Want free car parts? Want a company giving you free labor on installs? Sounds like the dream, right? There’s not one person in this world who doesn’t want something for free, and when it comes to a passion such as motorsports, that desire is just that much stronger. Everyone has a dream and a vision for their car or truck, but not everyone has the money to make their dreams a reality. Enter, sponsorships.
What is a car sponsorship?
Simply put, a car sponsorship, truck sponsorship, motorcycle sponsorship and everything else is when a brand of some sort – manufacturer or retailer – give you free parts or free install labor in exchange for you promoting them. A popular example that comes to mind is Redbull. Redbull is one of the most well known brands when it comes to motorsports and action sports and you see their logo everywhere. You see it on TV, websites, clothes, shoes, everything. Redbull pays athletes, race car drivers, enthusiasts and more to put the Redbull logo all over everything they do. The reason Redbull does this is because the person they sponsor has a big audience and when that person has the Redbull logo on their clothes or car, people will see it. In essence, Redbull is paying for advertising.
Here’s a quick example. Let’s say you reach out to a company and ask for a set of coilovers that cost $1000. You’re asking them to give you something that costs $1000 for free. That company is essentially paying $1000 for advertising. You need to convince them that they are going to get their money’s worth.
Here’s a great video that breaks down for you the essence of a free car sponsorship and what you need to do to get sponsored. Check it out below and then continue reading for more information:
Ok. now that you know the basics of a car or truck sponsorship, let’s dive into the details of what you need to do.
How to get sponsored
So now we know that in order to get sponsored you are essentially going to be advertising products for a company in exchange for those products to be given to you free. So how can you make yourself attractive to these companies?
First, create a sponsorship proposal. Consider your sponsorship proposal to be the same as a resume. Your proposal is going to talk about you, what you can offer, your vehicle, your goals, how you’ll obtain those goals and everything the company needs to see when reviewing your proposal. We recommend that you create your sponsorship proposal through Google Docs so you can export it into a PDF for easy sharing, or you can even share a link to your Google Doc to make it easy for people to view. The other option is to create a website where you can list everything out in one place and use it on your Instagram website link, Facebook, Youtube, etc. You can really spread the word this way.
So what are the types of things that you would put on your resume when looking for a job? You would describe your experience, what you can do, and what you did to get you to where you are. The sponsorship proposal should be the same concept. Share your Social Media stats – If you have a lot of subscribers on YouTube, lots of followers on Instagram, or a lot of likes on Facebook, this is the kind of thing that you want to highlight and make sure that companies can see what kind of reach you have. Don’t bother asking for a free car sponsorship if you don’t have any followers and have no reach. Companies won’t bother replying to you if you can’t reach a lot of people.
Next, tell them what you can do for them. If they were to give you a free body kit, what would you do with that body kit? Do you already have a sponsorship with a body shop? If so, tell them! Say that in exchange for the free body kit, you will work with your local body shop that is sponsoring you with free labor to make a video, post on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, SnapChat, etc the whole process and get a lot of views. Tell them how many views you expect and show them past promotions you have done that will give them confidence that you’re the real deal. Remember, they get sponsorship requests from a lot of dreamers who just want free car parts and can’t give anything in return, so you need to really set yourself apart.
What is your ultimate goal? Do you want to show your car at SEMA? Are you trying to be the fastest guy at HPDE? Are you trying to be a sponsored driver? Give them an idea of what you want to do with yourself and your car and if they want to sponsor you, they might offer you things that will take you to the next level that you didn’t even think of.
How NOT to get sponsored – what NOT to do
I’ve seen it time and time again. People who want a free sponsorship or free parts simply email places and say “Yo, what do I need to do to get free stuff?” … “Do you sponsor” … “My car is sweet, it will be the fastest in my town, give me free stuff and I’ll put your sticker on it”. Yeah, no. That doesn’t work. This doesn’t come across as serious, doesn’t give anyone any indication that you are going to actually do anything, and 99.9 % of the time you won’t even get a reply. And why would you? Companies don’t want to waste their time when they get 100 people a day asking them for free parts. You need to stand out.
Also, don’t message companies on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. That isn’t a serious way to do it. Send an email to them, in a professional manner with your Sponsorship Proposal, and if you don’t hear back after say a week or two, then try to give them a call. Tell them why they are a perfect match for you, and why you’re a perfect match for them.
Don’t fall for scams
The unfortunate truth is that there are scams all over the internet. Car and truck sponsorships are no exception to these so we do recommend you be careful. Reach out only to reputable companies and do research on them before reaching out. You might find some sites out there they say that if you pay a monthly fee, or if you pay some kind of fee then you’ll enter to win a sponsorship, or that the fee will be used toward a discount on parts. Most of the time they just take your money and you never hear from them again or they give you every excuse in the book as to why you didn’t get a sponsorship. Sponsorships aren’t a contest and you shouldn’t have to pay a dime when there is a true exchange of value between yourself and the company you are interested in working with.
What kind of sponsorships are there?
We’ve talked about free car sponsorships and free truck sponsorships, but we didn’t talk about what else there is out there. Some companies might be interested in you, but because you might be new to the scene or not have much clout yet, they will give you what they consider a partial sponsorship where they might give you parts at cost. Sometimes they can give you parts at cost and some parts free, or give free labor. There’s really not a one size fits all approach here.
I’m new and don’t have online clout, but I know I can be a good partner
We understand that it’s easier to get sponsored when you are already sitting there with a ton of followers. But what about the enthusiasts who are just starting out, but are good at marketing and have strong ambitions? We have an idea for you. Let’s say for example you want to get sponsored for your build and in order to get you to where you need to be, you need a certain set of wheels that cost $5000. We’d recommend that you pick a part you need, such as coilovers, lowering springs, exhaust, or something that costs much much less. Buy it with your own money and then put together a marketing plan around that. Use your new part as a case study.
Let’s pick the exhaust for example. Make yourself some notes on what exhaust you want, how you will promote it, and how you’ll put that into your proposal. So here’s an example of step by step what you can do:
Decide on what exhaust you want to buy, then:
- Do a screen recording of you going to the website, adding it to cart, and buying it (of course, keep personal info out of it).
- Record a video of the exhaust arriving at your door
- Record a video of unboxing it
- Record a video of you installing it
- Record a video of before and after sound clips
- Record a video of your friends reactions to it
- Post these videos on your social media. Use Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, TikTok, Facebook and everything else you can think of. Try to get as many views and likes on your content as possible.
- Reach out to the place you bought the exhaust from and ask them if they can create you a coupon code. Tell them you are going to share this coupon code to try and get them sales.
- Share this coupon code with all of your content
- After a few months, ask the place you bought the exhaust from if they can tell you how many times that coupon code was used.
- Create all links using Bitly so you can track how many times your links were clicked.
Once you do this, use all of this data and information to put into your sponsorship proposal. If you generated a lot of views, likes and followers from this then put this in your proposal and tell the company you want wheels from that you can do the same with them if they sponsor you with a free set of wheels!
If you didn’t get a lot of views and followers from this, then it’s ok. I’m sure you learned what worked and what didn’t work and keep trying. You’re going to be modifying your car or truck any way, but if you do it with a sponsorship in mind then you can eventually turn your hobby that costs a lot of money into a hobby that pays for itself! Who knows, maybe one day you too can end up with an awesomely modified car or truck that you didn’t have to pay for, but that has become popular and everyone just knows. Exposure like this helps draw attention of other companies and the goal is to draw so much positive attention that companies start reaching out to YOU to offer sponsorships.
What do you think?
We’d love to hear from you guys. Have you been sponsored? What tips, tricks or advice would you recommend to someone who’s starting out that helped you? What have you tried that didn’t work? Comment below so we can ensure that this sponsorship guide is as thorough as possible and can help people to get sponsored.
We hope you enjoyed our guide. We had a lot of fun writing it and we think that it can help a lot of you. Comment to let us know if it helped you and what you learned from it. Good luck!