Matching your audience to a sponsor’s target (with real, live numbers!).

One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear is that you should be targeting potential sponsors or marketing partners whose target demographics match with the audience you reach.

In essence, the company should want to reach the people who are interested in you. Your audience should be their target.

When we think about the people who are interested in you, most of us instantly think about fans as that demographic. And that’s a great place to start. But there are other people who pay attention to what you say, from your other/current marketing partners, manufacturers and retail shops that you work with, other racers you mentor or share shop space with, and media outlets.

For example, you might be featured often in a magazine or newspaper that the potential marketing partner would also like to be referenced in. Another example? The company you’re looking to work with may also want to do business with a current sponsor.

In an ideal marketing relationship, you’re the linchpin between the company and who they want to work with.

When you’re brainstorming companies to connect with, or, hopefully, you may already be connected with, for your sponsorship program, knowing who your audience is can be a great first step to matching it up.

So how do you form the picture of your audience?

You probably already have a decent feeling for who you’re reaching. But here are a few tips for how to paint a solid picture:

  • Think about what kind of people surround your car on an average night. Are they young or old, male or female, blue collar or white collar? What are their interests outside of racing?
  • Think about the people who buy your shirts, respond to your social media updates, and cheer for you in the stands. Some are easier to picture than others, but talk to your crew, owner and significant other – anyone who consistently attends your races – to find out what they see.
  • Consider the non-fan demographics and list:
    • Any businesses you’re a regular customer of, racing-related and not
    • Your current marketing partners
    • Media outlets or reporters that you receive coverage from
    • Businesses that your day job touches, if you have one
    • Anyone else that pays attention to what you say. This might include younger racers that look up to you, churches and community organizations you’ve worked with
    • Run the numbers (more below).

In racing sponsorship, we don’t often get the chance to attach numbers to our programs. But it is possible to get very clear on exactly who is in one segment of your audience: your Facebook community.

If you have a dedicated Facebook Fan page for your race team (not a ‘friend’ or individual profile, which I highly recommend switching from ASAP if you use one), you can use Facebook analytics to get a good idea of who’s engaging with your content online.

Here are the (simple) steps:

  • On your fan page, you’ll see the Insights Tab on the header. Click there.Facebook Analytics for Racing Sponsorship
  • Click on the People Tab in the sub-header.FB Analytics for Racing Sponsorship
  • There, you can view information on people who like your page, are reached by your post and engage with your post. You can see their gender and age, country, city and language.

Between all of those metrics, you should be able to get a good idea of who’s paying attention to you and brainstorm some companies or industries that would be interested in reaching them.

Have another tip for identifying your audience? Share below!


P.S. Thanks to everyone who entered to win Creativity for Sale: How I Made $1,000,000 Wearing T-Shirts and How You Can Turn Your Passion Into Profit, TooI put all of the entries and bonuses into an Excel spreadsheet and used to generate a number. Congrats to winner Ron MacDonnell – check your email for details on how to get your copy!

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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.