Alright, we’re on our way to getting some aftermarket parts for your car for free. To recap on Page 1 you compiled your list of sponsors, on Page 2 we talked about what you want to put in your introduction / executive summary, as well as how to go about pumping up your own tires and stating your potential – let’s move onto step 4 and our ask.
4. The Ask
It is important to know what it is you want to ask for. Are you asking for money? Aftermarket parts? A combination of the two? How long are you asking for- will this Sponsorship last for a year? A few months? The duration of a race season?
You need to sit down and come up with solid figures. You never want to go to a potential Sponsor asking “well what can you give me?” you’re not going to be successful if you do that, that makes them go out and do work and think and they have enough of that already. Here is my advice on how to sit down and come up with a figure:
- Have a reason behind the value figure that you come up with.
- What are you buying with the money? Make sure you outline what you will be spending the money on. Sponsors don’t want to give you money so you can go buy beer on a Friday night.
- Be realistic with your ask – know what your reach will be and know the money that you are putting into your ride. If you are only putting $5000 into your ride- don’t go asking for $10,000
- I can’t give you a figure because every circumstance is unique with a lot of factors at play.
- Don’t be afraid of asking for what you want. Some people fall into the “Oh they won’t give me $1,000 so I’ll ask for $200” type of mentality. As long as your ask is reasonable and you outline why you are asking for that specific amount, there are going to be 3 outcomes that become of it:
- They reject it.
- They reject it but come back with a counter offer.
- They accept it.
- End off with how the money you are asking for will allow you to achieve your goals you are setting forth with your vehicle.
- Even if your goals aren’t competition related, every gear head has some kind of an end goal they have in mind when they start modding their car.
This is where you need to identify how you can help the Sponsor advertise and get their brand out to the public that sees your vehicle.
- Are you going to put their brand on your car in the form of a removable decal that can be put on only on race / show days and taken off afterwards?
- How big of a decal are you going to put on your car?
- If you have a website- are you going to recognize your Sponsor on your website?
- If you have a Youtube page, are you going to insert a still photo or two into your videos clearly showing your car with the Sponsors displayed on it?
- Can you recognize your Sponsor on social media? Forums?
- The more creative and innovative you get the more value a Sponsor will see in you.
Remember, whatever you decide on, your Sponsor will need to approve of what you are using / doing.
- Another thing you may want to consider early on is how you will recognize different Sponsors that give you different amounts of money.
- For Example: lets say Sponsor “A” gives you $1000 and Sponsor “B” gives you $200 – how are you going to show Sponsor A more value? Be prepared to negotiate. There isn’t an easy answer, and every situation is unique.
I would include some “good” images of your vehicle at this point as well. 2 or 3 good ones should be more than enough- make sure your vehicle is clean and looks presentable. Your car doesn’t need to be perfect, but sorry to say, if your car is severely beat up and falling a part you might have a bit of a tough time convincing someone you could be a great billboard for them.
If you have an action shot, definitely include it! I keep using the below picture because it is my best action shot for now!!
6. Final Action
This is the final portion of the package. The ending. Give the Sponsor you are approaching the ability to take action easily. Remember, the easier you make things for the Sponsor, the more likely they will positively answer your request. While they aren’t busy reading through your request, they are busy selling parts and dealing with problems of their own.
Make sure you thank them for taking the time to consider your application. Include your Name, and contact details again (so they don’t have to go searching back through the first page) as well as payment options. Do you have Paypal setup? Do you want a money transfer? A cheque in the mail? Make sure they have all the information they need at the end of the package incase they are ready to pull the trigger. You don’t want to lose the opportunity because they become frustrated searching for details.
Make sure you go over your document for spelling errors, grammar errors etc, and correct them. Then Save your document and then resave it again as a PDF. You’ll send the PDF version, but you may want to edit the Microsoft word version later.
7. The Email
This is the last and final piece. Draft up an opening email to send to the Sponsor in which you will attach your Sponsorship request PDF. Keep the email fairly brief, there is no need to repeat anything you are already telling them in the Summary or document itself.
My advice here is to try and research the head of Marketing if it is a bigger company, or the owner if it is a smaller company and address them specifically.
You would be surprised how much further something like this goes when you have taken the time to personalize it.
Now, sit back and wait for a response. If you haven’t heard anything in about a week, follow up with a friendly email or phone call.
Happy modding and share this with another gear head! I want to see more builds out on the roads, we’ve become a dying breed…