This article is for nonprofits, but the advice is still
applicable to motorsports
1. Determine who your audience is Sending "blind"
proposals usually does not work well. Knowing your
audience helps you figure out who to solicit. Once you
have established your audience, do some brainstorming.
Think about which companies and local businesses are
likely to be interested in reaching your audience.
2. Set sponsorship levels Make sure the benefits at
each level are distinct and enticing enough to
encourage previous sponsors to move up a level. It's a
good idea to have a wide range of levels so that
smaller businesses as well as larger companies can find
a level that suits their needs and budget.
3. Make lots of phone calls "This is Such And Such from
My Organization. I thought you might be interested in
marketing your company's products/services at an
upcoming event we're hosting...do you have a few
seconds?" Come up with a pitch that in 20 seconds OR
LESS. If they are interested, you can always go into
more detail or send more information.
4. Send proposal letters Whenever possible, customize
the letter. A good attention-getter is attaching a
post-it that says, "Thanks for speaking with me. Here's
the information on our event." With the size and type
of company in mind, request a particular level from
each potential sponsor. Tell them the anticipated
impressions such a sponsorship will yield. Impressions
are calculated by finding the total number of times a
sponsor's name will be seen or heard
5. Follow up Don't be afraid to call potential sponsors
to find out their thoughts on sponsorship. After
receiving your letter, some companies will call you to
say they're interested in sponsoring. Most will not.
It's up to you to follow up with them about two to
three weeks after sending your proposal. Some people
hesitate to follow up, thinking it will bother the
6. Cultivate your relationships with sponsors Don't
drop your sponsors once they've agreed to send you
money. One of the worst messages to send to a sponsor
is: "I just cared about getting your money. Now that
I've got it, I'm going to disappear." Once a company
has agreed to sponsor, send them a thank-you letter
that recaps the benefits at the level they've chosen.
After you receive their check, send another thank-you.
If your organization has a newsletter, begin sending it
7. Cultivate your relationships with non-sponsors
Perhaps people who weren't able to sponsor may be
interested in attending your event. As your event draws
near, send invitations to some of the companies that
did not sponsor. Sometimes, an employee from the
company will attend, see what a great event it is, and
make sure money is budgeted next year for sponsorship.
8. Give your sponsors plenty of publicity Publicity is
why your sponsors signed on...so make sure they get it!
This sounds obvious, but make sure your sponsors
receive everything promised. If you can give them added
publicity, by way of name announcement, etc., do so.
You don't want to put all the work into acquiring
sponsors and then not deliver results.
9. Cultivate relationships with sponsors, Part II Don't
drop your sponsors after the event. Send thank-you
letters to sponsors after the event. Let them know how
successful the event was, how much money was raised,
the final attendance count, etc. For sponsors at high
levels (or, if your event was very small, for all
sponsors), put together packets that showcase their