How to Get Sponsored: Write a Race Resume

A common question among aspiring RC racers is: “How do I get sponsored?” The inspiration for this article actually comes from a young racer asking me that very question only a few days ago. A lot has been written about the subject. I could provide the now cliché warning that being sponsored isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and point out that all the free or discounted stuff comes at the price of having new expectations put on you. While that is very true, it kind of goes without saying.

I will warn you that most racers end up with what are called 50% sponsorships. This means a company essentially sets up an account where you buy parts directly from them at a discounted rate–usually half off. Sounds great, right? So, why would I warn you about this? Two reasons. One, there are lots of 50%’ers out there and they all hurt the tracks they race at. 50% sponsorships take potential sales away from the hobby shops. Unlike factory rides which are rare, 50% sponsorships are a dime a dozen. K/N Speedway, a famous oval track, went out of business not because oval’s popularity was waining. K/N’s demise is at least partially due to the fact that half the drivers still racing there were “sponsored.” The other half were buying online. Hobby shops that don’t sell anything go out of business. The other item I must warn you about 50% sponsorships is that exactly 100% of the people you tell that you’re now “sponsored” will find you annoying, think you don’t desire it and probably poke a little well deserved fun at you behind your back with the other local racers who now find you annoying and think you don’t deserve it. OK, you’ve been warned.

Below is an example of a Race Resume. Along with a well crafted email requesting sponsorship, a race resume is the key to going from local-guy-who-wins-his-fair-share-of-races to local-guy-who-wins-his-fair-share-of-races-but-gets-some-stuff-for-free-or-at-a-discount. And, since the initial email is arguable more important than the resume because it outlines what’s in it for them, I’ll show you that first.

SAMPLE SPONSORSHIP REQUEST EMAIL
Short, sweet, to the point and well written is the goal here. If your writing leaves something to be desired, have someone proofread your email before you send it. If your request is poorly written, full of errors, a potential sponsor will be forced to assume you speak the same way you write and not want you representing them. Check out this example from our fictional friend, Timmy Toofast.

Dear Team manager,
I am writing you to inquire about possible sponsorship opportunities with Brand X. I realize you must receive numerous requests, but I believe sponsoring my racing efforts will truly be mutually beneficial.

I am committed to being an ambassador of the hobby, and I believe this is just as important as winning races. In addition to representing Brand X in a professional manner, I can articulately explain the benefits of the product line in the pits and positively demonstrate its advantages while on the track. I have won several well-attended races, as outlined in my attached resume. I race weekly and often also attend weekly practice night. In addition to my local racing efforts, I participate in trophy races and regional competitions in four states. I race 1/8-scale buggy, short course and even attend rock crawling competitions. I am also a volunteer at my local track where I perform track grooming, assist with signups and help clean up after the races.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope we can discuss sponsorship opportunities in the near future.

Thank you,
Timmy Toofast

RACE RESUME
After reading Timmy’s letter, you can’t help but pull for him, but there’s more to it than a nice request. A race resume shows a potential sponsor that you can indeed win races. While most companies will say they want great representatives more than great racers, believe me when I tell you they don’t want a bunch of hacks running around saying they’re sponsored by them either. In addition to the standard contact information, a race resume should state an objective. While objectives are not always used in professional resumes these days, they make perfect sense on a race resume because you can use this part to state the type of sponsorship you’re seeking. After the objective, list your race accomplishments starting with the most recent. List as many as you can while still keeping your resume limited to a single page. If you have more than can fit on one page, cull the race results that aren’t as impressive as the others. You’ll have to make a judgement call on what’s more impressive, a first place victory at local trophy race or a bottom of the A-main finish at a large race. References are not included on typical resumes, but are highly recommended on race resumes. Hobby shop owners, race directors and sponsored racers you know are good references. Always check with your references first before listing them.

Timmy Toofast
49 Hot Shot Drive
Los Angeles, California 90220
909-241-0870
timmytoofast@fakemail.com

OBJECTIVE
To obtain sponsorship from a leading RC manufacturer, help promote the hobby and expand my racing efforts and successes.

RACING ACCOMPLISHMENTS
2012 All States Mid-West Coast Nationals
Sam’s Hobby & Raceway – Big City, California

> 1st Place A-main 4WD Modified Short course
> 3rd Place A-main 1/8-scale Buggy

2012 Summer Throw Down
Hobby City – Nowhere, Arizona
> 1st Place A-main 4WD Modified Short course
> 1st Place A-main 2WD Modified Short Course
> 2rd Place A-main 1/8-scale Truggy

2012 Point Series Champion
Sam’s Hobby & Raceway – Big City, California

2012 Point Series Champion
West Coast RC Rockers Club

2011 All States Mid-West Coast Nationals
Sam’s Hobby & Raceway – Big City, California
> 2nd Place A-main 4WD Modified Short course
> 5th Place A-main 1/8-scale Buggy

REFERENCES
Sam Dealmaker
Owner: Sam’s Hobby & Raceway
909-241-0870, sam@fakemail.com

Dave Applejacks
Owner: Hobby City
909-241-0870, dave@fakemail.com 

Ricky Bobby
Local sponsored racer
909-241-0870, rickyb@fakemail.com

 

Also check out: Race for FREE!
Also check out: Sponsorship – Do You Have What it Takes?

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Filed Under: CommentaryFeaturedGeneral RC

Matt Higgins About the Author:

Matt has over 25 years of experience in RC and has worked professionally in media for over a decade. Matt enjoys everything from racing to rock crawling to bashing, and he believes RC should be all about having fun. Matt is as at home covering a world championship in an exotic country as he is showing a new hobbyist how to set gear mesh. His desire to share the hobby with as many people as possible inspired him to create RC Truck Stop and RCTruckStop.com.

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  1. Well said Matt, Go Team RC Truck Stop!!

  2. Robbob says:

    Great write up Matt. I can attest sponsorship shouldn’t be about getting the free stuff, trying to look cool or just winning. You’re an ambassador, extension if you will, of that product.

    I’ve seen first hand what those non factory deals do to local shops. I think the manufactureres have realized it too since you see less of them floating around.

    Nice job posting this.

    Robbob

  3. Mark says:

    The part about expectations the manufacturers have for their sponsored drivers is not really accurate. Most of this generations ‘sponsors’ don’t even care if their drivers even race, let alone how well they race.

    • Matt Higgins Matt Higgins says:

      Mark, you are unfortunately correct. There is very little accountability. I can’t and don’t intend to speak for all sponsors, but from what I have seen, the sponsor has nothing to lose. It’s just another sale to them and maybe at a higher profit than after it goes through a distributor and then a hobby store.

  4. Chazz says:

    I field sponsorship requests all the time. Two things are missing from your otherwise excellent report. First, we expect drivers to have other sponsorships before coming to X Factory. Normally drivers start with the LHS, then add a local painter, a graphics guy, then motor & battery, then tires, finally chassis. We want to see the results a potential driver has obtained for his other sponsors.

    Second, we want loyalty to our products, usually demonstrated by owning and racing our cars. Don’t tell us, “If you sponsor me I’ll make you look good.” Instead, “I’ve been driving your stuff for the last 18 months and have had excellent success…”

    And if you want to really get our attention, send us your media kit.

    • Matt Higgins Matt Higgins says:

      Very useful input. Thank you

      • Kurt Wenger says:

        As a long time racer, when I consider someone for a sponsorship, the first quality I look at is the person and how they represent themselves. Are they helpful, friendly, and presentable? If a racer cannot pass those initial tests, I don’t even care about his race results. If they have the makings of a great representative, then I don’t care as much about results or wins. I mainly want someone that will be competitive (notice I didn’t say winning) and to be a helpful representative for my company at the track.

        • Matt Higgins Matt Higgins says:

          Great feedback from an industry insider. Thanks, Kurt

          • Chazz says:

            We agree with Kurt entirely.

            Sponsored drivers are a cost, and that cost is the bulk of our advertising/promotion budget. In many ways were are “paying” the drivers and they are performing a service in return. What service? They help us sell product.

            Thus my post above: Do you have a media kit? Do you even know what one is or how to use it? And, show us the results you have obtained for your other sponsors. When you were sponsored by motor company X, did their sales go up at the LHS that also sponsors you, and now that you’ve been with X a while, are X’s sales improving all over your area? Is your painter now doing more bodies than before?

            If the answers above are positive, we need you regardless of your on-track record. If those answers are not so good, we don’t care how many races you win.

          • Matt Higgins Matt Higgins says:

            Thanks for adding your input, Chazz.

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