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Maintaining motocross sponsorship from year to year isn’t always our fault - companies and businesses have different budgets to work with, their marketing strategies change, and sometimes they're just not positioned to sponsor us.
Although in a lot of cases, failing to retain sponsors is through our own actions (or lack of!). In this article, I explore three reasons why you might be losing sponsors from season to season.
NOT DELIVERING ON PROMISES
One of the first reasons you’re not maintaining sponsors is that you’re not delivering on promises, and this is a fairly common scenario.
It’s always easy to over-promise when we’re approaching sponsors, especially when we're trying to get them across the line and secure their support.
It’s important that when we’re negotiating that we keep in mind how far we can extend ourselves, and if we can actually fulfil the promises throughout the entire season.
You’ve probably heard the saying ‘under promise, over deliver’ and that rings true for sponsorship.
Well, sort of.
We still want to make sure the company is going to benefit highly from sponsoring us, and to keep them on board, we want to deliver on those promises and surpass them.
Failing to meet expectations that we’ve essentially set ourselves is a sure-fire way to lose out on maintaining sponsorship.
FAILING TO MAINTAIN COMMUNICATION
The next reason you’re not keeping sponsors onboard is that that you’re not maintaining communication with them.
A lot of riders like to take what they can from a sponsor, and then seemingly go silent - the sponsor doesn’t hear from them until it’s time they need something again.
It’s crucial to remain in continuous contact with our sponsors to not only keep them updated on our racing and commitments to them, but to also build a stronger relationship with them.
Sponsorship is built on relationships, and the stronger our relationship is with the people working at the company that’s sponsoring us, the greater our chances are of retaining them.
It’s also important to check in with them to ensure they're happy with how we’re representing them and if we’re meeting their expectations, because if we leave it until the end of the deal, the damage is already done.
MISREPRESENTING THE BUSINESS
The third reason why you’re not retaining a sponsor is that you’re not representing the brand and it’s values appropriately.
This isn’t necessarily about doing something stupid and it surfacing on social media or getting into a fight at the track (although these things will almost certainly see sponsors part ways), it can be much more simple mistakes.
An example is that if a fitness business is sponsoring us, and we’re sharing things on social media of eating poorly on race day, it doesn’t match or represent the values of that company - it’s going against what they stand for.
This is why we need to partner with brands who match our values - it’s not about quantity over quality when it comes to sponsorship.
If a brand or business isn’t 100 percent the right fit for us, then we shouldn’t be partnering with them, even if there’s an offer there.
Not only will we struggle to represent them, but it could also damage our reputation.