Getting Sponsored

What is your “Stock Value”?  | September 30, 2016

by Andy White

 

Andy White, our brand manager has had many years experience working with athletes on both the amateur and pro side, from manager for factory teams to helping the little guy out with a bike. He has seen all level of personality be it a gracious professional or individuals who feel entitlement regardless of their actions or results. He has written a piece for a media outlet that we felt was worth sharing with our FXR family as well. For many athletes, getting to the next level means finding sponsors that will help them get to the races. Conducting yourself professionally can go miles and Andy has offered some very helpful suggestions in his article on how to get noticed and how to keep a sponsor. Check it out.

 

We all have our favourite riders that we want to win and we have the riders that we really hope will have some break out races. These hungry riders that are looking for that break are the ones trying so hard for support that will push them to the next level. Riding the same old practice bike is not going to really help them improve their game. These guys need equipment that will help them make it to the next level. How in the world will a privateer rider ever get the same attention or support level like Anderson or Seely have from their teams? That’s not going to happen, so what does a privateer need to do to get attention and some extra cash support to help with his efforts. Well this is where a rider has to think out of the box and create some attention for themself. There are a ton of riders that finish between 20-40 every weekend, but who is can stand out from the others? Team managers and sponsors are looking for those riders to help promote their companies. I like to call this term “Riders’ stock value”. Yes the Dungey’s and the Reed’s get lots of attention and are paid big bucks. What about a rider like Alex Ray; a privateer rider from Oklahoma? Here is a rider that has been working his ass off for years as a privateer. Now Ray is playing in the big leagues with a lot of other privateers looking to get that big break. I like how Alex gets in the face of the paying customers that attend the events from coast to coast. Alex doesn’t hide in his truck during the pit party, he is the first guy out there handing out posters and talking with fans about his great program. He also makes sure he gets lots of pictures for his sponsors to use on their end. Alex is busy all week posting on his social media. The more people that see his sponsors, the better it is for his sponsors.

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Two American privateers, Alex Ray and Heath Harrison who both have their “stock value” dialled in.

So that’s not too complicated now is it? If it’s not, why is it so hard for supported riders to post or share? It’s easy for the riders to put their hands out an ask for support right? Well here is where it gets interesting; sponsors check on their riders to see what they’re up to on their social media. If a rider is doing a great job, the sponsor will usually send some extra product to say thank you or at least send a thank you email. If the rider really doesn’t do much with their social media, guess what…that sponsor will have crossed your name off for the following year. Remember, there are a million riders out there to support. It’s only business, people, and should not be taken personal. The big boss wants results from his people so it’s their job to connect to the right riders to spread the word.

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What is your “stock value”? You don’t have to ride a pro level to be on the radar for sponsors.

What is your “stock value” in the moto world today? Are you a rider that people want to connect to? Are you an Alex Ray level rider or are you a rider that just has his hands out? Times are still tough in the motorcycle world for extra cash flow. Manufacturers were spending big dollars before the 2008 financial crash. This really opened the eyes of the industry, and now everyone is a lot smarter with their money and because there is a lot less money to go around they have to be selective with where it gets put. The people in charge, receive a ton of requests each year. They have to separate the requests from “Wow, this one sounds great”, to “Hmmm put this one in file 13 (garbage)”.  The manager looks over your resume.What is it that stands out to the person reading the information you supplied? It has to be really good for the manager to say, “This person will represent us”. What are they looking for? Well here are a few main things: Professionalism, Results, Social Media Skills and Social Media Reach. Ok so you have all of those on your resume. Are you a rider that is well liked in the industry? Ok, check liked. Are you easy to talk to and approachable? Is your set up clean? Do your bikes and gear look like you care about your product you represent? Are you a rider that other riders hang out with? Are you that guy or girl that stands out? Ok now you have a better idea on what I mean about what is your “Rider Stock Value”?

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How is your reach on social media? As a racer you should think of this as free advertising.

Money doesn’t buy everything. If you’re the dad that has lots of cash and thinks he can buy his kid anything so he get his way to the top, well you can forget that. It takes a ton of time and effort to get that rider to the top or close to it. I have met so many dads that buy all the cool “bling bling” for their bikes plus buy the fastest sickest engine this side of the Mississippi. This is all good for the economy but you really need to hook up with the people behind the companies. There are so many items that you can’t buy that you only get because your “stock value” is high;  the one-off parts, the special one-off jerseys. When you start receiving the special support items, you know you’re on the right path.

Our Canadian race teams are not just big semi trucks and cool looking awnings any more. If you look at the list of top riders that are training their butt off for the first round at Kamloops in June they are not riding just production stock bikes. Those days are long gone. Let’s look at Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha athlete Brett Metcalfe for an example. I am pretty sure he has been testing everything under the sun since November 2015 for the 2016 national series. Here is a rider that has been on factory teams for years but still knows that sponsors put the money in the teams to make the program work. The sponsors put the big dollars in the teams because they know the riders will also help spread the word on who is supporting them. It sure makes the team owners’ life way easier knowing his riders are helping spread the word with social media. I can tell you when I hear from a sponsor that your rider his doing a great job, wow that takes a huge weight off of your shoulders. So Brett is on the team for a few reasons, he is incredibly fast; he is a marketable rider; he is easy to approach and talk to; he knows how to work his iPhone too. Bonus! It’s a win win for the team and rider, plus sponsors. The series marketing department will even use him to promote the series. Wow, this sounds way too easy.

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Riders who have a good history and rapport with the industry are always welcomed by sponsors.

Looking at all the riders that are coming up, most if not all of them have those qualities. The Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha program has Metty and Georke who are both solid guys with good histories. The Honda GDR progrm has 4-time Canadian 450 Champ, Colton Facciotti and his lites team mate, Jeremy Medaglia. Both these riders are well known in the Canadian industry. Monster Kawasaki has two riders that bring a ton of followers. We all know what I am talking about. It’s a win win for Monster and the series to have these two guys that qualified for all the supercross 450 rounds. They both have raced in Canada before with solid results. KTM Canada has two top Canadians on their program as well. Cole Thompson has a good history of winning and brings lots of fans. Kaven Benoit is a 2-time Canadian lites champ. He will be moving up to the 450 class this year. Kaven brings lots of French Canadian followers to the program. The word on the street is that Millsaps is coming up as well. This is huge for Canadian racing because Millsaps has a pretty big name in the industry. Everyone will benefit from Davi coming up for 10 rounds. MX101 has been at this game for some time. They have signed 3 young Canadian future superstars, Dylan Wright quarterbacks the team with new edition Jesse Pettis and Hayden Halstead. Every rider just mentioned have qualities that help promote the team and their sponsors threefold. If you are looking to move up the “stock value” level ladder, you better start working on a few more items that just turning laps at your favorite mx track.

 

As featured in MXP Magazine