I've asked a question for years about "SPONSORSHIP" in the R/C industry...because a lot of it I just don't understand.
A SPONSOR on a T.V. program, radio station, magazine ad, infomercial,etc. is a 'paid advertisement'
for a product or company.
A celebrity endorsement is when a company approaches a person with some type of celebrity status and contracts them to promote, use, or help sell thier product...
But, a socalled R/C sponsorship can be many things
A) A racer being able to "BUY" a product directly from a MFG. at a "Less than Suggested Retail" discount a.k.a. the 50% deal or what ever you want to call it (To me this is NOT a sponsorship...it's a discounted PURCHASE)
B) FULL 100% FREE product to a racer
C) Racers acatually 'PAID' to attend races on behalf of a mfg. or product, with expense accounts, etc.
D) A company sending so called "donations" or "give-a-way" prizes.
E) A dollar based 'event sponsorship' to the track/promoter/organization.
And there are more, but these seem to be some of the common ones.
Some say "A" hurts local hobbyshops because a racer will try to push products outside of the store, and other various reasons.
and I say "D" does nothing to really help a race promoter put on his/her event...and I really can't see where it helps the mfg. either....other than once in a while somebody will actually be given something he'll use..but in the last 22 years I haven't seen that happen very often.
EVERYBODY wants something for FREE
Racers think THEY should be sponsored....just because they race.
Tracks/Stores etc. think they should get 'Free' door prizes for every race...just because they are putting on a race.
I know the mfg's get hit up by EVERYONE from race directors/promoters to racers wanting something for 'FREE'....and I also know MFG's have certain events they WANT TO SPONSOR because those events are REALLY BIG DEALS and they feel they can get something for their buck.
SNOWBIRDS - has a TON of sponsors - but most kind of fall through the cracks I think...but people want to sponsor it...because it's HUGE.
But a small regional race in a small town nobody's ever heard of is trying hard to get r/c racing strong in their area might really need some small financial help to pull thier event off...and want some $$$ help to pay for needed equipment, and manpower to do the event. "Product Give-A-Ways" will NOT help these races generate that money.
As far as a ROAR event - When they are/were HUGE, little guys like me went because of the HYPE. I never wanted to race against Joel Johnson, Cliff Lett, Tony Neisinger, Frank Killam, Chris Doesek, Frank Polimeda, and/or so many awesome racers....but I did want a class I could run in at an event...and be there to WATCH the MASTERS perform.
When MFG's are strong and the companies have STRONG racers, it's so awesome to watch them do battle as TEAMS... When the TOP MFG's send drivers to a race to run in a TOP LEVEL class this makes OTHER racers want to be there.
To me, when this stopped in OVAL RACING - THAT is when OVAL RACING numbers dropped the hardest.
BOTTOM LINE - SPONSORSHIP is about PRODUCT AWARENESS and SELLING PRODUCTS.
If the socalled BIG RACES don't bring a return on the SPONSORSHIP DOLLAR what ever type of sponsorship it is...how do you continue it?
**These are just MY opinions as a RACER and a RACE DIRECTOR/PROMOTER
South-West Tour "R/C Oval Series" director.
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