With Ernie Saxton
In a recent edition of our monthly newsletter
Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News, Milt Gedo
wrote that the majority of racers continue to
under-value their race team and the actions they car
provide a sponsor. I agree.
Gedo, who has been involved in motorsports marketing
for more than a dozen years, understood why this
happens. He feels it is because most racers are not
in the marketing or advertising business, and
therefore don’t have a clue as to what companies
spend on various types of advertising and promotion
each year. Personally I find that to be true and a
more serious problem is that the majority of racers
that are seeking sponsorship support are not willing
to take the time to learn more about marketing.
There are far too many racers who handle their
sponsorship efforts much like the Salvation Army.
They are looking for handouts……donations rather than
putting together a sponsorship package that shows a
potential sponsor all the benefits of being involved
in sponsoring the racer’s team.
As Gedo pointed out in the article, a motorsports
marketing program, when properly designed and
implemented, is a very effective form of advertising
and marketing. Sponsorship is not about charity, or
tax write-offs, or about the business owner who
“likes auto racing.” If you don’t understand this
fact about sponsorship, your chances for success are
The article offered a quiz. We are not going to do
the quiz but we will tell you the answers because
they are eye-openers when it comes to understanding
the value of advertising.
* A full-page, black and white ad in the Wall Street
Journal, 2 million circulation, for one day will run
* A full-page, color ad in the same publication for
one day will run $210,300.
* A half-page, black and white ad will run $96,900
In Los Angeles a black and white, full-page ad in
the LA Times will run $70,000 reaching 850,000
In Milwaukee a full-page, black and white ad, in the
Milwaukee Journal reaching 236,000 readers will cost
Sports Illustrated, the largest circulation sports
magazine in the U.S., offers a full-page, full-color
ad on the inside front cover, reaching 3 million
subscribers (they claim there are 23 million
readers), will run $500,000.
Keep in mind that all those costs are based on one
issue and there is no guarantee that everyone is
going to read the ad.
Now let’s go to the television where you get to talk
some serious money. With 90 million viewers (based
on Nielsen ratings) the Super Bowl gets $2.5 million
for ONE 30-second commercial spot. And that does not
include the cost of producing the commercial which
can easily run another $1 million.
Just think, a company could sponsor a top racing
team in just about any form of auto racing for that
kind of money. And the neat thing about a company
spending money on a race car sponsorship (don’t
forget to include the hauler) is that they can
almost guarantee that everyone at the racing events
will be paying attention.
The recent Oscar Awards Ceremony had 40 million
viewers and ONE 30-second TV commercial ran $1.7
million not including the cost of creating the
When we do seminars around the country, even did one
in Alaska in the winter, we often toss out the
advertising costs and attendees are stunned to learn
what is being spent by companies to advertise.
Gedo shared some other numbers with our newsletter
readers. Subway Restaurants spend more than $300
million a year on marketing. AFLAC Insurance, you
know the people with the wacky duck, spend $75
million. Tecate Beer budgets $12 million each year.
Though Milt and I don’t agree on everything about
sponsorship marketing, we do agree that there are
two lessons (maybe even more) that a racer can learn
from the advertising and marketing data that was
offered. FIRST, advertising and marketing are not
cheap!!! An effective ad campaign can easily cost
millions of dollars.
Think about this. What would your race team do in
return for the cost of a SINGLE DAY, full-page,
black and white ad in the Wall Street Journal? How
many personal appearances would you make? How many
product samples would you distribute? How many
customers of the sponsor could you provide
hospitality for at your hauler?
A properly designed and implemented motorsports
program is the BEST deal in advertising. At least
Milt Gedo and I think so.
The second lesson to learn is that companies
allocate huge sums of money towards selling their
products and/or services. If you can offer an
innovative and unique method to market and promote a
sponsor’s product and ONLY get 1% of their marketing
budget, that could still be a very nice sponsorship
deal for a Sportsman racer. For example, using
figures supplied by Gedo, if you could get 1% of
Tecate’s budget, that $120,000. Even if you only
could get 0.5% of their budget, that’s $60,000. What
about AFLAC? Only 1% of their budget is $750,000.
Think about what you could do for a sponsor for just
a fraction of what they are spending on newspaper,
TV and other advertising. Create a marketing program
and present it to the potential sponsor. Do it the
right way and your success rate will be much higher
when it comes to securing sponsorship.
To be successful in sponsorship you must know the
value of what you offer to a sponsor.
Over the years, more than 40 in the motorsports
marketing business, I have found that the majority
of racers under-value what they have to offer
sponsors. This is where research comes in to play.
Find out what the potential sponsor is spending on
marketing. Call us if you don’t know how to do that
and I will fill you in on some ideas. Racers have to
stop looking for handouts, donations, and start
understanding the true value of the marketing
opportunities they offer a potential sponsor.
LOOKING FOR NEWS. We would love to hear from race
teams that have successful sponsorship stories to
share with us. They could become part of this column
or featured in our monthly newsletter.
SPRING SPONSORSHIP SUCCESS SPECIAL. Since we have
been sharing some of Milt Gedo’s information with
you we are offering a Spring Sponsorship Success
Special package that will go a long way toward
helping you be a success with your sponsorship
search efforts. Included is the Milt Gedo CD/ROM
“How to Write a Winning Proposal”, an actual generic
sponsorship proposal that we have created that shows
how we think it should be done, a copy of Andrew
Waite’s “Winning Sponsorship” book (easy to read and
understand) and a one year subscription to our
monthly newsletter Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing
News. A total value of close to $400 and we will
ship it to you for just $199.95 plus $10.00 for
shipping and handling. And when is the best time to
be seeking sponsorship for 2008? Now is a good time.
This offer is not found on our website and can only
be ordered on the telephone at 215.752.7797.
You can check out our website at
www.saxtonsponsormarket.com for loads of FREE
sponsorship information and some special offers on
our sponsorship help materials.
With Ernie Saxton
Have you ever noticed how many sponsorships seem to
last just one season? How many companies have you
seen get involved in motorsports for a short time
and then disappear just as quickly? Why is that?
I think it has to do with poor communications.
How often do you get feedback from your sponsors?
Talk to them on a regular basis so that if there is
a problem you are aware of it quickly and can steps
to correct it before it impacts your sponsorship
deal and the sponsor pulls out.
Make sure that you are keeping in touch with the
sponsors so that you are in a position to renew the
sponsorship and keep a competitor from stealing your
sponsor. How often have you noticed that a sponsor
on one team shows up as the sponsor on another team?
Was it a better deal or just a lack of
Be sure that you have a good relationship with the
key players who influence the decisions on
sponsorship. A bad relationship with one of the key
players can spell the end to your sponsorship deal.
Make all the people involved with your sponsor feel
like they are an important part of your team. If you
are not doing that the feedback could spell disaster
for your relationship with the sponsor.
Did all the decision makers with your sponsors
receive holiday cards? Do you send birthday cards to
the decision makers? Do you send thank you cards or
special occasion cards to decision makers? Did all
the decision makers get team t-shirts and team hats?
There are so many things you can be doing to keep
everyone as a supporter.
It is not hard to keep sponsors happy, just produce
more than you promised in your contract and
PAY ATTENTION TO THIS ONE. This may have nothing to
do with drag racing but it is something all those
who have political sponsors may want to pay
attention to. And the next two years are going to
offer some great opportunities for race teams to get
involved with political sponsors. Be careful and I
do suggest you get your money up front just in case
your politician loses.
According to an article appearing in the December
28th edition of the Washington Examiner, it’s no
secret that NASCAR drives skew Republican, which is
fine with the Federal Election Commission, just so
long as they don’t display their preferences where
anyone can see them.
In a decision announced recently, the FEC sent an
“admonishment letter” to Kirk Shelmerdine Racing.
Shelmerdine, a former crew chief for the late Dale
Earnhardt, has been a somewhat unsuccessful, under
funded and under sponsored driver. He has never
finished higher than 26th.
So back in 2004, in a move perhaps designed to draw
some attention to his car, he placed a “Bush-Cheney
‘04” decal on his rear quarter panel, which was
otherwise unencumbered by advertising. Democratic
activist Sydnor Thompson complained to the FEC, and
the agency found that Sheltering “may have made an
unreported independent expenditure or a prohibited
Former commissioner Bradley Smith dissented in one
of the case’s early votes and blogged about the
result this week. He has written that in reference
to the FEC’s $250 expenditure limit, “evidence is
strong that the market value of Shelmerdine’s rear
quarter panel was approximately $0, give or take
Shelmerdine will be back trying to qualify for the
Daytona 500 in February. He will probably be more
careful about what he puts on his race car.
WE LOVE LETTERS LIKE THIS ONE.
Dear Mr. Saxton,
Four years ago my wife and mother purchased one of
your sponsorship packages. I have read and
researched and tried to concentrate on your advice.
As a result, I have had a sponsor ever since.
Through the years I have increased my racing
operation to two cars with a larger trailer, race
shop on my property and spare equipment.
This year my long time sponsor was bought by another
company. Last week I closed the deal with this new
company by going back to your basic principles. I am
very thankful for the product you sell, and I am not
a “pro class “ racer. I race IHRA Hotrod and
Quickrod sportsman classes. Please take a look at my
website at preiserracing.com or give me a call if
you ever need testimony on your products. I am
always asked “How could I get sponsored?”……call
Richard Preiser, Jackson, NJ
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!! “THE NEXT BIG THING WILL BE A
MILLION LITTLE THINGS.”
The 24th Annual IEG (International Events Group)
Sponsorship Conference is set for March 11-14 in
Chicago. The publisher of IEG Sponsorship Report
will have about 1,200 people at their annual
From Sunday through Wednesday, according to their
brochure, you’ll be immersed in the what’s-next
thinking that blasts apart the status quo, the
culture of futurism that gets you where you want to
be first and in the strategic solutions that build
brands and profits which enhancing lives and
Whether your turf is B2B or B2C, public or private,
sports, arts, leisure, events, entertainment, media
or nonprofit - local or global - IEG is your
quickest and most effective opportunity to discover
all the new areas where growth is bubbling up, meet
the people who are making it happen, charge your
creative juices and turn up the velocity on your
Featured speakers will come from AT&T, Cat Lift
Trucks, Crocs Footwear, McDonald’s, Miller Brewing,
Motorola, NASCAR, NFL, PETCO, UPS, and more. There
will actually be more than 40 sponsors on hand that
are will to talk with you, provided you register
quickly. Included are AirTran, Allstate, FIGI Water,
Frontier Airlines, Office Max, Wal-Mart and a long
list of others.
You can get information on how you can attend by
checking in at www.IEG2007.com or call 800.834.4850.
They do other smaller conferences throughout the
country and Canada that you may want to ask about.
GREAT INVESTMENT. I read Jeffrey Gitomer’s columns
in the Philadelphia Business Journal each issue. It
offers great helps in sales, promotion and public
relations. Those of you around the nation who have a
Business Journal published in your area should be
making a point of reading it. Business Journals are
weekly publications that you keep you informed on
what is going on in business in your area and carry
list of “new businesses” opening in those areas. It
is a great source of potential sponsors.
Gitomer has also written some great books and he is
offering two of them as a special package. For just
$20 you can get his Little Red Book of Selling and
his Little Black Book of Connections. They are
highly recommended reading. Telephone 800.486.3289
or order or check in at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KICK OFF THE NEW YEAR SPECIAL. We are offering Milt
Gedo’s “How to Write a Winning Proposal” CD/ROM,
this is a fantastic tool to show you how to create a
proposal that works, and a one year subscription to
our Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News. Our
newsletter is now in its 23rd year of help racers
throughout the nation and throughout the world
become successful at sponsorship marketing and stay
informed on what is the latest sponsorship deal in
The two sell separately for more than $150. For a
short time we offer the CD/ROM and the monthly
newsletter for just $99.95 plus $5.00 for postage
and handling. We will also throw in our “Hodgepodge
of Sponsorship Helps and Ideas” and the last three
editions of our newsletter to get you started. Call
today at 215.752.7797.
Don’t forget to check in at
www.saxtonsponsormarket.com where this is a load of
free sponsorship help and, of course, information on
the sponsorship tools we have available.
SPONSORSHIP MARKETING WITH ERNIE SAXTON
It is definitely time to be out seeking sponsors for
2007 and beyond. If you are not doing that by now you
are way behind.
This column is offering you a shopping list of things
you should be doing to attract sponsors and keep
sponsors happy. And there will be a second part to the
list in the next column. I have to give thanks to
Marjorie Fay of the ACT sanctioning organization for
sharing some of her ideas with us.
1. What do you have to offer a marketing partner? Put it
on paper - it’s the start of your proposal.
2. Racing trade shows are not the place to look for
marketing partners. Use them as an opportunity to meet
the people you do business with, get the latest info and
gather business cards.
3. See if a friend/acquaintance will let you tag along
on a trade show trip to meet people, gather business
cards/information then follow up with letters/phone
4. Be sure to carry a brief brochure and business cards
about what you’re offering to marketing partners just in
case someone asks - home computers, color printers and
items readily available at stationery stores make this
easy to do. You can always follow-up with a more formal
5. Chambers of Commerce and/or area Business Journals
contain a wealth of information. Subscribe.
6. WRITE LETTERS. In this fast paced day and age people
are bombarded with e-mails and phone calls. Letters
allow a person to read and reply within their own time
frame. Be sure to present your case succinctly, ask for
a meeting, offer a couple of date options and state when
you’ll follow-up by phone - then do it!
7. When you write that letter (typed, not handwritten)
be sure it is grammatically correct. Have others read
it. Use a spell and/or grammar check, most programs have
them. Read it out loud to yourself, you’ll catch errors
that way. Various types of short notes (thank-you, etc)
can be typewritten if your handwriting is readable).
8. Marketing partners - sponsors are looking for “return
on investment” is your package likely to give them one?
9. Put together a list of prospects. Look around, notice
which companies are actively marketing (TV, radio, print
ads, etc). If someone is already spending money they
will more often than not be receptive to a new
10. Check out your prospects - know how, what and to
whom they market.
11. Follow-up, follow-up and follow-up. Until they say
“NO” you’re still in the hunt.
12. Everyone you know is a source for potential contacts
13. Sponsorship is an equal partnership - an exchange of
14. Select colors for car/hauler that contrast well &
compliment the sponsor.
15. Marketing Partnerships can fit well into sales
16. Make sure your graphics are clear and concice as to
who your sponsor is - big, simple, easy to read works
best. Do not use reflective logos and numbers. They do
not show up well under lights.
17. Winners look like winners.
18. Offer yourself and your car to your sponsor for
other advertising opportunities and be certain to show
19. Sponsor strength lies in PROMOTION AND PUBLIC
20. There are three necessary components - car, driver &
21. You must deliver three things - a) measurable
business, b) a business friendly promotional platform
and c) effective advertising impressions.
22. Exposure may not be the only thing a marketing
partner is looking for.
23. Keep your primary marketing partner’s hat in the
car, put it on when you get out even if you have to
change it for an event/series/track sponsor - the
cameras are always rolling.
24. Display sponsor flags, banners, etc., at every
25. Hand out brochures, samples (if applicable) when
possible and with approval of track Management.
26. Put car on display when not racing (above and beyond
sponsor initiated promotions).
27. Cultivate your hometown paper, radio, TV - get to
know the sports staff, let them know how you’re doing.
Offer to write a weekly column; many hometown papers
would love to have some “free filler.”
28. If sending out press releases be sure to use
letterhead from your marketing partner (if available) or
have some made or designed (with permission) - it’s
29. Photos are invaluable.
30. Keep all marketing partners aware of the exposure
you’re giving them - send copies of newspaper clippings,
press releases, results, etc., especially if a company’s
name is mentioned.
31. Send a report or call after races listing
32. Keep in touch.
33. Invite marketing partners to attend races as a
member of the team - involve your primary contact’s
family, other principals in the company, employees,
I will offer more in the next column. Make sure that you
include all of this as part of the proposal you offer to
a potential sponsor.
GETTING STARTED PACKAGE. We are offering a great package
of materials to get you started on your sponsorship
efforts or help you with your current sponsorship
efforts. We will include a generic sponsorship proposal,
contract and cover letter along with Milt Gedo’s great
“How To Write a Winning Proposal” (CD-ROM), Andrew
Waite’s excellent book “Winning Sponsorship”, a DVD or
VHS tape of one of our sponsorship seminars (two hours),
and a one year subscription to our monthly newsletter
Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News (now in its 22nd
year). All this normally would sell for close to $500.
We are offering it all, a limited time offer, for just
$249.95 plus $15.00 for postage. This gives you
everything you need to go after sponsorship in a
professional manner and you can call us on the telephone
for additional help from time-to-time. Call today at
215.752.7797 to order. Only available by telephone
Email us at Esaxton144@aol.com if you have questions.
SPONSORSHIP IS THE FASTEST GROWING FORM OF MARKETING
By Ernie Saxton
There is some great news from those of you seeking
sponsorship. According to data released by IEG
Sponsorship Report, a newsletter devoted to the latest
on sports, arts, cause and entertainment marketing,
there is more money being spent on sponsorship than ever
However with that great news comes some not so great
news according to Mel Poole writing in Street & Smith’s
SportsBusiness Journal. Sponsorship is the fastest
growing form of marketing. As a result there is a lot of
Poole points out that because of the success of
sponsorhip there is an increasing number of sports
properties that are cluttered with sponsors. Don’t you
wish you were in that position?
In the article Poole lists what sponsors should look
for in breakthrough properties. And we have to imagine
that if you are in a position to offer these benefits
your chances at sponsorship success improve immensely.
Keep this in mind. According to a recent industry
survey 73% of sponsors indicate properties are not
meeting their expectations in providing needed support.
Poole’s list includes:
* Exclusivity, credibility and no clutter.
* Ease of measurement and administration. (This is more
and more important as sponsors are really looking to
measure the real results of their sponsorship
* A willing property partner and honest support of
* Ability to make a positive difference for fans.
* Prepaid media extensions such as TV, print, radio and
the Internet. (A little thing like an Internet site is
often left out.)
* Ability to drive sales/branding.
* National and local activation elements.
* Powerful hospitality components. (This is often
forgotten and is so important.)
* Good fit with the brand’s personality.
* Have an ambush-proof sponsorship package.
The article Poole wrote touch on success stories such
as Nextel Cup and the FedEx Cup for the PGA but it gives
you a great list to work off toward your own sponsorship
HERE IS SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. According to a recent
issue of NCMC Sponsorship Tips Newsletter the sales
process for sponsorships has become much more
consultative over the last few years. This means that
takes longer (I can relate to that) to negotiate deals.
Six and seven figure deals can take a YEAR OR MORE TO
CLOSE. And five figure deals can take five months or
more to close.
According to an article titled “Everyone Needs Help” in
Inside Track Motorsports News (a Canadian publication)
offers a list of what a sponsor needs.
* To sell product
* To increase the visibility of their brand.
* To do something for their internal purposes, like
cheerlead their dealers.
* To test their product and give feedback?
Here is something that caught our attention and is
agreement with something I have said in our seminars and
written many times.
Sponsors that are expressly concerned about winning are
very rare. Most sponsors want a combination of getting
their brand or product in front of their target
consumers, and doing so with a person or team that is
going to represent them in a professional, businesslike
manner consistent with their corporate ethics.
You have to think what you can do to help out the
sponsors that you are trying to bring on board and to
keep the sponsors happy that you already have. One thing
is getting them exposure. The last column talked about
how important that is.
You should be thinking about your ability to work with
the media. Can you get you sponsor’s name in the press
(radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and Internet)? If you
are not doing it, learn how to make it happen. Or hire
someone that will make it happen.
It is amazing to me, being a member of the media that
writes five different columns on motorsports each week,
does two weekly radio shows and publishes a marketing
newsletter, that combined reaches more than 500,000
people on a regular basis, that we receive so few news
releases from race teams.
In our seminars we tell attendees that the first thing
they should do is send out a news release when they
secure a sponsorship. One racer told us he did not do
that because he did not want to draw a lot of attention
to the sponsor and have other racers trying to steal it.
If you deal is so weak that you have to worry about that
then your sponsorship is already in trouble.
TIPS ON THE HAULER AND SPONSORSHIP. Often times we tell
racers that they should make the race car hauler a part
of their sponsorship package. What we mean by that is
that is that there are more people going to see your
hauler going to the races, at the races and going home
from the races than see the race car. Putting the
sponsor name/logo on the hauler is important and adds a
great deal of value to the sponsorship package.
However many racers don’t do that because they claim it
will draw attention to the fact that they are hauling a
race car and that attention could result in the hauler
being stolen. So for that reasons they are not willing
to put the name/logo on the hauler. We suggest you up
the insurance you carry and check in at
to learn how you can
protect your racing equipment against theft.
Another reason racers give for not putting commercial
messages on their haulers is that it different states
have different laws regarding commercial vehicles.
Putting sponsorship logos/names on the hauler could
force the team to have the hauler driver to have a CDL
license and it could also change the insurance. However
we think even with all that to take into consideration
it is worth the extra effort and extra expense to have
the logo/names on the hauler and it should be reflected
in the sponsorship fee. In other words make the sponsor
pay for it.
SUMMER TIME SPONSOR PACKAGE! The time to be seeking
sponsorship for 2007 and beyond is NOW. Our Summer Time
Sponsor Package includes an actual generic sponsorship
proposal designed just for drag racers, the great Andrew
Waite book titled Winning Sponsorship, and a one year
subscription to Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News
(the monthly newsletter that has helped so many stayed
informed about sponsorship marketing and reach success
with their sponsorship efforts). The entire package is
available for just $174.95 including postage and
handling. This is a limited time offer. Telephone
Check out our website at
With Ernie Saxton
There are many complaints that we hear from racers seeking
sponsorship support. The two that we hear most are
sponsorship seekers are unable to reach the right people and
they can’t get prospects to return their calls.
Locating the right people will take some research and
spending some money to purchase some of the better
directories that are available. In the last issue we
suggested the Team Marketing Report Sports Sponsor Factbook.
Check it out at www.teammarketing.com. There are others but
at present we think this is the best one available.
However you can also get in touch with the local Chamber of
Commerce for information on businesses that you are planning
to contact. And a simple telephone call to a business asking
who handles the marketing and/or advertising will usually
get the correct name.
Once you have that information the real fun begins.
How successful are you at getting prospects to return your
The number one secret to success is being polite. When you
speak to the executive’s gatekeeper it is important to be
nice. And if you are the chances of getting a return call
are greatly improved. If you are not nice, polite (saying
please and thank you is important), you will not get a
return phone call because it is more than likely your
message never reached the executive.
What can really help is knowing the name of someone that the
prospect will be familiar with. It would help immensely to
be able to say: “John Doe suggested that I give you a call.
He felt that you might have interest in what we have to
offer.” And make sure you mention that name a second time
before hanging up. “Just wanted to remind you that John Doe
suggested that I call and I look forward to chatting with
Of course it is not always possible to have a name available
that the prospect is familiar with. In that case come up
with something that connects you with the company that you
are calling: “I am quite familiar with your company. I just
read an article about your company and feel I have something
will be of interest to you.”
Mention something specifically that you want to talk with
them about. “I have a marketing opportunity that will
benefit your company.” Or if you have sent a contact letter,
outlining a few key points of your sponsorship opportunity,
follow up with, “I wanted to hear your feedback on the
marketing opportunity I sent you last week.”
Mention how the call could be of benefit to them. “When you
return my call, I will share with you how my marketing
opportunity can improve your company’s sales and have quite
an impact on your bottom line.” Only say that if it is true
Your message should suggest a specific time and day when
their call should be returned. It will save the aggravation
of telephone tag. “I will be in my office in the morning on
tomorrow (Tuesday or whatever day tomorrow is). Hopefully
you will have the opportunity to return my call then.”
Or you might want to suggest this: “I’m going to leave my
E-mail address. Please send me a short message with the day
and time that will be convenient for us to chat. I will make
sure that I am available for your call at that time.”
IMPORTANT. Promise a short return call: “I promise to take
no more than two or three minutes when you return my call.
If I go longer you can hang up if you would like.”
When leaving the message, voice mail or with the gatekeeper,
keep it to three or four sentences. If you come across as
longwinded, it is likely that your call will not be
Give your telephone number at the beginning of the message
(be clear and concise) and give it again at the end of the
message. This gives the person taking the message to write
down the number without having to play back the message. If
the person is forced to play back the message the chances of
the message “getting lost” are greatly improved.
And finally, if you are available after normal business
hours, leave a cell phone number. When you are looking for
sponsorship support it is important to make yourself
available at all hours. Don’t miss out on that return call.
It could be the next big sponsorship deal being approved.
GOT A QUESTION ABOUT SPONSORSHIP? Email us at Esaxton144@aol.com
with your sponsorship questions. If it is a really good one
we will include it in one of our future columns.
INSPIRATION. We all need it and that is the title of the
23rd Annual IEG Sponsorship Conference taking place in
Chicago, March 12-15, 2006. This is clearly the most
informative sponsorship conference that I have ever
It is not cheap. The cost to attend is $1,795 but if you
sign up quickly this is an opportunity to save $275.
You will be joining more than 1,200 sponsorship
professionals for three days of non-stop sharing of
groundbreaking ideas and strategies through 150-plus
sessions and unparalleled networking opportunities. You’ll
learn from the industry’s brightest stars - those setting
the trends and reaping the returns - as well as from peers
and colleagues who have successfully met the same challenges
There are decision makers attending the conferences that may
just be interested in what you have to offer.
Check in for more information at www.sponsorship.com/inspiration.
GREAT FOR CHRISTMAS. Got a racer on your Christmas list and
don’t know what to get him or her? Give sponsorship help.
Our Christmas Special Sponsorship Package includes a generic
sponsorship proposal with cover letter and contract; Andrew
Waite’s great book Winning Sponsorships; a 6 fold
promotional brochure to help your sponsorship marketing
efforts; a two hour video of a recent sponsorship seminar
and a one year subscription to Motorsports Sponsorship
Marketing News (the monthly newsletter that has helped so
many with their sponsorship efforts). All this would
normally sell for more than $400. You can order it today for
just $199.95 plus $15.00 for shipping. A great Christmas
Fifteen percent of each order is donated to Salvation Army
Hurricane Relief Fund.
Telephone us at 215.752.7797. Check out other sponsorship
materials and advice that we offer at
NEWS FROM MOTORSPORTS SPONSORSHIP
Media Contact: Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc.
Ernie or Marilyn Saxton
215.752.7797 or 215.752.2392
Cell phone: 267-934-7286
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PLEASE WITH OUR THANKS
TIME TO BE SEEKING SPONSORSHIP FOR 2006, SPONSORSHIP KIT
AVAILABLE; 15% OF EACH PURCHASE GOES TO SALVATION ARMY
LANGHORNE, PA September 30, 2005 . . . For those wanting to
be successful in their efforts to secure marketing partners
for their auto racing efforts, Ernie Saxton Communications,
Inc., publisher of the monthly newsletter on sponsorship
marketing titled Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News, has
come up with a special offer for one of their most popular
sponsorship marketing kits.
“This is a package that can help a racer secure sponsorship.
Racers should be working on securing serious sponsorship
support for 2006 by now,” said Ernie Saxton. “And those who
purchase the kit now will see 15% of their purchase go to
the Salvation Army Hurricane Relief Fund.”
The kit includes a video of a sponsorship seminar that Ernie
Saxton presented recently. The two hour video covers much of
the information that racers need to know in order to be
successful in securing sponsorship/marketing partners. In
the video Saxton is also found answering many questions from
There is also a generic proposal that has been created by
Saxton to give sponsorship seekers some idea of what a
potential sponsor is looking for when a proposal is
presented. It is loaded with ideas that will help get the
attention of potential sponsors.
WINNING SPONSORSHIPS, a great book on sponsorship marketing,
written by Andrew Waite is also part of the kit as is a one
year subscription to Saxton’s Motorsports Sponsorship
Marketing News. The monthly newsletter, now approaching its
22nd year of publication, has helped many with their
sponsorship efforts and continues to provide tips, helps,
contacts, latest sponsorship news and much more.
If purchased separately the package would cost close to
$350. For a short time, at a time when race teams have
completed their seasons and should anxious to get started on
the 2006 season and are looking to secure sponsorship
support, the package is being offered at a very special
price of $199.95 plus $12.00 for postage and handling.
Those taking advantage of this special offer will have 15%
of the purchase price donated to the Salvation Army
Hurricane Relief Fund.
“This is our way of trying to help those in need, the
Hurricane victims, and help racers secure sponsorship,” said
More information may be found at WWW.SAXTONSPONSORMARKET.COM.
The Ultimate Sponsorship Kit, a more in-depth package of
sponsorship marketing materials along with telephone
consultation, is also available and is described at the
An ESC, Inc. brochure of services and self help materials is
available upon request.
The sponsorship marketing kit may be ordered by telephoning
Saxton at 215.752.7797 or 215.752.2392. Email Esaxton144@aol.com.
All major credit cards are accepted.
Saxton is also available to present a sponsorship seminar
for your speedway, organization or race team that can be
used as a fund raiser.
Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc., located in Langhorne, PA,
offers more than 35 years of motorsports marketing
experience. His firm offers a variety of marketing services
for racer teams and event organizers seeking sponsorship and
media relations. Saxton also offers his expertise as a
consultant to businesses looking to benefit from marketing
SPONSORSHIP MARKETING - BACK TO BASICS (Number two in a
By Ernie Saxton
We must have hit a nerve with the last
column. Our last effort was about sponsorship basics and it
generated more emails and telephone calls than just about
any other column we have written about sponsorship
And we continue with the basics this time around.
It is important to understand that there are at least two
different kinds of sponsors. There is the sponsor (often
times a fan, a friend or a family member) that gets involved
just to be involved. They expect nothing in return for their
support. Paint their name on the race car and they are
happy. They just enjoy seeing their name on the car and they
enjoy knowing that they have helped put a race car on the
track. And there are those who are the SERIOUS SPONSORS who
actually expect a return on their investment.
The SERIOUS SPONSOR wants to see something being done to
create traffic for his business, gain exposure for his
business or give him a place to entertain employees and
customers. Often times a SERIOUS SPONSOR wants all that and
more. And if you want to receive serious sponsorship support
you have to make all that happen.
The days of offering to paint the sponsor’s name on the race
car and calling it sponsorship are long gone. The racer that
wants a SERIOUS SPONSOR has to offer a package that
includes, perhaps, signage at the track where the team races
on a regular basis. Get the sponsor involved in supporting a
night of racing at the track. Include advertising in the
track or sanctioning organization publications. Don’t forget
the possibility of billboard advertising at the track.
Public address announcements are usually available at the
track. Don’t forget your website. Don’t have a website? You
should have one because it can be a great marketing tool for
helping you in your sponsorship marketing and it can be used
to market your sponsor. The cost of having a website is too
low not to be included in your team package. The list goes
One of the “tools” that is available to most race teams to
be used as a marketing tool is the hauler. Most teams have
haulers and it upsets me to see how very few use the hauler
as a rolling billboard carrying the sponsor names. With that
being said we should also point out that it would be a very
good idea to check with the motor vehicle department in your
state to be sure you are within the laws of the state in
using the hauler as a billboard. Also important is checking
with your insurance carrier to see if the hauler will need
additional insurance coverage. The increased costs should be
incorporated into the sponsorship fees.
The hauler is important as a sponsor marketing tool because
there will probably be more people seeing the sponsor
logo/name on the hauler than will see it once you are at the
race track. However make sure that the sponsor “pays” for
the increased exposure. DON’T GIVE ANYTHING AWAY! DON’T SELL
YOUR SPONSORSHIP TOO CHEAP!
The team should do everything possible to generate exposure
for the sponsor with the main effort being to create
customer traffic for the sponsor. As soon as the sponsorship
is secured there should be a media release announcing the
sponsorship, the team plans and a brief rundown on past
efforts and successes. Make it available to the key media
that cover the sport. Include the business news section of
your local newspapers since it should be news of interest if
Create stories on the team, including sponsor names, for
program books and organization publications. Make sure the
public relations person at the track where you compete
receives information on your team and the announcer is given
a fact sheet with notes of interest about the team and a
list of sponsors including locations. If your team is not
doing this they should be returning the money to the
sponsors because the sponsor is being cheated. It absolutely
amazes me, as I travel the country doing sponsorship
seminars, that very few teams do these basics to secure
exposure for their sponsors.
Creating stories requires little work, very little expense,
and the rewards can be outstanding.
Don’t promise what you cannot produce. That means don’t
promise to win races and championships. Don’t promise to get
the sponsor exposure in all area newspapers, trade
publications, and other media. Instead, promise to race to
the best of your talents and produce the best possible
results with hopes of wins and championships. Promise to do
the best job possible in generating exposure for the sponsor
in the media. It is not difficult but it is not guaranteed.
If you can’t talk business, or you can’s write an effective
letter, or you can’t develop a proposal or don’t understand
selling, you MUST hire someone to do it for you.
Don’t expect anyone worthwhile to do it on a commission
basis. Either hire someone to help you, or buy some
marketing materials that will help you do it yourself. Be
certain that the finished proposal and cover letter along
with all materials created include good grammar, correct
spelling, and the proper names and titles of those who are
being contacted. DON’T FORGET…there is nothing worse than a
greasy thumbprint on the letter or proposal. It all has to
If you want to learn more about selling we suggest a great
little book titled Little Red Book of Selling written by
Jeffrey Gitomer. Included in the book are 12.5 principles of
sales greatness and how to make sales forever.
This book can be found at just about any good bookstore. It
is easy to read and can be very helpful to your sales
efforts. Buy a copy and read it carefully. Or you head down
to the Barnes and Noble or Borders, buy a coffee, grab a
table, and read it right in the store. No purchase needed.
LOOK INTO attending the Sixth Annual Motorsports Marketing
Forum at the New York Marriott East Side in New York City,
You can get all details at
And we are putting together plans to present a number of
seminars during the off season in different locations around
the nation. Please be in touch at
Esaxton144@aol.com if you would have interest in
attending and we will keep you informed of our scheduled
seminars. Or you could promote one of our seminars and raise
money for your team or track. We can give you all details.
OUR SPECIAL OFFER THIS MONTH continues to be the one year
subscription deal for our Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing
News. This is a monthly newsletter that offers those in the
racing industry assistance in securing sponsorship support
and promotional help. It has helped many become successful
in their sponsorship efforts. For just $59.95 you get one
year of the newsletter that normally costs $89.95. We will
even throw in a couple of our most recent editions with our
compliments. Call us at 215.752.7797 and have your credit
card ready. And check out our website at
BACK TO BASICS IN SPONSORSHIP
With Ernie Saxton
(First of a series)
Recent telephone calls from racers have me concerned about what
is going on in regards to sponsorship marketing. As most know
the major teams have agencies representing them or have staff
members working on their sponsorship opportunities. When it
comes to local and regional racers it is pretty much something
that is being done on their own.
What is disappointing is that even with all the information that
is out there on sponsorship, many racers are doing nothing and
many others are handling sponsorship search efforts very poorly.
With that being said we felt it would be a great time to do a
get back to basics type of column…..maybe two.
Finding sponsorship for local and regional racers is not easy
and, actually, it is getting tougher. However those who present
an intelligent package of benefits for the sponsor showing how
their involvement will impact their business are finding
If racers are not willing to spend the money to hire someone to
represent their sponsorship opportunities then they have to
learn to do it on their own or keeping paying for their racing
out of their own pockets.
We are offering about two dozen ideas on what a racer should be
doing to attract sponsorship and keep sponsors happy so that
they will continue their involvement.
SET A REALISTIC FIGURE. In most cases there is no television
involved in local and regional racing so that keeps the
sponsorship value down. If you are racing in events that have no
TV, little or no fan support and no media support, you can not
expect to find a big dollar sponsorship. Be realistic in what
you ask for. We have a formula for figuring what to ask for
(actually we suggest that you offer a few different packages)
and we are happy to share it with you. However we need to know
about your racing efforts in order to come up with that figure.
Give us a call at 215.752.7797 or email us at Esaxton144@aol.com.
Don’t expect the sponsor to pay for everything. They don’t want
to get into the racing business. They will just want to use you
and your team as a marketing tool.
With all that said, we also want to warn you not to sell too
cheap. Too often we see racers selling exposure on their race
car at a price that is much lower than it should be. If you
don’t feel that the marketing opportunities are worth much, the
sponsor will share the same feeling. We suggest asking for more
than you expect to receive so that you have “wiggle room” and
And realistically a sponsor will pay only what they feel the
opportunity is worth to them.
BUSINESS SENSE SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR RACING EFFORTS. Run your
race team as you would a business. Those means set budgets and
live within those budgets. Present a professional image for your
team with team stationary and business cards. Be prepared to
show a potential sponsor your business plan. And this may
surprise a lot of racers but potential sponsors will check out
your credit status and reputation. Get a copy of your credit
report and clear up any problems.
NO MATTER WHAT, DO NOT BEG!! Never tell a potential sponsor that
would you will not be able to race unless you get their
sponsorship support. That is not sponsorship marketing that is
BEGGING FOR DOLLARS. Our opinion is that a racer should be ready
to race, have his equipment in place, even without sponsorship
support. A sponsor does not like to get involved with a race
team that is going to be created with their money.
MOST SERIOUS SPONSORS DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR RACING. Fortunately
for a lot of racers there are business owners who get ego
gratification out of seeing their business name on the side of a
race car. They don’t care about the marketing returns. They get
to charge off their involvement on their taxes for something
they enjoy being part of………at least until their first IRS audit.
Business people are often looking for ways to market their
business. Most of them do not care about racing. You can offer
them a unique opportunity. They will be able to market their
business in a sport that accepts commercialism much more readily
than any other sport. You have to show them how it can be done
and how it will be done by you on their behalf. And the rewards
will be GREAT.
MOST SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES ARE BACKWARD. The biggest share of
sponsorship proposals that we have the opportunity to review are
done backward. Too often we see that 75% of the package is about
the racer, the race team and racing. Actually 75% of the package
should be filled with information on how the racer will market
the sponsor as part of the race team.
And you do have to offer a package that includes a variety of
things such as the name on the race car and on the hauler.
Names/logos on the team uniforms. Include them on the team
website (if you don’t have one you should). Hospitality and
entertainment. Media involvement. Signage at events. Sponsorship
of an event. Track magazine advertising and the list goes on.
The racer needs to have some of the sponsorship dollars set
aside to market the sponsor. And the sponsor must be made aware
that they have to spend some of their own money to activate the
sponsorship. Most of the failed sponsorships we have come across
have failed because the sponsor was not made aware what they
have to do to make it all work. It is a team (racer and sponsor)
effort that makes sponsorship work.
We will continue our list of two dozen or so basic sponsorship
marketing suggestions next issue.
Please feel free to give us a call at 215.752.7797 or email us
at Esaxton144@aol.com to ask questions. We are happy to take
your existing proposal and review it for you for a small fee.
OUR SPECIAL OFFER FOR THIS MONTH includes a big discount on our
monthly MOTORSPORTS SPONSORSHIP MARKETING NEWS. This is for
readers of this column and for new subscribers only. The price
for a one year subscription will be $59.95 and that is for a one
full year plus we toss in a two or three of the most recent
editions. We can tell you that the newsletter has helped many be
more successful with their sponsorship efforts. Telephone us at
215.752.7797 and have your credit card ready. Please take a few
minutes to visit our website at www.saxtonsponsormarket.com as
it is constantly updated with new information that we feel will
be of interest and useful.
GOOD LUCK as you
kick off your show business career.
If you are looking for some help with your sponsorship efforts,
think about this special offer. For just $95.95 (includes
postage and handling) you will receive a copy of WINNING
SPONSORSHIPS written by marketing expert Andrew Waite. And you
will receive the monthly newsletter, MOTORSPORTS SPONSORSHIP
MAKRETING NEWS, now in its 18th year of publication. The
newsletter gets credit for help many with their sponsorship
success and keeps readers informed on what is new in sponsorship
marketing, the latest deals, tips, leads and helpful feature
articles by sponsorship and marketing experts. Normally the two
publications would cost more than $160.00. Pick up the telephone
and order now at 215.752.7797 or 215.752.2392 and you get both
for the one price of $95.95. Subscribers to the newsletter are
also given the opportunity to consult with publisher Ernie
Saxton via the telephone. Check out his website at
And feel free to call us if you have questions. Let us know
how you make out. Keep us informed (at email@example.com) on
your sponsorship deals for our newsletter and various