Originally Posted by James
I've been racing for just over two years now (at national level) and have a few sponsorship arrangements. I have an understanding of what is required in order to firstly obtain sponsorship, and of course understand what a sponsor expects of me as a sponsored driver.
Let me tell you, it's not just about getting free gear and not coughing up for stuff. Usually a sponsor expects something in return. And it's usually promotion of their products, and perhaps some other general duties that you might carry out for your sponsor, in your area. (liaise with shops, deal with track banners, could be anything)
Originally Posted by Aaron Waldron
What James said is what makes a sponsored driver in many cases. You already know what a company wants to see in a driver. I cannot really think of any company that is interested in just giving out free product so a guy can afford to go club racing. If your racing nationally, or at the very minimum in large area series races that makes a big difference. Joe Schmoe club racer stands a very poor chance of getting sponsored. Companies are more focused on making their money work for them. Throwing free product out the door does little to help a company if it's in the wrong hands.
That's a great article Aaron posted. I think it's important that one thing anyone who is out sponsor hunting for realize is they need to start out being professional.
PM'ing a sponsored driver or company owner, or sending out a random email with just a couple lines of text requesting a sponsorship won't cut it. You need a resume; you need to go about it the same way you would if you were going for a job.
Which brings up another point. Much like the job market, companies have people head hunting for talent. If you're out on the national level making a name for yourself sponsors will request your resume if they want to talk to you.