We're fast approaching the time of year when the weather cools quickly, the sun sets early and the gates of racetracks and speedways all over the country are gearing up for their final events of the season before closing their gates until spring. Some drivers consider this their downtime, a break from the chaos of hauling their setup across state lines and a time to focus on family and maybe get to the pile of parts sitting in their garage.
It all sounds wonderful, but if you're hoping to make it to the next level in your racing career then off-season just means less time spent on footwork and more time devoted to leg work. What do we mean by that? Let's jump into it.
Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
Once upon a time you could walk into your local tire shop or part supplier, have a quick conversation, and shake some hands to broker a deal. Now? Sure, there are probably a few deals that shake out that way, but 99.9% of the time sponsors want and expect more. They want more followers, more posts, more media, and more access. If you're not walking into that meeting prepped with a deck full of numbers, and nice ones, it's going to be an uphill battle. If there's one thing businesses hate, it's wasted time so set yourself up for success before you start reaching out to members in your network or cold calling companies.
Have a Plan.
Sponsors want to support drivers and teams who put in the work year-round. It's easy to post when you're at the track, but what content do you have for the rest of the year? It's no secret that social media plays a huge role in your success with earning support so it shouldn't be a surprise to learn that your platforms shouldn't go dark for the winter. Consistency is key and your metrics will thank you. You should also be spending this transition time sorting out what your program is going to cost next season, what you're able to offer to potential partners, and which events you're going to participate in.
We're hoping that you made the time to get in front of the people you want to work with this past year because it's much easier to approach someone who knows you than a stranger. We know not everyone is at the same level, and who you're able to get facetime with will vary but even if it's your local engine shop or a restaurant you love, at the end of the day you have to put yourself out there and shake as many hands as you can. Who you know goes a long way towards securing those coveted sponsorships.
It's a lot, but no one said it was going to be easy. So here's a quick checklist to get yourself set up before you start mass-sending emails to every tire shop in the country.
Even the pros struggle with juggling the expectations of their sponsors, the difference is they usually have a team (ahem) to help manage it. We know that not everyone has the budget to get that kind of help, so we've put together some tools to make it easier. Check out our shop for access to our free tools, proposal packages, driver's packages, classes, and more.