Before you sponsor.

As a race car driver, my articles generally refer to motorsports sponsorship, but the concepts are easily transferred to other sponsorships and marketing in general.

You’re the owner of a small business, you received the sponsorship proposal from a local racer and it sparked your interest. Maybe you had a bit of a hot rod when you were younger and always appreciated a nice car, so you look a little deeper into this whole “sponsorship” thing.

The demographics are there, racing spectators fit your target market, and this racer regularly races at a track very close to your business. The racer has done a great job with his proposal, even had a graphic artist do a rendering of the race car and support vehicles painted in your colours and signage, and it looks cool!

This is perfect, your cool signage is going to be in front of tens of thousands of people, people who are your target market, and located in your geographic area. The racer tells you motorsports sponsorship works, look at how much Go-Daddy spent in Nascar, and Red Bull in all forms of motorsport, if it didn’t work these very successful businesses would not be investing millions of dollars in motorsports sponsorship. And he is right, it does work. . . if done correctly.

And that’s the catch, it must be done correctly. Your small business is not Go-Daddy or Red Bull, your marketing needs and objectives are very different from their needs and objectives.

What are your marketing needs and objectives? 

Before you sponsor this racer, or begin any marketing program, you need to clearly identify your marketing needs and objectives, and this can be a very difficult task in itself.

Earlier in this scenario I suggested that these racing spectators fit your target market demographics. Do they really? When was the last time you as a small business owner carefully studied who is buying your product or service? The market today is very different than it was even just a couple years ago. It is likely that your business has changed a little, or even a lot, to try to keep up with these changes.

Your customers have changed too. They may very well be the exact same customer physically, but their needs have most certainly changed.

In my next article I’ll have a look at some of the things you may want to consider when identifying your target market.


Jim Obalek

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