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View Full Version : Advice needed, sponsor suggests name change...what to do???


early mornin' smokin'
01-03-2012, 09:27 AM
So our Sponsor currently provides all the meat for our team. It's a local butcher who I am very good friends with. We currently have no written agreement.

In recent talks he said he would sponsor us for as many local contests as we would like to do, currently 3-4. He would like to help cook with the team, and promote his business.

We currently cook on weber 26.75's and a pro-q, pretty much backyard equipment. We currently do not have the thousands of dollars required to buy the smoker we would like, ultimately a fec-100 or fec-150. However we are open to suggestions as to which cooker to go with for both a commercial and comp setting.

He has asked us to consider changing our team name, to both associate his business with competition barbecue, and further promote his business.

I would be willing to change the teams name if he is willing to purchase a smoker for his business, that we could use for the few weekends. He has expressed interest in me working for him to both teach my ways and to do his onsite catered barbecues, so it could be lucrative for the both of us.

Am I out of line for wanting him to make an investment into the team? We have been doing better and better in competitions, but don't know how long the rest of my team will truly be by my side.

Munchee
01-03-2012, 09:44 AM
You are going from sponsorship to partnership and there is a big difference. Partnerships work if all parties involved know their roles and limits, clearly defining who does what and who owns what will make a big difference as to your success.Be clear on what you expect and always have an exit plan in place. Good luck !

Capn Kev
01-03-2012, 09:46 AM
If he is willing to pay for everything, then I guess I would consider cooking under his suggested team name. If he is simply supplying meats, he doesn't really have the right to ask you to change your team name -- he deserves a banner promoting his company at your cook site. Gas, seasonings, knives, shelter, entry fees, etc. all can easily equate to about $1,000 per competition depending upon how far you travel.

I would recommend you have a sit down with him and go through all the options and costs. Perhaps one of your options would be to cook under his team name when he is sponsoring all of the costs, and continue to use your name (with a banner promoting his meat company) when you want to cook on your own. The key is to keep the lines of communication open, and to make sure everyone's expectations are very clear. Otherwise you may lose your sponsor, and a friend.

My personal motto has always been to separate friends and business... because I usually end up losing one of the two when I try mixing them.

Kev

Warthog
01-03-2012, 10:18 AM
Sure sounds like you'll be working for him.

LMAJ
01-03-2012, 10:39 AM
Sure sounds like you'll be working for him.
That's what it's sounding like to me too. Change the name to have his business associated, wants to start cooking with the team... how long before it's his team?
If he want's to put up all the cash for the contents, and a new cooker, that's one thing, but it you are footing the bill for everything except the meat, then a banner is as far as I would go.

early mornin' smokin'
01-03-2012, 10:46 AM
That's the whole thing. I will be working for him. Have been looking into doing catering, but don't want the hassle of setting up a business, and due to circumstances beyond my control I don't exactly have all the money that's required for a start up. I can promote as much as I want, and any business I bring in, I'd be cooking the partys, so I'd be making money.

scm1226
01-03-2012, 11:03 AM
I say no!! You can have him sponser the Q not partnership with you. Remember even if he does buy a nice big FEC150 or so and lets you use it, it still becomes his. You are going from saving $200-$300 bucks (at most) to teaching some one who can one day walk off with the equipment you wanted.
Unless of course you reach a true parntership agreement for a catering business, now that is something I would look into.
Maybe his banner should be bigger next comp, I don't remember seeing them. Unless of course they are under the tarps from all the rain that is always happening!!

Smokedelic
01-03-2012, 12:35 PM
My 2 cents...having a BBQ team to promote his business and to do his catering must be worth something to him or he wouldn't be entertaining the idea. The only way to find out what it's worth to him is to figure out what it's worth to you and ask him for whatever "that" is. If you get what you want, do it. If not, don't. If you get what you want for a year, 2 years, 5 years, etc. and then it goes away, you're still better off than where you would have been with no sponsor.

I wouldn't get too hung up on the team name. Most guys out there competing will still know who the cooks are.:thumb:

...but that's just my 2 cents.

DawgPhan
01-03-2012, 12:45 PM
what's in a name?

motoeric
01-03-2012, 01:26 PM
Is it possible to have an amalgamation?

"Bob's Butcher presents BBQ Maniacs", something along those lines?


Eric

JD McGee
01-03-2012, 01:32 PM
We'd change our name in a heartbeat if one of our sponsors buy us a Jambo! Lol! Fly his banner proudly for sponsoring your team with meats...that is still a very good promotion. As far as the partnership...whole different situation...tough call! Good luck with your decision!

early mornin' smokin'
01-03-2012, 01:49 PM
Eric, I was thinking something along those lines. But honestly, it's just a team name. Lots of thinking has gone into this. If he's willing to buy a commercial, comp ready smoker. Come along with us, cook with us, share his knowledge of butchering. We're getting a lot more than just the meats from him. Changing his name to promote his business, along with me being able to promote his business so that I can cook more BBQ is a win win. More time on the pit = more consistent results. I'm already scouting out people and businesses who want a BBQ. If I find it and bring it to him, I'm sure on top of getting paid my daily rate to show up and cook, ill get a percentage of the total.

timzcardz
01-03-2012, 02:17 PM
All that I can offer is that you should ask yourself one extremely important question: "Why am I competing?"


An honest answer to that question should make it apparent to you whether or not any sponsorship/partnership/name change should be undertaken based on how that will better fulfill your purpose.

early mornin' smokin'
01-03-2012, 02:35 PM
To answer your question tim, I compete because I love it. I love seeing all the brethren, just being there is exciting. Gives me a chance to cook cuts of meat that I honestly can't justify cooking year round. Having a Butcher, and a local business who may be willing to help with the purchase of equipment and store said equipment comes in real handy. We have never been off the Island as far as contests go. If we placed in the Sam's club series we'd consider traveling.

JD McGee
01-03-2012, 02:53 PM
In all seriousness...who would get what if the partnership dissolves? You will need clear cut roles as to who does what on the team and a definite agreement among all team members that you are a "team"...and that each of your responsibilities are just as vital to your overall success. If he is footing the bill for the meat and smoker...he may want to call the shots...just be clear on your individual roles and be sure you can live with them. Good luck!

BBQ Bandit
01-03-2012, 03:22 PM
Would hate to see this turn to 'Who has the toys makes the rules' situation.
Another viewpoint - don't like the impression of training your own replacement (Pitmaster).

Uncle T
01-03-2012, 03:28 PM
Sound like a good deal, if you agree to work for him. if he buys the smoker, and then you do the name change what do you then own or have that is your in this agreement? Its sound like a good deal, but remember friends only stay friends when they do not become partners. As soon as he owns it all your are an employee. you have to figure out the fine line in friendships, some can be partners and work fine together. and with some they have a fallin out and then dislike each other for a long while. I would not begin what to say to you about this. Its a tough call and I do not evny you one bit.

Fat Freddy
01-03-2012, 03:34 PM
To me it sounds like he wants YOU to join HIS team and he wants to use your experience and expertise for him to learn from.

If all he wants is for you to be on his team for 3-4 events and would still give you a discount on meat for any other events you want to do. I would so why not? Then you could still go with your team and name in any other events you may want to do.

sitnfat
01-03-2012, 05:13 PM
Yeah I would take the meat for the 3-4 contests and leave it at that. Sounds like once he has all the stuff smoker, name, trophies and the no how of. Cooking great BBQ you will be back on your WSM or whatever u use and looking for sponsors again

HawgNationBBQ
01-03-2012, 05:20 PM
Sure sounds like you'll be working for him.


Stick to your guns and keep your name as is. As previously mentioned, you are going from a hobby to a job. Next he will want to be head cook and “get all up in your grill”. Say no! Once you start winning a few categories and GC’s your value will go way up. Have fun. Just my $0.02.

HBMTN
01-03-2012, 05:33 PM
If I were in your shoes and someone told me they would sponsor me if I changes my name to benefit their business and more associate them with competition bbq I think 1) They would have to be willing to pay a major 60-70% of all expenses for a minimum of however many comps I wanted to do. 2) I get all winnings and they get the exposure. 3) I still reserve the right to have other non conflicting sponsors 4) They don't get any of my competition/cooking info recipes etc.

I would agree to do some PR work for the sponsors product. For me I only get to do about 3-5 competitions per year but would love to do 1 per month. So if I could get $6000 annual sponsorship $500 per comp, you can name my team. :becky:

Muzzlebrake
01-03-2012, 06:36 PM
I'm looking at this from a different angle, let him set up the team and you join his team as the pit master. Let him pay for the meats, rubs, supplies, fees and everything

From what it sounds like are both local guys that are looking to expand in the local market. If I understand the situation correctly he is a small local butcher and you don't even compete on a regional level. Let him pay and go have fun as a team member!

If you think about it that worst thing that might happen HIS team doesn't succeed or you don't think you can work together as a team you can always go back to competing with YOUR team with no damage done to your existing brand. Best case scenario you find out you are a compatible team and you blow up win a few contests and the catering biz takes off like a rocket. You are part of it. As you said the more you do it the better you will get. Then even if you go back to competing under your original flag the local people will know you and your own brand benefits.

I wish I would have had someone to pay the bills when I started

MilitantSquatter
01-03-2012, 08:08 PM
Pat - I think you need to clearly define what his "help" will be at the contests... Seems that this can easily become him wanting to do a lot of the cooking and decision making...

Him buying the pit may sound nice, but what happens if he wants to use the pit on a weekend you have a contest or there is a catering gig that same weekend, or he ultimately decides he doesn't need you to cook and do the catering ?

I know you noted he is a good friend, but from what you've shared, I don't see enough here to warrant chaning your team name, adding a member that may want a big piece of the action (and what about the $$ winnings ?) in exchange for use of a pit and catering which you'll likely be able to do on your own with some more time and saving.

Good luck !!

dmprantz
01-03-2012, 08:47 PM
Here's part of the key question to me: Currently, if you win any prize money, what happens to it? If you go the new team route with a new name and him buying a cooker, what would happen to any winnings? Would the answer to that bother you?

I think only you can make the decision that's best for you, but if he forms a team with you and you get training and/or a paying job out of it on top, is that worth it? If you team up and he learns all of your techniques, what's that worth? Championship classes range in the $500-$750 area from what I've seen. He floats the bill for one competition, and I think he's payed enough to take a class from you on how you cook, but that's my analytical brain thinking. Prize money is the key.

dmp

bigjonsBBQ
01-03-2012, 10:53 PM
I wouldnt change the team name that people know you by. You can have him fly a banner with his shop, and that he is the main sponsor of your team. If he had all the money to buy a pit, pay for comps, etc, then he should just start a new team, and comps that you are not entered in, you could help on. Once the team name changes, what else might change in the future? You could end up butting heads and losing a sponsor. Just my 2 cents.

timzcardz
01-04-2012, 07:45 AM
All that I can offer is that you should ask yourself one extremely important question: "Why am I competing?"


An honest answer to that question should make it apparent to you whether or not any sponsorship/partnership/name change should be undertaken based on how that will better fulfill your purpose.
To answer your question tim, I compete because I love it. I love seeing all the brethren, just being there is exciting.

Geeez! It wasn't my question. I said to ask yourself that question! :becky:

Does sponsorship allow you to do more competitions and thereby bring more love? As for just being there and seeing all of the Brethren, you can do that without actually competing. And you can even just do it at the comps where it isn't raining like back in Noah's day!


Gives me a chance to cook cuts of meat that I honestly can't justify cooking year round.

Really? What cuts can't you justify cooking year round?

Chicken?

So you only cook ribs at a competition?

I thought chicken and ribs were the backbone of just about any summer BBQ party.

A pork butt? OK a twin cryo may be more than you want for a meal but you can always cook and freeze, and it is simple enough to do for a party plus it is some good inexpensive eats.

Brisket? Maybe the largest of the choices, but again you can cook and freeze or do for a party.


Having a Butcher, and a local business who may be willing to help with the purchase of equipment and store said equipment comes in real handy. We have never been off the Island as far as contests go. If we placed in the Sam's club series we'd consider traveling.

OK, if it is about the money and the desire to compete bigger and more then considering making concessions like name changes may be worthwhile.

Just ask yourself that will add to why you compete.

Will that make you love it more?

Will you love seeing the Brethren more?

Will you get more excitment out of it?

If the answers are all "YES," then what you should do seems rather obvious.

If not, then tread carefully.





For me, in my situation, the answer would be clear. We compete as a family for the fun and the closeness that it brings us. Spending a minimum of 36 straight hours together with my son, my brother, and my niece gives us quality time that is often hard to find these days. Our wives are there part of the time too. It is all about having a good time. I don't need anyone outside of the family having expectations of us. One look at the advertisements on our malevolent sponsors' banner pretty much tells you all you need to know about why we're there.

early mornin' smokin'
01-04-2012, 08:14 AM
Thanks for all the input guys, I really appreciate it a lot. This hasn't been an easy decision for me.

As far as winnings go. I pay the entry fees. I've asked that we follow how we've been doing it from the beginning. If we win any money, First we cover all of our expenses, comp entry fees, beer, booze, rub, sauce, charcoal, meat. Than whoever cooked as part of the main team gets to evenly split the prize pool, or decide to roll it back into the team to buy new equipment.

Now as far as commercial smokers go that can be used in comps, and in a restaurant setting, is the FEC my best bet?

kurtsara
01-04-2012, 09:04 AM
Is there a new FEC out there, I have never seen the FEC150?

early mornin' smokin'
01-04-2012, 09:18 AM
I've never seen one in person, just on the FEC site. http://www.cookshack.com/store/Smokers_4/Fast-Eddys-by-Cookshack-Model-FEC120
It's all stainless, and the firebox is side mounted, not in the bottom of the unit.

kurtsara
01-04-2012, 10:13 AM
I've never seen one in person, just on the FEC site. http://www.cookshack.com/store/Smokers_4/Fast-Eddys-by-Cookshack-Model-FEC120
It's all stainless, and the firebox is side mounted, not in the bottom of the unit.

I have seen the FEC120, I thought they were getting something new with a FEC150.

smokincracker
01-04-2012, 10:26 AM
You are going from sponsorship to partnership and there is a big difference. Partnerships work if all parties involved know their roles and limits, clearly defining who does what and who owns what will make a big difference as to your success.Be clear on what you expect and always have an exit plan in place. Good luck !

I agree with Gary, have everything in place before you light the fire. I know my sponsors are real reasonable however they just need to know what to expect in advance and don't like suprises in the end.

Good luck

rksylves
01-05-2012, 06:36 AM
You mention that you got into Comp Q'ing because it's fun and you enjoy the friendships. One thing that I've learned over and over is that you find a hobby that's a lot of fun and you enjoy doing it. All of a sudden it ramps up to a full blown job and it's no longer fun anymore but you're stuck in it and you quickly grow to hate it.

I've walked away from two or three hobbies-turned-job situations that were EXACTLY what you're describing. You need to be sure that this is the direction you want to go.

Russ