So you’re sitting at the computer going through aftermarket parts to modify your car and you look over at your bank account at the same time your wife / girlfriend is complaining about all the money you spend on your baby and you think- “Damn it! why can’t you modify your car for free??”
Well what if I told you that you could get those aftermarket parts free??- maybe not entirely for free, but at least a good potential for some free parts / cash towards building your ideal dream machine anyways… And you don’t need to be a professional racer either- You’d probably think I was crazy and trying to run some kind of scam – except, I’m not asking you for money and I’m not trying to sell you anything, so no, that is not the case. What I am trying to make you aware of though is Automotive Sponsorships.
Automotive Sponsorships is something we see whenever we watch Nascar, Formula 1, BAJA 1000, any type of racing on television really. All the big name million dollar cars are peppered with stickers from different sponsors (usually aftermarket car parts companies) that have either given them money or parts in return for visibility.
Well those guys have 100’s of stickers and those companies are giving them 100’s of thousands of dollars- you don’t need to have that many (or even permanent stickers) AND you don’t need to drive around daily with those stickers. There are different ways you can give a Sponsor visibility while still keeping your car from looking like a hot wheels toy.
So below and over the next few pages I am going to outline the 7 steps you need to take to build a credible sponsorship package to go out to different companies and essentially ask them to give you money or aftermarket parts to build your car / truck the way you want to!
Note*** My current real life job deals with Sport Marketing; I deal with sponsors and sponsorships on a daily basis, so I am not feeding you snake oil for the sake of getting your hopes up. The only reason I bring this up is because I currently do not have a sponsorship for any of our vehicles and have not approached sponsors do obtain one- this is simply because I cannot at this point in my life, promise them that I will be able to attend the events/races I have my targets set on. I feel this is an important mention only for credibility reasons.
I’ll start by outlining the 7 pieces I’ll go through- note that you’ll create this package using Microsoft Word and then save it as a PDF (in Microsoft Word) after to make it look nice and professional:
- Create a list of potential sponsors
- Create an introduction / executive summary
- Gather your facts
- Know what you want to ask for
- Identify how you can provide visibility to the sponsor
- Give them a way to take action
- Draft a personalized email to the company that you’ll send along with your package.
Alright let’s get started here.
1. Creating a list of potential Sponsors
The first thing you want to do is sit down with a pen and paper and start brainstorming and listing the potential companies that you would like to get sponsorship from either in the form of money or free aftermarket parts. Write them all down and make sure they make sense for your build, i.e. if you’re building a Corvette or muscle car, it doesn’t make sense for you to go to Honda Civic parts suppliers and vice versa. Don’t be shy here or start thinking along the lines of “those guys will never sponsor a person like me” You don’t know unless you ask- keep them on your list. Try to think outside the box here to – don’t get caught up in only going to aftermarket parts suppliers, there are plenty of other opportunities that can help your cause to and a lot of businesses out there that are itching at ways to get their brand out to the public to average people like you and me. Be their door and give them that access.
To help you get thinking, I’ve taken some time to compile a list of potential Sponsors I also tried to break them down into a few categories just to help get you on track (this took me about 2 hours, so appreciate it!).
***Please note, some or all of the companies listed below may not be willing to Sponsor anyone, I am by no means guaranteeing you fit their marketing model, but the purpose of this list is to show you there is a ridiculous amount of opportunity available as well as to give you a possible starting point.
Auto Parts Geek | CARiD | Summit Racing | Jegs | Rock Auto | Auto Anything | Carparts.com | Cardone | USautoparts | Prostreetonline.com | JC Whitney | VDO USA | Andy’s Autosport | Vividracing | Ontrack Performance | Stableenergies.com | 425 Motorsports | Smileys Racing Products | PitstopUSA.com | Motor State Distributing | Laneautomotive | Racecar Engineering | Wesco Performance | Cipher Auto | Safe Racer | Racesport inc | Fullthrottle Race Parts & Equipment | Grand Prix Auto Sport Center | K1 Racing Gear | Speedfactory Racing | Performance Parts | Clausen Racing | Pannauto.com | Partstrain | Racing junk | Turtlewax
Specific Aftermarket Parts Retailers
Afcodynapro | Stillen | USracegear.com | Simpson Race Products | Bilstein | Autometer | K&N | Bestop | Coverking | Magnaflow | Corsa | Flowmaster | Rampage Products | Bushwacker | Gibson Exhaust | Rancho Shocks | Rough Country | EBC Brakes | Anzo lights | Wilwood | VP Racing fuels | B&M | WIX | Accel | Ace Racing Clutches | AEM | Aero Race Wheels | Weld Racing | American Racing | ARP | Auburn Gear | Autolite | Alpine Stars | Bully dog | Superchips | Hp Tuners | Dynomax | Momo | Moser | SLP | Aeromotive | BBK | BMR | UMI | Earls | Edelbrock | Eibach | Kooks | TSP | Lunati | Comp Cams | Mickey Thompson | Hoosier | PFADT | Procharger | Spec Clutches | Wiseco | Wurth
Good Old Canadian Companies Eh? (We know Canadians are on here to!)
Pfaff tuning | Teknotik | Alpha Motorsports | Kensai Racing | Kplayground | Performance Improvements | Touge tuning | Canadian Tire | OK tire | Princess Auto | Autopartsway.ca | Mccollracing.ca | TDotperformance | Partspro.ca | 1010 tires | Rona | Automotive tools supply | Babco Tools | G2S Equipment | CHTools | Tech Protools | Nortool | Black Rock Tools | All Tool Canada inc | KMS Tools | Kensal Rental Service | Tegs | CRC- Canada | Niagara Tools | Angus Tools and Sports
Bigger Chain Companies (might be a little tougher to get these ones- maybe?)
Napa | Autozone | Advance Auto | Castrol | Mobil 1 | Amsoil | Lucas | Pennzoil | Royal Purple | Valvoline | Redline | Shell | Pep Boys | AC Delco | Carquest | O’Reilly’s | OE Wheels | Tire Rack | Discount tire | Harbour Freight | Home Depot | Lowes
Vehicle Specific Retailers
Tools – because we need them to build our rides!
Snap On | Ingersoll | Stanley | Mac | Northern Tool and Equipment | Toolsource.com | Craftsman | Gray Tools | Irwin Tools | Gates | Grainger | Tool Planet | Boxotools | USA Tools | Fowler | Matco Tools | Automotive Tools
To add to the above you can add your local Mechanic shops, Decal places, Paint shops, body shops, local car clubs – honestly the list is practically endless. Take a look at our Website Sponsors and google ads – these guys are paying for visibility- at the very least they are going to listen to your pitch!
Just make sure you do one thing- if you go out and approach a Sponsor, make sure you properly represent them. For example, if you go out and get a deal from Mickey Thompson, make sure you aren’t running Hoosier tires when you are out at events. They’ll pull their money back, it makes you look bad, and it makes it harder for average people to approach these companies. If you get a deal from Mickey Thompson – run their stuff or don’t approach them.
Alright onto Page 2 and the executive summary