For different reasons, many of us dream to be a sponsored racer. All reasons seem to be good enough to be sponsored. Some wants the free goodies; some others want to be part of the “elite” while others think they are good enough to be recognized by R/C companies. But the real question is, do you have what it takes to be sponsored? Or better, what does it take to be sponsored? To answer those two questions, I contacted to two of the most popular R/C companies in North America.
One thing you should know about sponsorship is that R/C companies receive a lot of sponsorship requests. Quantity varies from 40 to 100 requests per month and those numbers are conservative! Requests come from racers of any level from all around the world. The companies don’t accept all requests, they have to make selections. They use different factors to select candidates. The on-track performances are not the only criteria of selection. According to my sources, the off-track attitude is as much important as the on-track performance. Keep in mind that sponsored racers represent a company that takes care of its business image. Yes, R/C is marketing! Of course, a racer that constantly finishes in the A-Main has more chances to be sponsored than someone that finishes last in the F-Main. R/C is not just marketing, it is also performance! All R/C companies want to be well represented by their sponsored drivers. This is why the off-track attitude is important.
Here are few good off-track attitudes that companies look for:
- Be professional in your attitude;
- Share your knowledge with others, don’t be selfish;
- Be calm and respectful, no matter your race results;
- Be a good spokesperson and an asset for your sponsor;
Here are few good on-track attitudes that companies look for:
- Be consistent in your race results;
- Show sign of improvement in your driving skills at each race;
- Be a gentleman racer, don’t drive like an idiot!
- Race in a competitive level;
Depending of the sponsor, there are several levels of racer sponsorship. I didn’t ask companies any specific details (this was not the goal of this article and not my business) concerning the contracts signed with their sponsored racers. Sponsorship goes from product discount to full annual salary including access to the full line of products. Being sponsored means that you have obligations, companies can ask to their sponsored drivers to be present to different shows or special activities organized by the company.
Once again, depending of the sponsor and of your sponsorship level can also mean that you’ll have access to products not yet released to the public, participate to track test of new products and participate to the design of new products.
Be prepared before you ask help from companies. Take time to write an excellent résumé of your race results, your experience, add all information that can help you. Don’t lie! Send your résumé to the companies you’d like to be sponsored by. Don’t harass them! You don’t need to send your résumé 10 times per week! If your résumé is well done, only one time is enough.
The best advice I can give you it is not to be frustrated if you never receive reply from companies. Finding your first sponsor may be difficult and can take time. Don’t expect to be fully sponsored neither, only few guys have this chance and they have worked very hard to be where they are. Don’t forget that R/C is a wonderful hobby/sport and never let your quest for sponsorships destroy the passion you have for R/C.
Good luck! 🙂