Don't Solicit Current Sponsors; Call their Competitors Instead

Written by:

Alex Striler

January 23, 2022

Selling sponsorships is like racing; timing and positioning is everything. You must make your move at the right time and the track has to be clear. You can’t pass a competitor if someone’s in the way. You have to wait for the blocking car to move or you have to find a different line. Selling sponsorships is the same. You’ll never get a sponsor if they’re already invested in someone else—in that case, find a different sponsor.

Don’t call on companies that are already in motorsports; instead, call on their competitors. Asking someone on a date if he or she is married is improper and unethical. Asking someone out who’s single is not only more appropriate, the odds of success are exponentially higher. When looking for a sponsor, find one that’s not already committed to a team. I find that it’s best to go after companies that don’t have any involvement in motorsports. They are the ones who are most likely to listen to your pitch.

The States Census Bureau published in the latest Statistics of U.S. Businesses Employment and Payroll Summary that in 2012 there were 5.7 million firms in the United States employing 116 million people for a total payroll of $5.4 trillion. If an estimated hundred thousand sponsors are active in motorsports at some level, then there are still 5.6 million companies in the United States that have no association.

Find the virgin brand you can chaperone and bring to the races.

Soliciting another team’s sponsors hinders the industry’s growth. Moving money from one team to another keeps all valuations depressed. Bringing in new brands adds to the total sponsorship pool thereby raising everyone’s value. In racing, a rising tide lifts all boats. Make the pool of corporate funds larger, don’t take what’s already there.

I discourage everyone from going after any brand that is already in motorsports. That company is married. It’s invested. Leave it alone. Look up all its competitors who have no connection to racing and call them instead.