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huminie
10-25-2011, 11:39 AM
I would like to look for some sponsors for next year as I feel I have a lot to offer to potential sponsors.

I am wondering when the best time to approach them would be. On one hand I think that I should wait for this year to end (there are still 4 contests this year in CA) so I can have a full list of the year's accomplishments. On the other, I am thinking that some businesses may already be in the process of budgeting sponsorship dollars for next year.

I want to make the most compelling story possible without missing the window of opportunity.

When do you think the best time to approach sponsors would be?

K-Train
10-25-2011, 11:48 AM
I would say anytime. The sooner the better. I just contacted a few places myself and got positive feedback from one.

TooSaucedToPork
10-25-2011, 11:54 AM
I would like to look for some sponsors for next year as I feel I have a lot to offer to potential sponsors.

I am wondering when the best time to approach them would be. On one hand I think that I should wait for this year to end (there are still 4 contests this year in CA) so I can have a full list of the year's accomplishments. On the other, I am thinking that some businesses may already be in the process of budgeting sponsorship dollars for next year.

I want to make the most compelling story possible without missing the window of opportunity.

When do you think the best time to approach sponsors would be?

Now, a lot of fiscal years start Oct 1st and Jan 1st They might be doing budget and marketing planning as we speak.

mobow
10-25-2011, 11:57 AM
make your pitch as soon as you can and throw in somewhere in your discussion if they are already committed for their max this year that you hope they will consider you in the next budget planning year and if they are all ready committed find out when the new budget planning period is and contact them again during that time.

Plowboy
10-25-2011, 12:09 PM
Best time to look for sponsors? After winning the Jack! (Or Royal.)

CBQ
10-25-2011, 12:12 PM
After you win The Jack :becky: Smokin' Hoggz was getting offers 30 minutes after they won.

More seriously, from what sponsored teams tell me, some sponsors don't really care how well you do. Winning a big event helps, but many will be more interested in how many "impressions" you will make, i.e. how many people will see the sponsor's name and promotional materials. Knowing how many contests you will be in and how many people attend those events will be a consideration. That would imply that you would want to shop around once you know your schedule for next year.

Scottie
10-25-2011, 02:18 PM
You also get impressions after winning a huge contest and media wanting to interview you. They arent looking for a new team to ask their opinions, no matter how many sponsors you have. These are things i have noticed. There are also many kinds of sponsors. From cash to product.

huminie
10-25-2011, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the input guys (keep it coming). I have been so focused this year on one goal I just suddenly realized how late in the year it is during a current break. Guess I better get on it!

Oh, and I don't see myself winning the Royal or Jack any time soon, so I better start pounding the pavement.

As far as product vs. cash...well, I plan to approach the companies of products I currently use since my hope is to reduce costs. If they can throw some free product my way in exchange for me flying their banner, then I am game. I will accept cash from anyone, however! :becky:

Sawdustguy
10-25-2011, 05:09 PM
Playing devils advocate, what do you have to offer that a 1000 other teams don't?

huminie
10-25-2011, 05:50 PM
Good question, and that is the story I will have to start working on. The biggest factor is the fact that competitive BBQ in California is in its infancy and is growing at a very fast rate. The sport is attracting many new teams and has caught the interest of the public with events becoming more and more popular. Now is the the time for sponsors to get their foot in the door for this sport in the state. From there I will talk about my success in the state this year and my accomplishments as a new team. I have to believe that sponsors will want to back a successful team as they will want their product linked to a winner. I can certainly offer them that much.

swamprb
10-25-2011, 06:07 PM
We cooked meats once a month outside our butcher shop that they provided during the Winter and Spring. Posted pics on Forums, Facebook & PNWBA pages and got our comp meats provided.

I keep track of all my/our scoresheets since I have started competitive cooking and keep them in a folder along with accolades or news clippings to show potential sponsors. It has helped me reach local people that have products to share. It helps to win, but cooking a lot and being consistent is just as good.

Support the people whose products you use and it might just pay off.

Plowboys, Butcher BBQ, Dizzy Pig, Mojobricks, Cajun Bandit, Rib-O-Lator and others were very generous to me and I will continue to fly their banners onsite and answer anyones questions regarding their products and how I use them.

PNWBA Land isn't really considered a hotbed of BBQ, but it is growing, so if anyone has a product they might want to market here- my space is for rent!

huminie
10-25-2011, 07:05 PM
Great info Brian!

I think we are in a pretty similar situation.

Thanks!

Plowboy
10-25-2011, 11:30 PM
You also get impressions after winning a huge contest and media wanting to interview you. They arent looking for a new team to ask their opinions, no matter how many sponsors you have. These are things i have noticed. There are also many kinds of sponsors. From cash to product.

There are teams and individuals out there that haven't won anything that have people falling over themselves to reach. It isn't what you've done. It is how you are marketing yourself. Winning the American Royal opened a few doors, but no near as many as people want to think.

Sometimes it is also who you know.

Scottie
10-26-2011, 10:23 AM
who you know is the key Todd. It opens doors.

huminie
10-26-2011, 10:55 AM
Good point. I have seen some teams that don't do much but have some pretty amazing sponsors. I guess I better start getting know more people.

K-Train
10-26-2011, 11:12 AM
Before our first pro contest (we've only been in two) I called our local butcher. They agreed to sponsor us and provide our contest meats no questions asked. We also have been provided with a BGE from a local stove store. A little differnt situation there as I am a teacher and taught the owners kids.We're a bunch of nobody's, but have two sponsors. My theory is no harm in asking regardless of if you have a connection with the company or not, but you gotta ask.:-P

rooftop bbq
10-26-2011, 01:03 PM
yep we got all our sponsors with this outline, we do get some calls here and there but more importantally to the sponosors is how many people see there advertisments. We put in all our sponsor letters how many many people attend the events we cook at. Stagecoach is a huge event to market to your potential sponsors.

After you win The Jack :becky: Smokin' Hoggz was getting offers 30 minutes after they won.

More seriously, from what sponsored teams tell me, some sponsors don't really care how well you do. Winning a big event helps, but many will be more interested in how many "impressions" you will make, i.e. how many people will see the sponsor's name and promotional materials. Knowing how many contests you will be in and how many people attend those events will be a consideration. That would imply that you would want to shop around once you know your schedule for next year.

Smokin Hoggz
10-26-2011, 01:14 PM
Best time to look for sponsors? After winning the Jack! (Or Royal.)
I'll drink to that!!!!!:-D:thumb:

jbrink01
10-26-2011, 01:19 PM
We typically do OK with sponsorship, and we are just a bunch of nobody caterers in East Central Missouri.........but we know people, like they said earlier.

CBQ
10-26-2011, 06:36 PM
I'll drink to that!!!!!:-D:thumb:

Uh, Smokin' Hoggz will pretty much drink to anything :tongue:

JimmyDAL
10-26-2011, 08:22 PM
Congrats BEEEEOOOOOO!

grossepellets
11-28-2011, 04:36 PM
its a working relationship that matters - lots of teams are so busy that they dont have time to provide feed back on a product while others are willing to send all kinds of feed back on a product and they actually do it! Look at the sponsor you are approaching - if its an established brand like Kraft or some national brand- they just want their name out there. But for small start ups who have less money to spend - we want to know why we should invest our hard earned money in your team or why we should give you product. We cant afford to do to much other then provide product and even then its a big expense - hanging a banner just isnt enough for us. What do you bring to the table>
Mojobricks is our brand - we gave product out to several teams all of those teams finished far better then the previous year. Has it made a difference - giving product to a team or would we be better off spending our money elsewhere? - what do you have to offer a brand?

CivilWarBBQ
11-28-2011, 05:22 PM
What folks are saying in this thread is dead on - successful sponsorships are rooted in how you present yourself and your team. For example, one of the first things most potential sponsors will do after you approach them is do some online research. When they Google you, what will they find?

Since the sponsor is essentially hiring you to be a spokesperson for their company, everything you do and say publicly is important, and since the Internet never forgets, you will be accountable for your actions of ten years ago as much as what you did this morning.

I got some of the best advice in this area from Troy Black years ago when I asked him about his major sponsor of the time, Southern Living. He told me the magazine would be perfectly satisfied if he didn't turn in a thing at contests as long as he displayed the branded trailer and interacted with the public.

As cooks we tend to get focused on what is most important to us, but if you are going to attract and hold sponsors you must concentrate on what is important to them.

sincitydisciple01
11-28-2011, 11:37 PM
Talk about timing, I just posted a similar question. Wasn't sure where exactly it belonged, so I threw it into Catering. Hopefully an admin will move over here. thanks!