Evaluating a race car sponsorship

Question by Patrick J. Conley on LinkedIn Answers. My answer below

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How do you assess the value of a race car sponsorship?

Last year, my best friend of more than 25 years, decided to take up racing cars again at the age of 41. At the end of the 2007 season he received Rookie of the Year for the Central States Region Supercup Series and placed 7th overall in points for the year. These are basically half-scale NASCARs that frequently reach speeds on 80-100 MPH (see his website from last year – which is also changing).

This year there are some serious sponsors entering the picture for the series, including Browns Chicken, and radio coverage of all races within the Chicagoland area has been contracted. Beyond a full season of nearly 20 races that will cover tracks in Chicago, Milwaukee, Rockford, Madison, the Dells and Indianapolis, his team is also taking part in the St. Patrick’s Day parade (Chicago) as well as numerous home shows and car shows.

THE QUESTION is how do we assign a value to all of these races and appearances? Do we attempt to calculate a cost per thousand over the course of the season? Do we market based upon expected impressions (including races, parades, radio and TV coverage)? Our goal is to sell a primary sponsorship for ~ $20k and a secondary sponsorship for the back third of the card for $12-15K, but this basically just covers the racing costs for the team for the year.

Any ideas or suggestions on how best to promote and market this opportunity to potential regional/national sponsors would be truly appreciated.

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Here’s my answer:

I would also recommend going the impressions route – calculate everything from people on the street at parades to tv audience that’ll see the logo, pictures in print, online, etc…

Like Sean says, I’d also work in there “non-impression” based value like face time with the racer, or with co-sponsors’ at various races – that’s hard for the potential to sponsor but will get him excited. It will tilt the decision making process from a strictly numbers game to more gut feeling where you can make a difference.

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0 comments

  • Joseph L says:

    Sometimes the value is not measurable. One mistake that is made when selling a car sponsership or any sponsorship, is that the sponsor will need to spend at least two times the amont of the sposnorship to activate the sponsorship. The sponsor needs to drive the media with PR and promotion to make things happen. If you sell the sponsorship on numbers only and take all the money, it is almost certain, that the sponsor will not see any ROI.

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