blow money on.

    And our (college) team never had trouble inking deals.
    "If a non personal post makes you feel as if you've been attacked, maybe the problem IS you."

  20. #20
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curveship View Post
    These statements ... and this statement ... might be related. Just my 2c.
    I'm sure you're right. My team currently has no equipment sponsors whatsoever so we don't get any gear deals worth anything. Even though the LBS is a sponsor (at least on some level, I'm not sure what) we don't get any discounts there. The other sponsors whose names are on the kit are local businesses unrelated to cycling.

    Getting deals on cycling gear doesn't matter to me, though. It just seems to me that if we're going to have to change kits and change the team name every year we should have something to show for it.

    --Steve

  21. #21
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo View Post
    I'm sure you're right. My team currently has no equipment sponsors whatsoever so we don't get any gear deals worth anything. Even though the LBS is a sponsor (at least on some level, I'm not sure what) we don't get any discounts there. The other sponsors whose names are on the kit are local businesses unrelated to cycling.

    Getting deals on cycling gear doesn't matter to me, though. It just seems to me that if we're going to have to change kits and change the team name every year we should have something to show for it.

    --Steve
    Why would you change names every year?

    The three teams I've been on have had the same names since the 80s. I mean I guess it would be understandable if you had a company paying big bills to be the title sponsor and that changed every couple of years, but most of the teams around here have names that have nothing to do with any particular company. If anything they are named after the shop that sponsors them.
    "If a non personal post makes you feel as if you've been attacked, maybe the problem IS you."

  22. #22
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
    Why would you change names every year?
    For a long time it was The Spin Cycle (the name of the LBS), from what I understand. However, they are not as interested in spending money as they used to be so last year it was "Aflac Headway presented by The Spin Cycle". Seriously, that was the team name. I'm predicting we'll lose at least two of those sponsors for next year, so who knows what the hell it will be named.

    It really should be named something that won't change, though, if you ask me. Even if it means paying more to be a member of the team.

    --Steve

  23. #23
    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    We just got tee shirts.

    Joe

    Veho difficilis, ago facilis

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