Saturday, October 25, 2014

 

For Promoter - Organization Officials;
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SPONSORSHIP MARKETING
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 limited.
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 $164,300.
* 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 readers.
In Milwaukee a full-page, black and white ad, in the Milwaukee Journal reaching 236,000 readers will cost $15,000.
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 commercial.
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.


SPONSORSHIP MARKETING
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 communication?
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 communicate.
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 corporate expenditure.”
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 $249.”
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.
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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 Ernie Saxton.
Thank you.
Richard Preiser, Jackson, NJ
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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 Conference.
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 communities.
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 partnerships.
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 bizbooks@bizjournals.com.
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 motorsports.
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 calls.
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 packet.
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 opportunity.
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 - network.
13. Sponsorship is an equal partnership - an exchange of services.
14. Select colors for car/hauler that contrast well & compliment the sponsor.
15. Marketing Partnerships can fit well into sales promotions.
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 up.
19. Sponsor strength lies in PROMOTION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS.
20. There are three necessary components - car, driver & PR.
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 opportunity.
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 fairly inexpensive.
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 promotional activity.
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, time-to-time.
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 orders.
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 before.
 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 clutter.
 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 involvement.)
* A willing property partner and honest support of participants.
* 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 success.
 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 www.datadotmotorsports.com 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 215.752.7797.  
 Check out our website at www.saxtonsponsormarket.com.  

SPONSORSHIP MARKETING
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 telephone calls?
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 you.”
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 though.
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 returned.
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 attended.
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 you face.
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 Gift idea.
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 www.saxtonsponsormarket.com.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS.


NEWS FROM MOTORSPORTS SPONSORSHIP
MARKETING NEWS
Media Contact: Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc.
Ernie or Marilyn Saxton
215.752.7797 or 215.752.2392
Email: esaxton144@aol.com
Cell phone: 267-934-7286
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PLEASE WITH OUR THANKS
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TIME TO BE SEEKING SPONSORSHIP FOR 2006, SPONSORSHIP KIT AVAILABLE; 15% OF EACH PURCHASE GOES TO SALVATION ARMY HURRICANE FUND

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 seminar attendees.
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 Saxton.
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 website.
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 through motorsports.


SPONSORSHIP MARKETING - BACK TO BASICS (Number two in a series)
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 marketing.
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 on.
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 presented properly.
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 look professional.
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, November 29-30.
You can get all details at www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/conferences.
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 www.saxtonsponsormarket.com.


BACK TO BASICS IN SPONSORSHIP MARKETING
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 success.
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 can negotiate.
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 www.saxtonsponsormarket.com.

    And feel free to call us if you have questions. Let us know how you make out. Keep us informed (at esaxton144@aol.com) on your sponsorship deals for our newsletter and various motorsports columns.