Motorsports sponsorship Pt. 4 - Cold sponsorship outreach dos and donts
There's no perfect playbook for how to reach out to a prospect, or prospective sponsor for that matter, but there are most certainly some solid tips we can provide in the form of things you should definitely do, and things you should definitely not do, as outlined below...
The Do's and Don'ts of Racing Sponsorship Out-Reach
Do: Keep it simple, and get to the point fast. You’ve got maybe 3 sentences max to grab a prospects attention in a cold email, so put exactly what your high-level ask is front and center.
Don't: Talk about yourself very much. Sure, they need to know the basics about you, but that’s really it. Don’t give them a long-winded description of your racing career or goals. The hard truth is, they don’t care (especially if they’re just a prospect).
Do: Talk about them / how you can help. You want to quickly convey your value, and, if you’ve researched them, explain how you can help bring value to them specifically. That means researching what they value as a company first. Maybe it’s content, maybe it’s their brand image, maybe we need a Pt. 5 on this topic alone....
Don't: Tell them how much money you need (at least not up-front). We’re all about transparency, but...stating your price up front puts you at a disadvantage because unless they’re very familiar with racing budgets, it’s gonna seem like a huge number, and you won’t be given the light of day to explain that before that email hits the trash
Do: Provide a small info deck / web link. An email, if you nail the copy, can work to initiate a conversation, but it’s nice to include a website link or small info deck if you have one. It shouldn’t be super in-depth, but rather introductory in nature. Think of it like a digital business card, but a little more informative.
Don't: Rely on a single out-reach channel. Email not working? Hit them up on LinkedIn. With LinkedIn, you can search a company’s employees by job title. Find the marketing department head, and shoot them a DM. If all else fails, call them...that’s what your phone’s designed for, I think?
Do: Follow-up with your prospects. Be patient with this, but it’s general practice to follow up 3-5 days after the initial out reach, then wait a week after that for the 2nd and 3rd follow up, and then a month after that for anything more. But not following up at all is a huge mistake. ALWAYS follow up.
Conclusion and Response Rate
The last thing to remember, especially if you're new to this, is to expect a response to only 10%-15% of all out-reach attempts. If you're extremely good at writing and communicating, you might get a 25% response rate. But in most cases, you'll never hear back. Don't take it personally, chances are they aren't interested, and are too busy to say no. We recommend using a free CRM, or creating a google sheets/numbers/excel document to track and manage your out reach. This was you can test and track different copy you use, who responds and who doesn't, and ultimately hone your communication skills.