Throughout previous blogs on this site, and through many other valuable blogs online that talk about sponsorship in racing, the one universally preached concept is providing your sponsors real value in exchange for a slice of their marketing budget. This still holds true, but let’s expand on this a little further.
The following concept is by no means original or new, and it’s already being used by businesses globally, but we wanted to give it a quick mention because in the context of racing, it’s a skill you’ll want to start implementing and refining where appropriate.
Beyond the standard offerings for sponsors like hospitality, team branding, social media, etc, offer to collaborate in constructing and telling a real story with them. Why tell a story? The value provided through storytelling, whether that’s through the medium of video, audio, or a blog, is far more relatable and engaging than just a social media call out, a logo on car, or paddock signage. And that’s not marketing conjecture either, it’s actually scientific in nature. People connect with and remember stories better than we can recall or relate to stand-alone content.
Brand stories can be constructed within many different frameworks as well. For example, stories can be a bi-product of a collaboration between you and the brand, the story of how a brand’s product or service helped a specific customer they’re targeting (most commonly seen), or how that brand got involved in racing (especially if it’s their first time playing in the sport). Whichever path you develop, it’s worth noting that this is a highly collaborative process between you and your sponsor in crafting the right message to distribute, with clear objectives on who you’re targeting, and what the desired outcome will be through your work. Brand stories are also inherently more valuable to companies when done properly, and thus, you have every right to make such a service a higher ticket item.
Further adding to your own value, storytelling helps to openly promote you almost as much as it helps promote your sponsor. Producing high quality stories that drive attention and engagement to your partners shows you (as a team or racer) understand how to successfully work with companies, giving you case studies you can then use in future prospect dialogs.
The 2022 racing season might feel like a long way off, but many teams and racers are already starting to reach out to prospective sponsor and partners for next year. In doing so, keep the option of developing a story with your future sponsor in mind when diagnosing their needs and goals. It could end up being a great fit for what they’re looking to achieve.