For those with sponsors, some advice.
First of all the following was not written by me. I will include a link at the end if you want to see the full discussion. I think that the author was on point with his take on sponsorships.
"I can't say I speak for every company out there, but I am confident I speak for many on this topic, and quite simply, I think far too many, most, of those who receive sponsorship(s) from various inter-industry and even out-of-industry companies don't really do much, if anything, in exchange for that help and support.
Putting a decal on your bike in today's day and age of social media just isn't enough. Hell, people ask for and put decals on their bikes even when not sponsored, but just because they like the product. (This is NOT about people who put decals on and aren't sponsored, that's their choice, so don't make a deal about that...this about those who are sponsored.)
There are a lot of riders, especially pros, who have figured out about how to use social media and other things to help their sponsors, because being sponsored is about trying to give something back to those who help you and not just "what 'cha gonna give me?"
It is a two-way street. The company gives you a discount or free product, and in exchange, you do your best both on and off the track to promote that company or all those who sponsor you. A decal on your bike and trailer just doesn't cut it.
Let me give you something to think about, you have two riders, and to make this easier to digest, let's say they consistently finish 5th and 6th. The kid who finishes 5th just runs his sponsors logos in his pre-made decal kit and maybe a decal on his trailer. The 6th place kid does all the same, BUT, he also goes on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and every other possible social media and posts not only his results but thanks #sponsorA #sponsorB #sponsorC and where appropriate, because not each of those platforms work the same, they'll @sponsorA @sponsorB and @sponsorC....so their sponsors know that the effort is made.
Which rider has greater value to their sponsors? The 5th place kid or the 6th place kid?
Don't kid yourself about how and when these companies know, there are several analytics software programs that track hashtags and mentions and then they can see how many mentions are made in a day/week/month and even by whom. Many companies can pull your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account through their analytics software and know EXACTLY how many times you mentioned them between the late night pictures of your Taco Bell Chalupa, girlfriend and the pictures of your dog...how many, how often, what day and down to what time....yes, that exact.
Point is, if you want to increase your value to your sponsors, which in turn can increase their level of support of your racing, you need to do more than just have a decal on your bike and trailer.
Maybe you're only getting a few percentage points off of retail or dealer cost right now, but if you put more into your personal marketing of yourself and your sponsors, your value to them increases, and in turn, their willingness to help you and to increase their support will grow.
Also, think about how you personally thank your sponsors at the end of or throughout the year, do you send them updates of your results? Did you win a local series? Did you win a big race? Let them know! Why not spend a few dollars to have some photos printed at CVS of you with your trophies or on the podium and mail them a copy, not email, but snail mail, maybe even framed....believe me, it will help them remember your name when sponsor season rolls around next year...."Oh, I remember this kid, he sent us that signed 'thank you' picture back in the spring, good kid"
Know every proper hashtag or tag for every one of them, and USE THEM, A LOT!!
Be a winner off the track in promoting yourself and sponsors better than everyone else.
Because that's how you'll get more support in the long run that the guys beating you.
But hey, WTF do I know?