Last time on my blog I talked about sponsorship and some of the myths associated with getting support for motorcycle racing. There is no question that being a sponsored athlete can be hard work, and you get out of it what you put into it. Sponsorship is not about getting “free stuff” but rather about building relationships with brands and organizations to help promote each other, and ultimately, help your sponsors sell their product to consumers.
When you’re approaching potential sponsors, you need to be prepared to show them what you can do to help them market and sell their product. Getting on the podium each weekend is nice, but what other types of coverage are you giving your sponsors? The Internet is a great tool for giving exposure to your sponsors, through a website or blog and social media. With a little time and effort, you too can have a professional-looking online presence to help promote your racing and your sponsors.
This week, I’ll walk you through how to set up a website to promote your racing and try to generate greater support and sponsorship for your racing program.
The WordPress.com site is a free service that offers limited WordPress templates for free, along with a free domain name. You can also upgrade to a custom domain (eg: www.myracingsite.com) for as little as $13/ year. Wordpress.com is a very viable option for many people as it is free of charge, easy to set up and hosting is free. The downside of WordPress.com is that you are limited to the list of themes provided (though they are not half bad) and you cannot add any additional “plugins” (a tool that allows users to implement additional features to extend the functionality of the website such as a Facebook feed or Google map). An example of a WordPress.com website is http://nadineracing.wordpress.com. Nadine is a female racer who used to race in Canada and now spends much of her time south of the border racing and doing motivational speeches.
WordPress.org is slightly more sophisticated, allows you to implement a wider variety of templates (including those which can be purchased at a nominal fee of $25-$80 from WordPress theme providers), allows you to implement plugins and gives the user more control over their website. The downside of using WordPress.org is that it requires you to have a hosting provider that allows you to have FTP access to your website. There are plenty of reputable hosts out there, a number of whom offer an easy installation package for WordPress. Bluehost is one such provider that allows for easy WordPress installation and will host your site for as little as $3.95/ month. An example of a WordPress.org site is www.cactusbike.com, a site I threw together quickly for a friend who owns a bicycle shop in Phoenix, Arizona.
With a good website in place, you can demonstrate to existing and potential sponsors that you are serious about your partnership with them and that you want to help promote and sell their product as best you can. A good website might make the difference between getting that parts budget you were hoping for or covering all of your expenses out of pocket!
Next time, I’ll talk about the emergence of Social Media as another great tool to help promote your sponsors and try to achieve your sponsorship goals.