Q: Hi Simon. It is harder and harder to get sponsors to invest money into this amazing sport especially in the initial times of racing. Any advice how to attract them without having any rich friends? Thanks
A: This is a great question, and one on most riders minds. Yes their has been better times to find sponsors, but this problem has been around since racing started.
I am not a sponsor finding expert so I am not going to tell you how you WILL find sponsors, but I do have experience in fighting my way through the ranks from club level racing to World Championship level, and I believe the basic rules of success have not changed since the days I did it. The following will give you the best chance of doing the same.
Many people in Europe and the UK have said to me that they are always “impressed how committed down under riders are”. My answer to them is “you only get to see the committed ones, the rest stayed home”.
People like to help people that are helping themselves, its human nature. Once I fully committed to my racing in every way possible, others saw this in me and started to help. I was very surprised how people I did not know came out of nowhere to help me. I had given up partying which was a big and difficult step for me because it meant breaking ties with many good fun friends who were regular partiers.
I trained hard always pretending my arch rival was hot on my heals and going to pass me if I backed off. I learned about correct diet, prepped my bikes as good as I could, I committed to being honest to myself and everyone else (another big step). Basically, I did everything in my power to become a professional racer. Not just the minimum you need to like most people do, but everything!
If you do this, fully commit to your goal and don’t expect anyone else to do it for you, and tell people what your plans are, someone will help you get there. It may be small things, but it all helps. When they do help you, thank them and remember them. Their help is not free, they deserve something back in return. It maybe simply the pleasure of giving and knowing you really do appreciate it. You will be robbing this pleasure from them if you expect it for free, so offer to repay them by working some days at their business or house doing odd jobs. If they say yes to this offer, work your ass off!
Now that I am in a position to help young riders, not so much financially as in many other ways, I find that the majority of young riders EXPECT people to just give them what they need. They don’t train hard, eat right, sleep right and make some sacrifices in order to be ready for an opportunity. They just sit and wait for someone to give it to them. This attitude puts me off completely. I want to help someone who is committed to achieving their goal with or without my help. Its how it is and how its always been.
So, ask yourself honestly: do you deserve the opportunity? Are you doing everything you can to reach your goal?