Mid-Season Sponsorship: Where to Focus and Why

For most of us, racing season is about performance in the garage and on the track.

It’s easy once the season gets going to go into ‘maintenance mode’ – where you’re just maintaining and improving your car and showing up to the races on your schedule – and forget about ‘sponsorship mode’.

Once the racing season starts, though, you have a ton of opportunities to both:

  • attract new marketing partners, and,
  • activate your current sponsor relationships.

Many of the sponsorship-seekers and clients that I speak with are comfortable with the idea of activating their current marketing partners because they know it’s critical to making their sponsors happy now and in the future.

But the underrated part of keeping your current partner(s) happy?

Sponsorship activation often attracts new sponsors, too.

And there is no better or easier time to activate your partnerships than during the season, when fans and the media are paying the most attention to your program and you have lots of opportunities to bring your partnership alive. 

When potential marketing partners see how well your promote your current partners, it’s easier for them to see exactly what they could be investing in and what kind of job you’ll do for them in the future.

They see what you create, whether that’s marketing done in person (appearances), at the race track (autograph cards, apparel, announcer information and, you know, being a person and interacting with fans), online (social media) or any other way you put information about your sponsors out there.

They see the response to what you create, whether that’s through the reaction of your fans online or offline or the public interaction with your marketing partners.

They will use that information to gauge whether they’ll be interested in working with you when you approach them or if they want to approach you on their own, which happens often for our team and clients who engage and activate their current partnerships.

Activating your current partnerships isn’t the only way to attract new partners, though.

The same opportunities you have to promote your current partners are what you can use to attract and pitch new sponsors. 

For example, racing season is the only time you can truly bring motorsports marketing to life for a potential sponsor who has never been to the race track or hasn’t seen you in action in real life. Hospitality at the track is one way to show a potential partner what they could be a part of.

But getting a marketing manager to take a night away from their family isn’t the only way to show off your skills. Being active on social media while, again, the fans and media are chomping at the bit to be a part of the racing scene is a great way to show potential partners that your fans are engaging with your content. (And they can be a part of that!)

Describing what you can do in a proposal is 100% different that showing potential partners what you actually do during the season.

Don’t sleep on your sponsorship goals because it’s racing season. Now’s the time to take advantage of the opportunity that not many racers think is out there – the chance to attract a new sponsor and delight a current partner.


P.S. Want more on this topic? Check out my related post on how to be sponsor-able!

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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.