You dream of a racing career supported by incredible sponsors is on its way to coming true. But even once you have inquiry emails sitting in your inbox or your DMs, you still need to figure out exactly how much you’re going to charge as a content creator. It might be tempting to choose the lowest possible number you can think of just to make sure they say yes, but that’s not fair to you and ultimately doesn’t actually make you more desirable as a sponsored racer.
Your sponsorship proposals are all about value—what their exposure to YOUR audience is worth. There are a few factors that go into that valuation and your engagement rate is a big influence.
We’re going to talk through how to evaluate your social media audience and content so that you can create an accurate (and lucrative) proposal for any sponsor. Becoming a sponsored motorsports racer is closer than you even think!
Your Engagement Rate
This is the quantifiable expression of your warm audience. Your warm audience is the section of your followers that are most likely to purchase something that you suggest. They’re not just casual fans; they’re involved in your online profiles and genuinely are interested in you and your thoughts (including what you might think is worth their time).
So while you might have a small number of followers compared to some of your peers, if those people are highly engaged, that’s far more valuable than a large number of unengaged followers.
A simple formula for figuring out your engagement rate is dividing the number of interactions (likes, comments, shares, saves, and replies) by the number of views or reaches it got. For for example, if you shared a behind-the-scenes reel of you in the shop and it reached 10,000 people and 1,000 of those people interacted in the post in some way, that post has a 10% engagement rate. Average your post-by-post engagement rate by averaging the last 1-3 months of posts, depending on how often you’re sharing.
The average engagement rate is 1-5% (Hootsuite, 2023) with the smaller followings (1K – 5K) having the highest average engagement rate (4.86%). Specifically, for the motorsports industry, is less than 1% (Social Insider, 2023).
But your sponsors aren’t just interested in your social media numbers (and you shouldn’t be, either). Much more goes into the conversion process than some blindly-shared posts with no strategy. When you’re putting together your motorsports sponsorship proposal, you also need to consider your entire industry, career, and content creation process.
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A platform don’t exist in a vacuum. Your career, experience, and expertise also play a big role in what you can charge. Consider your standing in your specific niche and industry. Also, consider what your expertise and experience got you that an amateur doesn’t have. The 10 years you’ve invested in learning and growing are what you’re charging for; not the few it takes you to make an Instagram story or win a race.
Your Content Creation Process
Before you submit your proposal, you definitely need to determine how long it’s going to take you to create the deliverables they’re wanting or you’re pitching. If carousel posts take your twice as long to create, you should factor that into your pricing. While ultimately your sponsors are paying for results, make sure that your time is covered no matter what.
Usage Rights and Exclusivity
Finally, you need to charge for the legal details of using your content. Are you going to be giving this content to them for them to use on their own terms? Or are you sharing the content directly with your followers? Are you allowed to share about this same industry or product category in the future, or do they want exclusive rights to your support of their product in that category? Have these conversations before you pitch your proposal and factor in how your work will be used. The more exclusive, the more you should charge.
There are many ways to create value for sponsors through racing, and exposure on your car is no longer on top. Connections replaced exposure, digital connections. That’s why I’m working with Alex Striler to co-host the first ever Drag Racing Sponsorship Summit. This goal of this summit is explain what brands value, so you can generate that value, and finally get paid cash, instead of product.
Sponsorship is not about getting lucky and finding the right company. It’s about being smart and creating value so companies and brands desire to be part of your program. Marketing directors and experienced racers, such as Ron Capps, will share what they look for when making sponsorship decisions and how they’ve been successful with drag racing sponsorships.
In this 3-hour long virtual meeting, we will discuss the 4 biggest topics: why brands sponsor, successful activations, creating value, networking and closing deals.
Join us on Tuesday, March 28th 6-9pm CT on Zoom – if you can’t make it live your ticket will get you access to the recording. >>> Get your ticket HERE!