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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?