Motion Pro Race Support Guideline:
A look into how the Motion Pro Race Support program works
What is your definition of sponsorship?
At Motion Pro, our definition of race support is simple; it is a job. You apply the same way as one would if he or she was trying to get a job and he or she is chosen based on merit and accomplishments. Sponsorship is a mutually beneficial relationship between a racer and the sponsor.
Why do you sponsor riders?
Motion Pro sponsors racers for a few reasons. First, it is a good tool for getting the company name and product out to those most interested in a relatively economical way. Second, input from racers helps in the development and improvement of products. Finally, we sponsor riders to support the sport. To this end, we also support racing series and events.
How is your program organized? Do you have levels of support available for mini, beginners, amateurs, experts and pros?
In recent years, the number of people riding competitively has grown by leaps and bounds, and the size and complexity of the program grew beyond an easily manageable level. For this reason, we have tried to implement a simpler racing program. We do not necessarily have differing levels of support for different levels of riders. We've pretty much set up our program to acknowledge amateurs, regional pros and top-level professionals. Support is then based on available budget and our desire to help as many racers as we can.
When do you accept resumes for sponsorship?
Motion Pro accepts resumes from September 1st through October 31st. Resumes received before or after are usually discarded. We generally contact riders and teams who have been accepted to our program around the middle of November. The mailing address for resumes and other submitted information is 867 American St. San Carlos, Ca. 94070. Resumes also can be sent to the race support email address at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is most important to you when deciding to sponsor someone?
We do not have a "most important" factor when looking to support an individual or team. We look at many things to aid in our decision-making process. Here is a quick list of things we consider when evaluating a resume:
- The resume must be short, typed (hand-written requests are immediately discarded), concise and well written. Grammar and spelling are very important. If you cannot represent yourself to us well, how will you represent us to the public? (A note to emailers: composing your email ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS makes it look like you are yelling at us. Use proper capitalization.) Please date all of your letters, resumes, etc. It is very frustrating to not be able to place your information in a proper timeline. Resumes submitted in electronic form should use MS Word or create a simple text document. If you use some unusual file format, we won't be able to read it.
- Make sure all of your contact and address information is on the first page. We get hundreds of resumes every year, and do not have the storage space for multi page resumes. If a resume is accepted, we usually just retain the first page, and if your contact information isn't there, we can't follow through.
- Keep it short and sweet. Your resume doesn't have to be 20 pages long to be impressive. The most important information should be in one or two pages. We don't want to have to read through a bunch of paragraphs to find out what you will do for us. Keep it simple, be clear, be creative and be honest. Tell us how you plan to promote our product and company, not just that you'll promote us if you get sponsored.
- Sponsorship must be spelled correctly. There is no 'e' in sponsor. This may sound petty, but with hundreds of resumes submitted and only a few spots available, we must have minimum standards.
- We then look at the type of racing and the caliber of the races attended to determine if a rider/team is committed to their program or just looking for a handout. Then, we look at results. First of all, you must have SOME results. We cannot sponsor someone who does not have any race experience. We regularly sponsor amateur riders, but we want to see at least a season's racing that shows some commitment to the sport and to potential sponsors. Anything more than two year's results are overkill and usually not even considered. We also weigh these results based on whether they are national results or regional results.
- These are a few of the things we look at when going through the stacks of resumes we receive. For reference, here are a few of the things to avoid (at least in regards to sending resumes to Motion Pro): Do not send in obviously copied mass-mailed resumes. If you can't take the time to create a request specific to each potential sponsor, why should we take the time to help you out? Do not send resumes in with more than 4 or 5 pages, including cover sheet. Do not send resumes in folders, clear report holders or any other means of making them look fancy. These resumes go in a folder in a file and to make them fit, we throw all these extraneous extras away. That's your money we're throwing away and we're only doing it to conserve space, and ultimately, they don't make a resume more attractive or more impressive. We also get many resumes that state their objective as obtaining sponsorship. Isn't your objective to race, and sponsorship is a means to that end? And finally, don't ask for support and tell us it is because racing is expensive; we all already know that.
There, theoretically, you have all the answers to applying for support from us. This should make it harder for us to say no and hopefully easier for you to gain support from others. However, meeting all these stipulations does not guarantee support and we'll continue to be critical of race support requests and resumes. There are just too many requests out there for us to support all of them.
Does a top finish at a prestigious amateur race get your attention or are top local finishes just as impressive?
We would say, yes, we give a bit more attention to top national amateur races. However, we do take into account the larger racing picture when evaluating why one may have done poorly at prestigious events while doing well at local events. Of course, you can't win if you don't finish, riding over your head doesn't do anyone any good. Consistent finishes, even if they are not top three, tells us that you are riding to your skill level. Improvement comes over a span of years in racing. What races are most important to finish well at if a rider hopes to make an impression on you? We support all different kinds of racers. We do not have a "most important" race or event. As a racer in your particular discipline, you should know where to shine.
What do you feel is most important for riders to understand about how sponsorship is allocated? What determines what deal is offered to a rider? (In other words, why should beginners and/or amateurs not expect to get free product from you?)
We believe there are a couple of things riders need to know. Race support is not a right; it is a privilege. Race support offered by a company may or may not be increased or changed from year to year. If you don't like the deal, don't accept it. One of the things we most dislike is when a rider says something like, "well, Company X is giving me free product so you should too." Every company is different and each has different budgets and marketing goals. Do not project one company's offer on to another to try to get free product. We immediately tune out the person we're talking to when confronted with these tactics. On the other hand, if a sponsor offers something to you, take advantage of it, whether it is free product, or discounts. We are less likely to renew an offer that was not utilized.
Do you feel riders understand that sponsorship is about working to promote your company in exchange for support? Why or why not?
We think as motorcycle and ATV racing continues to become more popular and more profitable, yes, riders are starting to learn sponsorship is a deal to promote a company. We read it in many of the resumes. We'd like to see some work harder at it than others, but on the whole, yes this is becoming a more universal understanding among young racers seeking support.
What can a racer do in addition to winning amateur nationals and covering their bikes and trailers with promotional items do to further promote and endorse their sponsors?
Racers can talk about the benefits of the products or services. If a sponsored racer directs someone to us to buy product, they should make sure that person let's us know how they found out about us. After all, the whole goal of race support is to increase our sales, as well as support the sport. Racers can learn to thank their sponsors or acknowledge them when they get the chance at races or awards banquets. Mention sponsors on web pages or in print media. They can pass out promotional information at the races. Racing is not the only venue for promotion of sponsors. Attend or participate in dealership events and open houses. State Fairs. Bike shows. Race events of a different type (roadrace fans may not know about your harescramble events). Don't forget to send in results and pictures to your sponsors, or a race report detailing your accomplishments. Build a website or a newsletter for your racing effort. Sponsors are more likely to consider renewing a contract with a rider who they know and are familiar with their season's results. There are many different ways of promoting sponsors. Don't ever bad mouth a sponsor; we are more likely to hear about that than all the good words racers all over the country may be saying.
What advice do you have for an up and coming rider who is attempting to increase their riding ability to the next level?
We're sure they've heard it all before, but here are a few fundamentals we feel are vital for improvement. One, don't try to go too fast too fast. Speed comes with time, patience and practice. Two, don't try to ride a fast bike before learning to ride fast. We've seen the fastest bikes with novice riders on them get thrashed by slower bikes with faster riders on them. And finally, if you want to spend money on your racing program, do it first on schools, lessons or other instruction before spending it on the latest and greatest hop-up components. You will appreciate your ability to utilize these great additions to your bike when you can ride at the level of your equipment.
Thanks for this opportunity to share a bit about our support program. We only hope we can contribute a little to the overall picture.