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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 12 May 2009
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How Do I Get Sponsors

I would like the corporate sector to chip in and boost our resources as our ride will have lots of publicity.We will be supported by international stars.We riding from Cape Town to London
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  #2  
Old 12 May 2009
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Blowing my own trumpet, here's a bit of what's been said before. CLICKIE.

I looked at your website and it seems like at the moment you're at the "we've got an idea" stage, which is a good time to start on your publicity.

Personally, I reckon the next thing you need to do is get publicity, get as much as you can, get in the newspaper, on the local radio, the local TV, get in bike mags, make as many contacts as possible. Corporate sponsorship is going to be one of the things that gets cut down now we're post-crash. You NEED to show any sponsors are getting value for money, and you NEED to think that their sponsorship is just another form of advertising, so you NEED to get yourselves, and keep yourselves in the media spotlight.

Good luck, and if you find anything that works lets us know.
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  #3  
Old 13 May 2009
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Corporate Sponsorship Advice

Hello Trail of Hope -

Your plea came across a feed-reader today and I think I might be able to give you a bit of direction. I don't ride a motorcycle (I do have a scooter!), but I am a corporate sponsorship consultant, trainer, and author.

You don't mention how much lead-time you've got. If you want to get any kind of significant sponsorship, you need to be working at least a few months out.

If you've got some time up your sleeve, you should start the process immediately. I can't go into the entire process here, but I can recommend The Sponsorship Seeker's Toolkit 3rd Edition (any good bookstore, including Amazon, will either have it or can get it). Yes, this is my book, but it goes though the steps for seeking sponsorship, the thinking is very current (so will appeal to sponsors), and there are ample tools and templates, including a proposal template.

Enough about that.

The other thing that I want you to take on board is that this is NOT simply going to be a publicity exercise and it is NOT just another form of advertising for a sponsor. Yes, it is a valuable marketing activity, but marketing, advertising, and sponsorship do not mean the same things.

I believe the key for you in in your intellectual property (aka, "IP"). If you get lots of media coverage - and you may - that's great, but you can't control whether you do or don't. What you can provide a sponsor with is a steady stream of interesting content that they can use on their website. You could upload a video blog every day of your trip. You could talk about all the adventures and people you meet or whatever. If you can provide information, insight, commentary, or comedy that is compelling to at least one of their target markets, this could be a very high value, low strain benefit to offer.

Good luck!

Kim Skildum-Reid
Power Sponsorship
Corporate sponsorship strategist, speaker, co-author of The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit and The Sponsor’s Toolkit, and author of The Ambush Marketing Toolkit
Web: Power Sponsorship - The web's most powerful sponsorship marketing destination
Blog: Kim's Blog
Twitter: Kim Skildum-Reid (KimSkildumReid) on Twitter

Last edited by kimskildumreid; 13 May 2009 at 04:45. Reason: typo
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  #4  
Old 13 May 2009
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What is it with everyone wanting sponsors?

Why? so they dont have to pay out of their own pockets and get a "FREE" adventure??????

For goodness sake! ever since those two idiots Charlie and Ewan got free Snap-On toolkits and loadsa free stuff, every wannabe adventurer thinks they can do the same.

It gets old real quick all this begging dosh of the Corporate/ Business sector.
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  #5  
Old 13 May 2009
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Originally Posted by Honda CT90 Rider View Post
For goodness sake! ever since those two idiots Charlie and Ewan got free Snap-On toolkits and loadsa free stuff, every wannabe adventurer thinks they can do the same.
Nice, Another thing to blame C+E for… There have been questions about sponsors long before LWR. This bike started it’s RTW-tour in 1982. After a while it got some sponsers, is this C+Es fault?

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  #6  
Old 13 May 2009
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Hi Trail of Hope -

I'm sure Kim's book has a lot of useful information in it, probably worth a read.

However, I'd suggest the bottom line is what are the sponsors going to get out of it, and how much is the sponsorship going to affect how/what you do?

The last thing you want is to be duty-bound to a wide selection of sponsors, and have that compromise your enjoyment (or indeed completion) of your trip.

You're also going to be in a catch 22, because the sort of companies who are typically associated with trips like this are inundated with requests the whole time, whereas companies that are not connected (while possibly having bigger budgets and looking for new marketing 'opportunities') are going to be harder to convince of the relevance of your project to them?

As long as you are prepared for that, then ultimately the sponsors are going to want publicity (and to a lesser extent, if it is a specific product connected with travel/overland, then the association of that with your endeavour). You need to be able to show them that YOUR trip is going to get that.

You already seem to have a catchy name, and presume this is some sort of fund raising effort - already two good elements for gaining publicity in the general (and to a lesser extent specialist) press.

I would assemble a pitch/press release, and send it to as many magazines/papers/tv/radio etc and see if anyone bites - magazines like MCN and local papers are always on the look out for 'easy' newsy stories - and once you have one on board, others will usually follow...

Once they've run an initial piece, negotiating serializing your trip in a magazine might be one way to approach it, although be careful promising too much to too many - some (most?) publications will want an exclusive.

Likewise mainstream Radio and TV stations are likely to want an exclusive too. Your local BBC/independent evening news station is probably worth a try, likewise those lunchtime/late afternoon 'magazine' type shows are always looking for something interesting and/or worthy.

Once you are confident your trip is genuinely publicity worthy, then a similar pitch document to your chosen sponsors, highlighting the publicity you've already attained, and what you might expect to see in the future - but don't exaggerate - publishers very rarely might steadfast promises, and the last thing you want is any ill-will if you end up letting your sponsors down.

A quick story to show the fickle nature of the media - a few years ago I was a feature writer for LRM (Land Rover Monthly) magazine - I met a woman who was about to embark on a RTW trip in a Land Rover to raise awareness for Land Mine Survivors. The story was particularly poignant as the lady in question had lost both her legs at a young age (and had a school scholarship and potential career as a long distance runner cut short - no pun intended), she had also overcome considerable family tragedy earlier in her life, and also had a young daughter who was going to be traveling around the world with her - fantastic stuff eh?

Anyway, after getting an interview lined up with her local BBC news station, I pulled off a bit of a coup and got her a slot on Richard & Judy - a set was going to be built around the Land Rover in the studio, and she was going to be interviewed about the project - magic stuff!

We were all set for a Monday show - just a week or so before she was set to leave for 18 months around the world - when on the Thursday prior, the producer called me and said we were bumped because they'd got an interview with two of the firemen from Sept 11th, and it was the 'six month anniversary' (uh?) of the twin towers...

Ok, so that was a petty good story too (although seems so passe these days eh?)... but when I tuned in that Monday afternoon, turns out the 911 firemen had ALSO been bumped because Will Young (remember him?) had come out as gay that weekend... but no, they didn't actually have an interview with Will - just some pop pundit speculating (for a bloody hour) whether it might affect his career or not... priceless eh?

So that's an example of what you're up against!

Good luck!

Jenny xx
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  #7  
Old 13 May 2009
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PS. Kim is right in that it is not just press publicity potential sponsors may want - if the trip is relevant to their product/customer base then providing material for their website/newsletter etc is certainly an option, likewise perhaps being available (after you return) for talks/seminars or on trade stands at shows for example.

Another project I was involved in for LRM was 'Kent to Capetown' - where half a dozen students decided to take a year out after university and drive to Capetown in a pair of Land Rovers. They were very clued up regarding publicity for the project, had the Duke of Kent as a patron, and raised funds and awareness (plus got stuck in and got their hands dirty rebuilding) orphanages for children with HIV the length of Africa. On their return, they did a tour of the UK universities promoting the work they had done, and inspiring others to get involved in volunteer work after collage. They also wrote an excellent series of articles for LRM during their time on the road - ah the miracles of modern technology eh?

Again, depending on who your sponsors turn out to be, they may be similar opportunities to repay their (financial) kindness?

xxx
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  #8  
Old 13 May 2009
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Another thing

One thing to bear in mind when approaching people/companies is where to pitch the "danger/adventure" side of your trip

Although the risk is small, and it is a unsavoury thing to talk about, there is a risk that you will be eaten by a lion, hit by truck, get some interesting disease or get bored and lose interest in your trip, maybe all on the same day.

Not surprising, some companies do not want reports of their associate being plastered all over the papers when the worst happens so will be reluctant to get on board

I had a not dissimilar experience in reverse when I did a big trip and wanted to raise (and give) money to a local hospice with money from a big trip. Before the trip, they said "no thanks, it won't look good for us if it all goes wrong"

There is no exact science to this of course and different companies will have different attitudes to others. But it is a good idea to have the relevant answer to hand when companies ask about RISK ASSESSMENT
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Old 14 May 2009
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I was sponsored some gear, I just emailed a couple of companies offering them publicity in a few different ways and they got back to me with some offers.

Don't expect money though, you'd really be getting your hopes up.
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  #10  
Old 14 May 2009
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As the editor of an international travel magazine, I receive sometimes dozens of proposals a month from people proposing journeys to raise money for a charity. Not to sound too harsh, just realistic, but offhand I'd say 80 to 90 percent are from guys who want a free adventure trip and have hit on the idea of raising money for a charity as a way to get it. So expect skepticism when you approach potential sponsors.

The advantage you have is that one of you is actually an ex-member of the group you hope to help. That's powerful. Also, your website is well-constructed, if in need of some editing to be really effective ("Why we doing it" etc.). And the goal of reducing the population of children on the street in Africa is obviously a worthy one.

However, the proximate goal of your fund-raising is only briefly mentioned as far as I could see: ten million Rand for an eco village in the Western Cape. You need a lot more concrete data on that. Riding from Cape Town to London is no real selling point - hundreds of people do that. So don't emphasize that part. Emphasize the team of a black ex-street kid and a white South African - that's powerful too. Emphasize what you are doing that is different, and you'll have much better luck. Not sure about the "supported by international stars" bit, but if you are, that's great.

If you really put this trip together I'd be happy to discuss a story.
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  #11  
Old 14 May 2009
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Originally Posted by OJEditor View Post
....Not to sound too harsh, just realistic, but offhand I'd say 80 to 90 percent are from guys who want a free adventure trip and have hit on the idea of raising money for a charity as a way to get it. So expect skepticism when you approach potential sponsors....
Perhaps it's drifting off-topic a bit but I've wondered about the ethics of this.There's an argument that says why not just give all the money straight to the charity, but I've often wondered if the potential donor would have even known of the charity in the first place. I guess the question to ask is "If I just raise money for charity and don't get to do my trip, how upset will I be?" In other words what are your priorities?

On the other hand surely any money/awareness raised is a good thing? And why shouldn't people use their jollies as a way to benefit others?
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Old 14 May 2009
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
Perhaps it's drifting off-topic a bit but I've wondered about the ethics of this.There's an argument that says why not just give all the money straight to the charity, but I've often wondered if the potential donor would have even known of the charity in the first place. I guess the question to ask is "If I just raise money for charity and don't get to do my trip, how upset will I be?" In other words what are your priorities?

On the other hand surely any money/awareness raised is a good thing? And why shouldn't people use their jollies as a way to benefit others?
That's right - if it were purely about the money/fund raising, then you'd be better off just giving the cash it's going to cost you (and your sponsors) directly to the charity in question - which is why it's ultimately about publicity - for both the cause itself (and hopefully further/direct donations), and by association, the sponsors...

xxx
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  #13  
Old 14 May 2009
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One small question I have, a little off topic, but I feel worth asking - the route you have shown on your website seems to be a little confusing for me as regards from Sudan to Libya, or from Khartoum, through the Gilf Kebir in a straight line to Tripoli.
And from Kenya direct into the Sudan?
Are you intending to do that or is it just poetic licence on the graphic.
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Old 15 May 2009
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And why shouldn't people use their jollies as a way to benefit others?
I'm not necessarily saying it's wrong, but the level of real commitment to the cause - and thus the eventual benefit to that cause - tends to vary widely. A potential sponsor is going to parse that commitment closely, and will (or should!) demand to know just what percentage of money collected will go for the charity, and how much will go toward BMWs and Hilleberg tents. Even a company that donates socks won't want to be associated with something that turns out to be a sham charity run.

The Trail of Hope team has an advantage here, since one of them is a former member of the group they plan to assist, so one would assume the level of devotion is pretty high.
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Old 15 May 2009
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Mr Ed... I know just what you mean, having organised a few charity events in my time. The old who gets what question is important and I think it's one of the things anyone should tell sponsors in advance. In some cases it might be that ALL of a sponsors donation goes to the event, but that the event then raises money. As in so many other parts of life, transparency appears to be key.

The idea that somehow arranging a thing for charity is a guaranteed way to get freebies though is way ot of line. And of course it's twice if not three times the work of preparing a trip on its own.

Sometimes I wonder what experiences people have of looking for sponsors when there's NO charity involved. Perhaps being refreshingly honest and possibly different from the norm, and just saying "I'm doing this, give me that" is cheeky enough to get results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OJEditor View Post
I'm not necessarily saying it's wrong, but the level of real commitment to the cause - and thus the eventual benefit to that cause - tends to vary widely. A potential sponsor is going to parse that commitment closely, and will (or should!) demand to know just what percentage of money collected will go for the charity, and how much will go toward BMWs and Hilleberg tents. Even a company that donates socks won't want to be associated with something that turns out to be a sham charity run.

The Trail of Hope team has an advantage here, since one of them is a former member of the group they plan to assist, so one would assume the level of devotion is pretty high.
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