Hey All,

I just wanted all you guys to know that it isn't very hard to get some product sponsorship from companies out there. In the Fall, I began emailing companies asking them what kind of info they required to consider sponsoring my expedition. I didn't give any details of the trip. Lots of companies replied telling me either to email or mail them proposals and some even included guidelines for me to follow. From these guidelines, I put together a form letter to send companies figuring it had more than enough information about what I was doing.
Some companies didn't respond at all, some companies responded saying they didn't sponsor individuals, some said they were already sponsoring similar projects, and some just didn't respond. On the other hand, after all the letters, I am pretty happy with the level of sponsorship I have recieved and would like to share the experience with you all so that you can see what it might take to get a 'pro-deal' or some free gear. Most of my gear sponsorship has been in the form of a pro-deal which typically is ~50% off or wholesale.
Most companies are interested in what you are doing, what products you require, how you plan to use them, and most importantly (or so it seems), what kind of exposure can you give the product or company. A few mention having to snap some photos of their gear in use and give feedback on gear performance. Some even go so far as to tell you they might use your story or have you speak about your project on behalf of their company.
Maybe this will give you guys confidence to write some letters and get some free or discounted gear of your own for that special trip you are planning.
I am not sure if attatching this file will work, so I will just paste a form letter of what I had been sending out since last fall. I may post the list of companies I contacted and their responses in a future thread.

I hope this helps. Thanks for reading.

Dave

David W. Wagenheim
129 Malaga Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Davewagenheim@hotmail.com
(Phone #)

May 20, 2002
(Company Name)

Attention: (Marketing persons name or To whom it may concern)

(Dear “So and So” or To whom it may concern):

In June 2002, I will begin a cycling expedition from Prudoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. I have prepared a summary outlining my goals for this expedition and a plan for exposure of the trip and donated (Company Name) gear. I have also included a brief biography of my traveling experience, a couple of references, an approximated line item budget, and a map showing the route I plan to follow.

During this trip, it will be essential for me to use camping equipment, clothing, and cycling equipment of the best quality. I recognize (Company Name) as one of the lead manufacturers of quality cycling trailers. This is why I have requested sponsorship from your company. If (Company Name) can make any contribution of equipment to my trip through the Americas, I would be greatly appreciative. I am more than willing to work with you in providing feedback and pictures throughout the trip on any equipment or gear that is provided.

If you would like more information about my cycling expedition through the Americas than has already been provided, or information about my personal background related to education and travel experience, please let me know. Since I check my email regularly, it is the easiest way to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours truly,



David W. Wagenheim


Expedition title:
Cycling the Americas
Expedition Address:
129 Malaga Ave
Coral Gables, FL
33134 USA

Participant:
David W. Wagenheim

Previous Expedition Experience:
I have volunteer experience in Ecuador, and have backpacked through parts of the US, Canada, Europe, and South and Central America.
References:
Name:
Address:
Phone:


Line Item Budget:
Food Costs: ~$4500.
Equipment: This figure is pending on obtained gear through sponsorship.
Repair and Maintenance of Equipment: up to $2000.
Medical Expenses: ~$500.
Housing Expenses (when unable to camp): up to $500.
Miscellaneous Activities: up to $1000.
Phone Expenses: up to $200.
Subtotal: $8700.
Funding: Pending future donations.
Personal Budget: $10,000.
Leftover for Miscellaneous: $1300.

Current Sponsors:
Petzl
Cascade Designs
Exofficio
Suunto
Feathered Friends
Princeton Tec
Camelbak
Ortlieb
BOB Gear



Biography of Outdoor and Travel Experience:
A list of the places I have participated outdoor activities most recently:

Alaska and Aleutian Islands. Jan ’00 – Current.
-Work as National Marine Fisheries Biologist in the Bering Sea and frequently hike mountainous islands. Hiking in Seward and Anchorage, Alaska.

Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and England. July 2001.
-Running of the Bulls in Spain. Hiking in Cinque Terre, Italy. Rafting, paragliding, and hiking in Interlaken, Switzerland. Hiking in London, England.

Peru and Ecuador. Dec. ’00 – Feb. ’01.
-Tree climbing and repelling, and hiking through the mountains and rainforest in Ecuador.
-Volunteered for 3 months at Jatun Sacha Foundation biological reserves in the mountains and rainforest on projects such as reforestation, trail maintenance, English teaching, community awareness of reserve projects, collection of plant species, organic farming, and trout aquaculture.

Road trip from Montreal, QC to St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. Nov. ’00.
-Hiking through St. Johns, Newfoundland.

Road trip through states: Seattle, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri.
-Camping through first 5 states. Hiking in Yosemite National Park, California.
Mountain biking in Moab, Utah.

Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. June – July ’00.
-Snorkeling around islands of Belize and hiking. Caving and hiking in Guatemala.

Costa Rica. March ’99.
-Studied sexual dimporphism and behavior of Blepharoneura (fruit flies) at Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge and Reserve in Las Horquetas, Costa Rica.

Expedition Summary:

I plan to cycle from Prudoe Bay, Alaska, to Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina starting in June 2002. I will use a Pacific Coast route through the U.S. and follow the Pan American Highway through Central and South America. During this trip, which will take anywhere from 10 months to a year, I will travel with all that I need on my bike, and camp along the way.

I earned my bachelors degree in biology and for the past two years I have worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Alaska to help protect and manage our nation’s natural resources. I consider myself to be an environmentalist as well as someone who can appreciate the outdoors.

My goals are to meet the physical and mental demands of a long distance self contained cycling tour, experience the cultures of the many countries I will visit, motivate others, take advantage of the many other outdoor activities that will present themselves along the way, and most of all, have fun. By accomplishing these goals, I will gain physical and mental well being, make new friends, and provide myself with an unforgettable experience that will give me confidence to try other new and even more amazing challenges. Though some close friends have expressed interest in accompanying me during parts of the trip, I am mentally prepared for a solo journey.

I enjoy photography and I always try to capture the environment in which I am traveling. I plan to take a digital camera along during this expedition so that I can share my experiences with others almost instantaneously with frequent postings on the cyclingtheamericas.org website I have created for this trip. The website will provide information on the nature of the expedition and myself, updated pictures and writings throughout the trip, and recognition of all sponsors. I am also fully willing to present to (Company Name) any necessary feedback, both during and after the trip, relating to the performance of equipment provided. I also plan to share my experiences with the many people I meet along the way and would be willing to work with (Company Name) in other ways to recap my expedition and product usage for others.