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  1. #1
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Sponsor appreciation / recognition: tips, do's, don'ts, examples and case studies

    It's that time of year, new jerseys being designed, riders "switching teams", promoters and club presidents going begging (er I mean, "proposing" for sponsor deals.

    So how about a megathread of all the stuff you need to know about care and feeding of sponsors.

    From a rider's perspective, let's get the basics started:

    Clothing
    - Wear your correct, clean, not torn team kit on every ride.
    - Especially at big public rides, and obviously at every race.
    - does your team have t-shirts or other off-the-bike wear? A ballcap even? Wear it. As much as you can. So your SO gets sick of it.
    - if you happen to make a podium, or get a pic taken at a race / event... does this even need stating? Yes, yes it does. Look, I know it takes hours for results to get posted and you've long since showered and changed. Too bad. Dig out that stinky moldering jersey (or bring a clean spare) for the podium shot. Yes you can wear your ratty cargo pants if you really must, though we all know you'd look way better in lycra.

    Comportment
    - Don't be a dick, an ass, a jerk or do stupid motorist stunts while wearing sponsor logos. In my team, this includes "we don't run stop signs" which has caused friction with some of the balls-out group rides. Too bad. Your sponsor is subsidizing your silly little hobby, the least you can do is act like a respectable human being while out in public. Again stating what _should_ be obvious... shouting matches, yelling at officials / promoters / volunteers... just don't... if you can't control your temper, seek help and don't show up at a race until you can.
    - btw your team's name and reputation will apply to you even if you're not the one being a jerk. Another one I've personally experienced - if even one member of your team gets a rep as a bad rider, your whole team gets the rep. Sponsors hear about this and they do. not. like. it. So... hold your teammies accountable.

    Promotion
    - CDR had a great tip - get on yelp, google, other review sites and give a nice review for your sponsors, and mention that they support the sport.
    - Does your team have a facebook page? Twitter / etc? (Answer should be yes).... every time you post an ego pic of you or the guys on the podium, tag all of your sponsors and thank them.
    - When your sponsor has a promotion running, retweet / share it. LBS's especially - if there's a sale or a clinic or a beginner ride... talk it up, maybe even show up in full kit if you can.
    - Consider having the team do something high-profile for charity. Could be as simple as a fundraiser ride, or as involved as a huge scale "bikes for kids" project. Give back to your community, and make sure your sponsors are included for the publicity.

    ROI
    - Sponsors gotta make money. Make sure you understand how they are measuring the success of your relationship. It can be challenging, but for example my team is sponsored by a local car dealer - they always ask their customers "what brought you in today" or some variation of that and from those answers they report back to us that we helped them sell several dozen cars in the past few years. Help your sponsors figure this out, and they will reward you.

    Who else has some tips?
    "have fun and be kind"
    - an internet post

  2. #2
    Senior Member ShutUpLegs's Avatar
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    This is perfect as I have just made a proposal to my work to start a new cycling team in our area. For us, being a hospital, it is tough to say we can get people to buy this many cars or merchandise. With that being said our approach is more community based and aligns with the vision of the hospital. We are promoting a healthy lifestyle and are dedicated to putting on clinics and bike rodoes for people in the community to become more involved in cycling. This will give an opportunity for the hospital to be on site during these events and provide any level of expertise that they have.

    But I completely agree that even one bad rep from a single rider can be detrimental to the entire team and sponsers. This is something that needs to be addressed to each member and the possible resulting consequences.
    BLOG --> http://goingoffthefront.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
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    Some ROI things - hand out coupons for your sponsor. A local yogurt company had coupons for example. It's a directly measurable thing.

    You must mail a thank you less than 2 weeks after the event. I'm not good with this. Ideally a nice sponsor package (letter, small gift, wrapped or or tied with a ribbon). I got one of the latter from a local race and I simply gave them my radios for their marshals. I don't do this myself.

    Framed jersey and/or picture of the team, if the business is such that they'd hang one up. A diner in White Plains NY sponsored a team and they had the team picture on the wall somewhere. We made it a point to eat there when we could. This would be a no brainer for any retail store, bike shop, etc. We did it when I was a shop but haven't in a while. It's tough to coordinate that kind of thing.

    Some sponsors, like a hospital, don't want ROI per se. Or, as one sponsor said at a cycling initiative meeting, he hopes no one uses his company's products because they all have to do with operations on serious injuries (medical supplies and such).

    Call newspaper/TV for events or even "boastable" things like winning a state championships, holding an event, etc. I'm not good at this either.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

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