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Ignition Productions

Motorsport, TV and Sponsorship – Interview Summary

A while back I had the pleasure of interviewing Nathan Prendergast of Ignition Productions.

Nathan knows a thing or two about motorsport, sponsorship and TV with his role as broadcast director for the V8 Supercar telecasts.

To read the full interview use the links below or continue reading to check out Nathan’s top sponsorship tips…

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Darren Morgan - Top Fuel

Top Fuel champion Darren Morgan speaks about sponsorship

Motorsport is expensive, very expensive. Without sponsorship many forms of motorsport simply wouldn’t exist at the levels they do today.

Recently I caught up with Darren Morgan of Darren Morgan Racing; the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) Top Fuel Champion.

Affectionately known as Morgs, Darren is one of a handful of professional drag racers whose racing operation is completely funded by sponsorship and local investors. In Australia, the norm is for sponsorship to fund part of the racing program, with a significant portion often coming from a racer’s business interests.

Darren was introduced to Top Fuel in the 90s while crewing for drag racing legend Graeme Cowin, both here in Australia and in the US. In 2004 Darren joined the Lamattina Top Fuel Racing team, putting together the total race package including training the crew, building the transporter, preparing the tooling AND taking on the driving duties, winning the 2005 Top Fuel Championship in the process.

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10 essential steps to create a winning sponsorship proposal

One of the fundamental keys to getting sponsored is your ability to create a winning sponsorship proposal. It’s an important document in the process of going from sponsorship seeker to marketing partner. It can literally make or break the deal.

Creating an effective sponsorship proposal is probably one of the most asked for yet misunderstood facets of the whole sponsorship process.

Through personal experience, research, and similarities to business proposals in general, I’ve come up with 10 essential steps to create a winning sponsorship proposal.

It’s easy to follow, methodical, and will greatly improve your chances of getting sponsored.

So let’s get started…

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Ignition Productions

Motorsport, TV and Sponsorship – part 3

Welcome to part 3 of my interview with Nathan Prendergast of Ignition Productions.

In part 2 of the interview we covered:

  • Keep your eyes open for opportunities
  • The importance of creating a personal brand
  • Forget the camera and be natural

Provide value and don’t overrate your worth

Kym: What common mistakes do you see sponsorship seekers make?

Nathan: I would be guessing. But I would think that overrating their worth would be one of them. People can be a little bit arrogant about the way they approach things. Again, potentially, depending on who’s evaluating their worth.

Kym: Does that come back to how you value a sponsorship? It’s not about cost. It doesn’t matter what you think you’re worth. It’s actually about how much value you can return to the sponsor?

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How To Create An Online Audience And Get Sponsored

How to build an online audience for sponsorship

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a strong believer in building rapport with a potential sponsor before you attempt to talk about a sponsorship proposal or investment options (I learned this the hard and time-consuming way). So in this article, I’ll show you how to build an online audience that will attract sponsors.

One of the ways you build rapport with a potential sponsor is to have a recognizable brand and an audience of your own.

Apart from creating a potential market ready to go for your sponsor, having a recognizable brand gives you instant and independent credibility. You’re not telling a potential sponsor how good (professional, articulate, affable) you are; you’re showing them by the way you interact with your audience.

But, as an independent sponsorship seeker, how can you cost-effectively:

  • Create your brand
  • Build an audience and;
  • Compete for sponsors with organizations much larger than yourself?

By creating your brand online using the tools that best serve you and your target audience.

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Can You Really Afford To Be Sponsored?

Can you really afford to be sponsored?

Ah, the allure of sponsorship. To have a corporate partner spend a few of their marketing dollars on your passion; to take it to the next level, to go the extra mile, to not have to pay the bills.

To live the dream.

Sounds great doesn’t it? In theory yes, in practice… mileage may vary. If you’re really keen on seeking sponsorship (and I don’t mean a hand-out from your mate who runs a successful spare parts business) you need to weigh up the cons before you’ll see any of the pros.

This may sound a little pessimistic, but I want you to go into the sponsorship game with your eyes open to the realities. That it’s not the goose that laid the golden egg and the answer to all your financial constraints.

It takes hard work, commitment and tenacity to be successful; all of which may take the ‘fun’ out of what you’re trying to achieve through sponsorship.

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Ignition Productions

Motorsport, TV and Sponsorship – part 2

Here’s part 2 of my interview with Nathan Prendergast of Ignition Productions.

In part 1 of the interview we covered:

  • Exposure and being unique
  • Being prepared
  • Create and leverage your media opportunities

Keep your eyes open for opportunities…

Kym: So you’ve got to always be thinking. You can’t just focus purely on what you’re doing right now, but you need to be looking for opportunities, keep your eyes open?

Nathan: You can’t just sit there. You can’t chase the sponsor. They give you a check and go, “Great. Deal Done.” I can go race for the rest of the year because what benefit is a sponsor going to get out of that unless you win every single race, and there’s only a couple of people in our sport that are good enough to do that. I think you need to be constantly thinking, “Okay, how can I service this sponsor better?

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Ignition Productions

Motorsport, TV and Sponsorship – part 1

Hi and welcome to the third interview here at Practical Sponsorship ideas. This week it’s my pleasure to introduce Nathan Prendergast, head-honcho of Ignition Productions.

Nathan has a long history with motorsport, growing up around race tracks his family owned and operated during the 80s and 90s. From the age of 16 Nathan began commentating at drag racing events at Eastern Creek Raceway. This led to opportunities to work in front of the camera on TV programs like Speed Week here in Australia.

Keen to work behind the camera, Nathan honed his editing skills by putting together drag racing promos. After demonstrating his abilities he was given the opportunity to become an editor with AVE. For close to ten years Nathan worked with AVE, learning how to edit, produce, direct and manage the cameras.

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Looking Glass

5 steps to finding that perfect sponsor

One of the key steps to securing sponsorship is doing your homework. You must get to know your potential sponsors and determine if you’re compatible with their target audience(s) and marketing objectives.

One of the worst things you can do is send an unsolicited, untargeted, irrelevant proposal to a potential sponsor. You’ll get absolutely nowhere and will waste your time and theirs.

Time spent doing your research now will pay you back 10 fold in the long run.

Before you begin the process of finding that perfect sponsor, I assume that you have a good understanding of your target audience – those people who are interested in what you do. Be it visitors to an event, members / fans of a sporting association or specific audience demographic etc.

The process:

  • Step 1 – Create a wish list of sponsors
  • Step 2 – Research each of the sponsors
  • Step 3 – Record the details in the Sponsor Research Template
  • Step 4 – Reality check using the Sponsor Compatibility Matrix…how compatible are you really?
  • Step 5 – Pick up the phone and contact your hot list of sponsors
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Sponsorship Opportunities Are All Around You

Sponsorship opportunities are all around you…

Sometimes you’ve just got to stop what you’re doing, sit back and take stock…literally. If you take the time to really look you could spot sponsorship opportunities all around you.

At the moment I’m sitting here in my lounge room surrounded by brands and objects and things that I like. If you take the time to understand what motivates you to select one brand over other then you’re 1 step closer to understanding what you have to offer a potential sponsor.

Take a quick inventory of what you can see…

For me, I’m wearing my Tendence watch. I love this watch, though it’s a bit bigger than I imagined. One of the disadvantages of buying online – no frame of reference.

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The Perfect Sponsorship Pitch

The Perfect Sponsorship Pitch is a step-by-step process, designed to bypass the gatekeepers and get your sponsor’s attention.