Motorsports Sponsorship Pt. 5 - Asking the right questions

What to ask, plus by far the most important question you should be asking your prospective sponsors and partners.
Samuel Pawlak
Owner of Grand Prix Studio
March 15, 2021

For Pt. 5, we wanted to provide drivers with a quick walk-through of how sponsorship talks should progress so both you and your prospect can get the most out of your partnership.

What Are Your Sponsors Looking For?

Let's start by creating the scenario. Have you piqued the interest of a sponsor and are now starting a formal dialog? We all love getting that reply from a prospect asking for more info after so many out reach emails. However, we can also feel we now need to present to them as many options as possible.

But the truth is, that’s not always your best bet, especially when first engaging. You’re better off starting the conversation by asking what they are looking for instead. By asking them first, you’ll quickly figure out what they value, what they need, and what they’re looking to achieve by sponsoring you.

Asking Your Sponsors the Right Questions

That includes asking basic questions like "Who are you trying to reach through sponsoring me?" (Tip: Knowing what you’re capable of delivering in your response to this is key to making a plan). Or you can ask more technical questions like, "What channels have you found success with in the past?" Or, better yet, formulate more pointed questions based on your research of their business. What you ask should ultimately inform you on how their business is run, where they may stand to gain, and what they'd ultimately like from you as well.

However, the most important question you can ask is..."What constitutes a win by the end of the season if your business decides to partner with me/my team?" This question is super important because it lets you quantify the value of the deal, and set a realistic goal with your prospective sponsor. It also allows you to help them understand what they're getting in return, and ultimately keeps everyone on the same page.

To Wrap Up

Got the gist? Key Take-away: Beyond the questions we laid out, try to create a few of your own that carter to specific sponsors you have in mind, as not every prospective sponsor will have the same set of questions to ask. As an additional note, don't be afraid to ask what might seem like dumb questions, or questions that simply lead to greater clarify on a topic (so long as they're not completely uninformed). At the end of the day, even if they don't sign on, they'll appreciate you took the time to understand their needs, and wanted what's best for them.