What You Need To Know Before Sponsoring A Race

January 25th, 2018

by Michael Ryan


While sponsorships may seem like a great way to advertise your brand in front of thousands of potential customers, there will be a meagre payoff if you insufficiently plan. When sponsoring a race, many business owners make the mistake of writing a check, turning over their logo, and showing up to the event with banners and then promptly check out. As an entrepreneur or business owner, first identify your sponsorship goals and draft an execution plan. Let’s look at eight things you need to know before sponsoring a race.

1. The reputation of the race

Is the race you are planning to sponsor well-known? The reputation of the race that offers you sponsorship opportunities is extremely important since it will determine how many people will come see the race. A large-scale marathon race, for instance, is more likely to give you better returns on the sponsorship investment than a small-scale, local race. Don’t automatically brush off the idea of sponsoring a first-time race because it is still likely to yield you returns if planned and hosted properly.



2. The plans made for the day of the race

Before sponsoring a race, ensure you are aware of what the schedule looks like so you can determine what you are getting yourself into. But most importantly, inquire about the plans made for the day so you can get a good idea about how competent the race organizers actually are. This step is very critical if you don’t want to get involved in unnecessary hassle and a discombobulated mess. Remember that if something like this happens, it could negatively affect your brand.

3. What’s in it for you?

As selfish as it may sound, it is what it is. If you are looking to invest a ton of money to market your brand, there is no reason why you shouldn’t put your company first. Make sure you are aware of how exactly your brand will benefit from this race sponsorship. Will you get a direct contact with prospective clients or will your brand be advertised via the event’s social media accounts, thus increasing your followers?



4. Are there any competitors?

Competitors can make an endeavor way too expensive since they turn an event into a “who can spend more money” battle. If you are not looking to go into a potentially heated battle or suspect some trouble, you may be better off not sponsoring the race altogether.



But maybe you don’t mind competitors at all since you may be looking to form mutually beneficial relationships with them. And putting your name right beside theirs might be the best way to go? Finding out who else is sponsoring the event can help you answer this question more effectively.

5. Do the organizers of the race have any affiliations?

Sometimes, event organizers have strong ties with certain religious or political organizations. This may or may not prove to be problematic for you, which is why it is important to know better.

6. Be clear about your expectations

As with any business partnership, you will need to devise a contract that will state and clarify the expectations of everyone involved. Discuss as many points in the contract as you can; things concerning the logo placement and whether it will be on the posters, websites, social media accounts, or postcards. Also, make sure to include timelines, and the kind of marketing gains you will receive, the number of event tickets you are promised, and whether you will benefit from any product exclusivity.



7. How will the event be promoted?

Knowing exactly how you plan to market the race can help you determine the level of press you are going to get out of it. Furthermore, you will also get a chance to see how well the event organizers know what they are doing.

8. Who is your target audience?

Just as with all forms of digital and print marketing, event sponsorships are also about correctly targeting the right customers. So, properly do your homework and search for the types of people who will be attending the race. For instance, if it is a women's-only race then advertising a men’s aftershave will do you no good. Also, take steps to make your market be plausibly interested in your niche.



Finally, just like with most things in life, sponsorships take the time to yield results, which is why you will need to be patient. However, if you have planned it out well, success will be guaranteed. 

Keywords: Race Sponsor, Marathons, Obstacle Course Race, Mud Run, Triathlons, Marketing

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