So you want free car parts? Better be ready to prove you’re worth it. If you want to score free parts and discounts, you’re going to have to work for it.
Where should you focus your efforts? That’s a great question. The first step is to improve your skills in whatever it is you’re trying to get sponsorship for – whether that be autocross, time trials, rallycross, even drag racing. Get some seat time and put yourself in a position to win. Get out to some events and get some instruction. And be sure to visit the Car Sponsorship Guide blog and read all their material on using the web as a tool to gain sponsorship. Putting effort into your online reputation is critical.
Document every event you attend with text and photos. Videos would add huge value too if you have an in-car video camera. Gather up all your documentation and post it on your blog – don’t have a blog? Better look into setting one up. Post about your car build and racing efforts in the popular make/model forum for your car. Share what you’re doing with the community and get people interested in your efforts. Jump on to Facebook and share your efforts with your friends. Be sure to add people from your local racing events to your friends list.
While you add to your online portfolio and build up a following, start making a list of vendors who you think would make great sponsors. Start with the shops who make or sell parts for your car only. Then branch out to companies who specialize in only a few makes/models, your car being one of them. Keep casting the net wider each time. Add in local businesses you think would benefit from exposure at race events and your online participation. Essentially, you want to come up with a list of companies that would be able to sell more products or services as a result of sponsoring your car. Once you identified these companies try and interact with them online, maybe through online forums they participate on, and just strike up conversation so that they know who you are and what you’re doing.
Craft a sponsorship proposal and start sending it out. It’s best to send it to the companies you know first. Send them out individually and word them in a way that makes it clear you are talking to them, as opposed to a mass mailing. Companies will ignore a sponsorship request that isn’t tailored to them specifically. Be sure to talk about all of your online efforts and what that means for them in terms of reaching their target audience.
If you do all of the prep work, chances are you’ll get some sponsors. Maybe not enough to run a NASCAR campaign, but you’ll get something. Just keep working at it.