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Hey everyone.

I'm treasurer of the Formula SAE race team at the University of Southern California. This year our budget was cut and we find ourselves in desperate need of sponsors to cover the costs of designing and building a new car. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience at aquiring sponsors. What is good to put in a sponsorship packet, how do you to talk to potential sponsors, etc? I have a general idea of what to do, but I want to get it right since this year, it really matters to the survival of the team.

Also, if anyone knows of any places where someone could lend us a parking lot on a weekend to set up an autocross-type course for testing, that would be amazing. Renting a place to test currently counts for our overall expenses. Thanks for your help!

Andrew

P.S.: Donations are welcome! haha
 

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Here are some Ideas

Hey everyone.

I'm treasurer of the Formula SAE race team at the University of Southern California. This year our budget was cut and we find ourselves in desperate need of sponsors to cover the costs of designing and building a new car. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience at aquiring sponsors. What is good to put in a sponsorship packet, how do you to talk to potential sponsors, etc? I have a general idea of what to do, but I want to get it right since this year, it really matters to the survival of the team.

Also, if anyone knows of any places where someone could lend us a parking lot on a weekend to set up an autocross-type course for testing, that would be amazing. Renting a place to test currently counts for our overall expenses. Thanks for your help!

Andrew

P.S.: Donations are welcome! haha
Hi Andrew,

I am familiar with this program but many in the automotive world are not. I suggest you always include information on the Formula SAE program. In a prior life I was a principal in an automotive aftermarket company and made decisions as to where to put sponsorship money. I would suggest you start with after market companies. Go to www.sema.org , this website has contact information of all the aftermarket companies that are Sema members.

If you want sponsorship money you will have to make a case for how it will help the sponsor. Winning Formula SAE is not like winning a major race series so the sponsor pitch must be different. If you could set up a website and post progress on the car with photos of the team working etc. and could list your sponsors then you would have an Ad angle. Any technical posts that could be linked to other sites would help your sponsors gain exposure. You would be surprised at the interest just sorting out the set up of the car would bring the site for example.

Since helping young engineers gain practical design experience is a positive for image conscious companies you could also approach mainstream corporate America, but this is more of a challenge in locating the correct contacts and decision makers.

In your package I would include resumes and bios of each engineer including race or automotive related interests.

The late Carroll Smith was a friend of mine and a judge of this event. Carroll considered this one of the best programs in America for young engineers to gain real world design experience.

Good Luck

Bob Lee
 

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the insight. I think you hit the nail on the head as far as the main problem I've been having goes. Since we do only race a couple times a year, it's hard to say we have something to offer a sponsor in the way of exposure. We've been looking at alot of smaller companies, but perhaps bigger would be better. They could have the money for philanthropy projects and not need the exposure as much. (We just have to find corporations which don't already donate to the school, a hard task at USC. haha) A new website is a great idea though. We've been needing to replace the old one the team has anyway.

It's pretty cool that you knew Mr. Smith. He is prettty much the god of Formula SAE. Thanks for your help. This clears a few things up for me.

Andrew
 

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the insight. I think you hit the nail on the head as far as the main problem I've been having goes. Since we do only race a couple times a year, it's hard to say we have something to offer a sponsor in the way of exposure. We've been looking at alot of smaller companies, but perhaps bigger would be better. They could have the money for philanthropy projects and not need the exposure as much. (We just have to find corporations which don't already donate to the school, a hard task at USC. haha) A new website is a great idea though. We've been needing to replace the old one the team has anyway.

It's pretty cool that you knew Mr. Smith. He is prettty much the god of Formula SAE. Thanks for your help. This clears a few things up for me.

Andrew[/QUOTE


There is no real ROI on any lower forms of motorsport.

Champ Car and IRL can't even sell their product. You need to find a small company with someone in charge that likes cars and wants to be part of a team/hang out at the race track.

Or since you are FSAE, hit up the alums. PM, or get me on AIM if you have any questions.
 

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Andrew,

For autocross, find the local SCCA Region, and their solo event schedule. We in Central KY region used to let the University of KY FSAE team run our events free so they could tune their car and train drivers. unfortunately, the University got a new safety director who forbid the team to use the machine shop. The UK FSAE team is now defunct.

Also, check out SCCA.com. They have a FSAE class at the Solo National Championship in Lincoln, Nebraska. Last year, there were a dozen or so entrants from different schools.

Hey everyone.

I'm treasurer of the Formula SAE race team at the University of Southern California. This year our budget was cut and we find ourselves in desperate need of sponsors to cover the costs of designing and building a new car. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience at aquiring sponsors. What is good to put in a sponsorship packet, how do you to talk to potential sponsors, etc? I have a general idea of what to do, but I want to get it right since this year, it really matters to the survival of the team.

Also, if anyone knows of any places where someone could lend us a parking lot on a weekend to set up an autocross-type course for testing, that would be amazing. Renting a place to test currently counts for our overall expenses. Thanks for your help!

Andrew

P.S.: Donations are welcome! haha
 
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