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March 08, 2010

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Jerry

That has to be the best article I have read about the sponsorship side of racing. Like many endeavors in life, success doesn't always come to the most talented, but often to the most determined.

I am looking forward to the next article. Great work.

Edward

You're absolutely right, Jerry. A great article showing how difficult it is to find sponsorship but also in a way, a primer for young drivers to follow in their quest to make it to the big time in motorsports.

Ian

I think one of the challenges unique to motorsport is that so many drivers themselves (the athletes) need to go find and SELL to sponsors just to get in the game. This means that drivers all of a sudden have to be marketers and business people and sellers, which drivers are not.

Drivers should be good at 2 things:
1)Driving and
2)Representing their sponsors (i.e. good with media, etc.).

But actually selling to sponsors and securing sponsors is a whole other game...Building a strong business case & proposal for a sponsor and then selling that to the sponsor is very difficult and a specialized skill. I know of no other pro sport where the athletes themselves (or their agents) have to sell to sponsors just to get in the game.

Other pro sports have athletes (and their agents) who must sell the athlete to a particular team but the team and the league sell the sponsorship. Of course many athletes go and get additional endorsements to boost their salaries but at least they don't have to buy their way onto the field/rink/track.

I think this is a huge issue and if motorsport wants to continue being successful in the competitive sports entertainment business, it needs to find a better model whereby all the athletic "talent" (the stars of the show!) can focus on being great athletes and stars rather than trying to hussle sponsorship, like so many of them have to do.

Mark Fleming

Great reviews.
Mark Fleming
Xtreme Cars and Stars

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