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Old 09-25-13, 07:14 AM   #1
CanadianBiker32
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How Does One Get Sponsors?

How does one get sponsors?

Do only the fast riders and who ride pro/elite levels able to get sponsors?
Or is it possible for someone in amateur class riding who likes to do more racing, who is over age 30 to get sponsorships?
This is racing in citizen class , perhaps intend to do local racings, and national ones like the National Ultra Endurance Series etc.
Overall just like an idea of how does one get a sponsorship and requirements?
thanks
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Old 09-25-13, 07:23 AM   #2
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Cycling clubs are sometimes connected to a bicycle shop ... bicycle shops have clubs or a club might make a deal with a shop ... and if you're a member of the club, you can get 10% off stuff in the bicycle shop.

So your first step might be to join a club.


As for individual sponsorship, my impression (when I was racing) was that you've got to be good ... winning races, achieving something of note.


You might ask this question in the Racing forum ... they'd have a better idea of current practices with regard to sponsorship.
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Old 09-25-13, 07:43 AM   #3
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I'm moving this to Road Racing (from General Cycling). Carry on...

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Old 09-25-13, 08:02 AM   #4
rkwaki
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Generally speaking sponsorship money comes with results and exposure. It also depends on geography.
I have heard some outlandish sponsorship deals from guys but generally speaking the faster you are the more you can expect.

As mentioned earlier joining a club or team is a good starting point.

Where abouts in Canada are you? Rbart can probably direct you a little in the east, Enthalpic in the west.
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Old 09-25-13, 08:11 AM   #5
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Old 09-25-13, 08:18 AM   #6
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All of my sponsorships come through my club.

We have a bike shop sponsor, which gets us stuff at about 30 percent off retail.
We have a clothing sponsor for custom clothing and discounted socks.
And then we have a bunch of local businesses who tossed cash at the team to have their names on our jersey. It's mostly a tax write off for them as they really don't get any business out of it. In fact, one of the sponsors didn't even want his business name on our jersey this year. Instead, he wanted a graphic he created - a skull with a mohawk and the words "No Mercy."

My wife, on the other hand, has an individual relationship with Specialized, which provided her with a bike, helmet, shoes, gloves and a couple of kits. That's in addition to her normal cycling team deals.
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Old 09-25-13, 08:29 AM   #7
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Sponsors come in two flavors:
1. Loves cycling, just wants an excuse to spend money to see their logo/name on a kit.

Usually this is a rider who also happens to own a business, or whose employer decides that part of that employee's expense could be some money thrown at a bike team. Typical are the sponsors of a club I ran many years ago - the car place was owned by a rider's dad. The tooth place was run by a rider. A watch sponsor signed on because a rider's wife was a rep for that company.

The sponsor doesn't expect to get anything out of it. This kind of sponsor might be good for a small club. It also works for ultra-huge teams, like BMC (Andy Rihs, of Phonak, also owns BMC) or Mapei (whose owner was a cycling fanatic).

The best place to get this kind of money is from a high level executive in a large company. For example I imagine a Google or Yahoo exec has quite a bit of petty cash in their budget. Think about a dinner out with clients - they might drop $5-10k for a dinner for 4 or 6 people. That's petty cash money, it's just sort of part of their budget. If you can convince an exec that spending the dinner money on a club or race is better then you might be able to tap into those forgettable budgets.

2. Actual business sponsor.

This kind of sponsor wants a return on their money. Go to your local bank, ask for $10k in sponsorship. They'll ask you, what will you get me? If you can show them that you'll get, say, 10 times as many eyeballs on their logo if they give you the $10k instead of taking out 10 ads in local papers then they might give you the money. Figure around here a typical newspaper might have a 100,000 circulation number, so 10 ads is 1,000,000 pairs of eyeballs (at least in terms of marketing). Now think of how you'll get 1,000,000 pairs of eyes on the bank's logo. If you can do that with a cycling club and you can prove it then you'll probably get sponsorship. I tried getting sponsorship from a bank and that's the response I got from an understanding manager.

Another example - go to a large corporation, like a GE or similar. A lot of times they'll give you, say, $50k, no problem, with one catch - you have to donate the same amount to a charitable organization. It's not really sponsorship, right? Or is it? It's basically seed money to earn more than $50k so you can use the change to cover costs or even make money. This is how it worked a little while ago (I approached GE).

So how do you get sponsorship? Find a cycling nut who can throw $500 or $1000 your way. The guy that drives the S8 to the group ride might want to put his favorite business on the jersey, or maybe just a bird or his son's artwork or something. Whatever, if you can make it work then so be it. One of our sponsors was a nightclub owned by a really serious mountain biker. He didn't like TV so he had a "No TV" logo (TV with the red circle and slash through it) on our jerseys. That's what he wanted and he paid for it.

Or figure out what kind of market your club would appeal to and go to those business. The guy that shows up on the club ride driving his landscape business pick up truck, see if he'll sponsor the club. See if there are riders who use a landscaping business for their home or business and see if they'll switch. Do you meet at a coffee shop every Saturday morning? See if they'll throw something your way. Etc.

Look around the parking lot when you do a club ride. Do you see a lot of Lexus/Acuras? Pick up trucks? Big SUVs? Approach a Chevy dealer, say, look, when I look around our group ride parking lot I used to see a lot of Suburbans but now I'm seeing cars like the Prius. You want to sponsor our club? $1000 to the club to be on our jersey plus a substantial discount on Suburbans or any other Chevy. We all ride $3000-10,000 bikes so a $50k Suburban is not out of reach, it's just they need an excuse to buy one. What do you say?

It's easy to get sponsorship if you make that business money. It's harder if you can't show that they'll make way more money back then they give you.
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Old 09-25-13, 08:45 AM   #8
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sponsors are rarely actually sponsors. clubs get 'pro deals' which, best case is stuff at wholesale prices. more often than not guys get roped into buying crap they don't want or need, because there's a name on their jersey.
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Old 09-25-13, 08:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Sponsors come in two flavors:
1. Loves cycling, just wants an excuse to spend money to see their logo/name on a kit.

Usually this is a rider who also happens to own a business, or whose employer decides that part of that employee's expense could be some money thrown at a bike team. Typical are the sponsors of a club I ran many years ago - the car place was owned by a rider's dad. The tooth place was run by a rider. A watch sponsor signed on because a rider's wife was a rep for that company.

The sponsor doesn't expect to get anything out of it. This kind of sponsor might be good for a small club. It also works for ultra-huge teams, like BMC (Andy Rihs, of Phonak, also owns BMC) or Mapei (whose owner was a cycling fanatic).

The best place to get this kind of money is from a high level executive in a large company. For example I imagine a Google or Yahoo exec has quite a bit of petty cash in their budget. Think about a dinner out with clients - they might drop $5-10k for a dinner for 4 or 6 people. That's petty cash money, it's just sort of part of their budget. If you can convince an exec that spending the dinner money on a club or race is better then you might be able to tap into those forgettable budgets.

2. Actual business sponsor.

This kind of sponsor wants a return on their money. Go to your local bank, ask for $10k in sponsorship. They'll ask you, what will you get me? If you can show them that you'll get, say, 10 times as many eyeballs on their logo if they give you the $10k instead of taking out 10 ads in local papers then they might give you the money. Figure around here a typical newspaper might have a 100,000 circulation number, so 10 ads is 1,000,000 pairs of eyeballs (at least in terms of marketing). Now think of how you'll get 1,000,000 pairs of eyes on the bank's logo. If you can do that with a cycling club and you can prove it then you'll probably get sponsorship. I tried getting sponsorship from a bank and that's the response I got from an understanding manager.

Another example - go to a large corporation, like a GE or similar. A lot of times they'll give you, say, $50k, no problem, with one catch - you have to donate the same amount to a charitable organization. It's not really sponsorship, right? Or is it? It's basically seed money to earn more than $50k so you can use the change to cover costs or even make money. This is how it worked a little while ago (I approached GE).

So how do you get sponsorship? Find a cycling nut who can throw $500 or $1000 your way. The guy that drives the S8 to the group ride might want to put his favorite business on the jersey, or maybe just a bird or his son's artwork or something. Whatever, if you can make it work then so be it. One of our sponsors was a nightclub owned by a really serious mountain biker. He didn't like TV so he had a "No TV" logo (TV with the red circle and slash through it) on our jerseys. That's what he wanted and he paid for it.

Or figure out what kind of market your club would appeal to and go to those business. The guy that shows up on the club ride driving his landscape business pick up truck, see if he'll sponsor the club. See if there are riders who use a landscaping business for their home or business and see if they'll switch. Do you meet at a coffee shop every Saturday morning? See if they'll throw something your way. Etc.

Look around the parking lot when you do a club ride. Do you see a lot of Lexus/Acuras? Pick up trucks? Big SUVs? Approach a Chevy dealer, say, look, when I look around our group ride parking lot I used to see a lot of Suburbans but now I'm seeing cars like the Prius. You want to sponsor our club? $1000 to the club to be on our jersey plus a substantial discount on Suburbans or any other Chevy. We all ride $3000-10,000 bikes so a $50k Suburban is not out of reach, it's just they need an excuse to buy one. What do you say?

It's easy to get sponsorship if you make that business money. It's harder if you can't show that they'll make way more money back then they give you.
Great post CDR. Our sponsors look for a return and at the end of last year the Board of Directors got chewed because the team, as a whole, had not produced as they should have. Subsequently our title sponsor was bought out by a larger company and our new sponsor tested the waters this year. This year we produced some great results so I would expect a little more $$$ to come the team's way.
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Old 09-25-13, 09:20 AM   #10
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Yes. Great post CDR. A bit OT, but I never had any sponsorship on cycling but did in motorsports and it's similar. I'll just add that in motorsports, many brands/manufacturers (tires, suspension, lubricants/fuel, etc.) had established written sponsorship programs with formulas based on races attended, classes raced, and results, and an individual or department that managed it. You researched the company on line or called to find out who you needed to contact. You then filled in their forms with your stats from the previous year and provided a bio describing how generally awesome you were and how that would reflect positively on their company. They would then choose (or not) to provide you with some level of sponsorship ranging from free stickers, to varying discounts, to free stuff, and beyond. I qualified for lots of free stickers and some minor discounts....
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Old 09-25-13, 10:00 AM   #11
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sponsors are rarely actually sponsors. clubs get 'pro deals' which, best case is stuff at wholesale prices. more often than not guys get roped into buying crap they don't want or need, because there's a name on their jersey.
Been there, done that... Learned my lesson...
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Old 09-26-13, 06:54 AM   #12
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Old 09-26-13, 07:13 AM   #13
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My wife, on the other hand, has an individual relationship with Specialized, which provided her with a bike, helmet, shoes, gloves and a couple of kits. That's in addition to her normal cycling team deals.
That's awesome. And it free's up the budget for your upgrades.
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Old 09-26-13, 07:52 AM   #14
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wanders is my sponsor.
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Old 09-26-13, 07:58 AM   #15
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Pcad is (one of) mine.
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Old 09-26-13, 08:05 AM   #16
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wanders is my sponsor.
I thought I was your muse.
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