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  1. #1
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    How'd you get sponsored? - And other ankle biter questions...

    Did you ask? Did someone ask you? Are there certain criteria someone should stick to if pursuing sponsorship? What kind of package can be expected at various levels? Is it worthwhile? Are there setbacks / things to look out for?

  2. #2
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    sponsorship is a tricky subject.

    the wife is 8th fastest female in the US and if it weren't for an awesome bike shop (Rock N Road Cyclery FTW!!!!) she probably couldn't afford to chase the races at all...

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    I can only answer for myself. What I did was get involved with my lbs and showed them my dedication. Now they take care of me and I do what I can for them buy always talking them up and dropping their name as much as possible. It started small and now I feel I have a great deal. I know in my area a common discount is cost + 20% on items with maybe a one-time buy-in deal on certain things such as a bike or large ticket items. Also look for teams associated with shops.

  4. #4
    LMN
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    What sort of sponsorship level?

    A deal on a bike and jersey? Become good friends with you local shop.


    Free bikes, travel, and a salary? Finish in the top 10 at a world cup.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  5. #5
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    I just race for fun. I'm on a shop team, so we get 25% off in-stock parts, 50% off labor, cost + %10 for ordered parts, except two large ticket items at cost, a deal on FSA stuff, and a deal on cookies. A guy who races in my class was telling me that his team, which I don't think is associated with a shop, gets half their race fee reimbursed and a deal on RockShox and Park Tool products. I think one of the advertisers on the jersey picks up some of the cost of team kit orders.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    I asked her to marry me. Now she pays for all my race entry fees and equipment!
    "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?"

  7. #7
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    This is somewhat unusual I'm sure.
    The director of the company I'm with decided one day a couple of years ago that we needn't to have more community involvement. Somehow sponsoring a cycling team made it on to his radar and being the lone cyclist in the company corps my sponsorship was automatic.
    I'm not much of a racer but I have been able to take advantage of some skookum industry discounts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pop_martian
    I asked her to marry me. Now she pays for all my race entry fees and equipment!
    i totally screwed this one up.... oh wait, never mind. she is the one saying this about me! LOL

  9. #9
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    Don't just walk into a shop and say "will you sponsor me?". All we hear is "I want some free stuff". Do work for the shop first and show good race results and a commitment to riding. You want free stuff, we want advertising. It's that simple.
    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    What sort of sponsorship level?

    A deal on a bike and jersey? Become good friends with you local shop.


    Free bikes, travel, and a salary? Finish in the top 10 at a world cup.
    This.

    Many shops have "recreational" teams. Membership is usually just a matter of getting invited (usually by riding with shop employees and regulars). Shop discounts are the "sponsorship". My team has several levels of discounts based on number of races attended in the current season (among other things, like required community work).

    Several local teams have an elite tier, where the riders get entry and some travel allowance, subsidized by the lower tier members (who join for the camaraderie and training opportunities) and corporate sponsors (commonly local real estate offices).

    Actually making a living at cycling? Good luck with that.

  11. #11
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    I never understood why a rider would lay down $100+ for a shop jersey and shorts to ride for the "shop team" and at most get a small discount? At least that's what I've noticed in my area. Great marketing on the shops part.

  12. #12
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    I bought a couple bikes from my local shop and started getting serious. I noticed they had a race team and asked about it, now I ride for them. One of our sponsors picks up my kits and race entry fee's, Bontrager gives us stuff like tires, shoes, and seats, a shop discount, and we get 20% off on Scott bikes(picking up a new on today). It really is a great deal and I always try to send everyone their direction when looking for anything bike related.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by moto367
    I never understood why a rider would lay down $100+ for a shop jersey and shorts to ride for the "shop team" and at most get a small discount? At least that's what I've noticed in my area. Great marketing on the shops part.
    Because if it's a nice road-type kit (bibshorts and jersey) then $100 roughly covers the shop's wholesale costs with printing. It's being sold for zero profit to provide exposure for the shop.

    $100 is a pretty good deal for high-end kit.
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  14. #14
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    contact

    In addiiton to joining a team, most manufacturers have a time during the early winter where you can contact them with a race resume and proposal. At one time, I had prodeals and free product coming from 6 good companies. I let most of them go over the past two years with my ever diminishing race schedule. With the economy in the dumps, many have dropped alot of riders but there is still support to be had for amatuers.
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  15. #15
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    try going on hookit.com

  16. #16
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    I really like this article! AngryAsian: Sponsorship is not about you - BikeRadar

    Also in response to your question. I race in a shop kit, but I worked there for several years! I think the local team (p/b the shop) gets a 25% discount and a portion race fees/kit fees back if they do a certain amount of volunteering at team events throughout the season. Our collegiate team is mostly funded by our school club sports money but we are still responsible for food/jerseys/bikes. They cover wear parts/travel/hotels/entry fees.

  17. #17
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    I get two free kits a year free labor and a bike at 30% below cost from trek and cost +10 on any parts.

  18. #18
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    I wonder if the OP has been able to find a sponsorship in the last 37 months? ")

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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    I wonder if the OP has been able to find a sponsorship in the last 37 months? ")
    well, he is self motivated....
    Put a mountain biker in a room with 2 bowling balls and we'll break one and lose the other - GelatiCruiser

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    i wonder if the op has been able to find a sponsorship in the last 37 months? ")
    haha!

  21. #21
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    Ryan Woodall finished 4th in pro xct points with a BUNCH of factory guys behind him and he still hasnt had anything come up for next year if that answers any questions

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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog View Post
    Ryan Woodall finished 4th in pro xct points with a BUNCH of factory guys behind him and he still hasnt had anything come up for next year if that answers any questions
    Woodall is def killing it.

  23. #23
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    Well people get sponsor because they do the right things, and winning is not it. You have to sell yourself, well spoken, presentable. You have to be someone that a company at any level would want to be associated with. Do you have Facebook, twitter, website and so on.

    you have to travel to the right races and places, at national races, sea otter, interbike. You have to knock on 1000 doors, 100 will open, 10 you'll get in and 2 will help you. or top 20 at a worldcup will get you in.

  24. #24
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    Get kinda fast and really popular, then use your popularity to sell things for people.
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  25. #25
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    My son has a great deal; he's 9 and I pay for everything.

  26. #26
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog View Post
    Ryan Woodall finished 4th in pro xct points with a BUNCH of factory guys behind him and he still hasnt had anything come up for next year if that answers any questions
    Zero reason for him not to be "sponsored" then...unless he is not a likeable guy and is known for being an arrogant jerk sorta thing...

    I doubt that is the case. He may need to knock on some doors though..

    His parents own a popular bike shop in Florida, so I don't think there is a lack of contacts. Stay tuned..

    Even Cat 1s get "sponsored" occasionally.

    It also helps to be in a well known/competitive region where races have large fields stacked with talent.

    Big fish in small pond does not attract sponsors as much..
    Last edited by rydbyk; 10-24-2013 at 02:01 PM.

  27. #27
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog View Post
    Ryan Woodall finished 4th in pro xct points with a BUNCH of factory guys behind him and he still hasnt had anything come up for next year if that answers any questions
    I think his sponsors are:
    POC
    Felt
    Industry 9
    Pro Gold
    etc

    Are they all dropping him?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    I think his sponsors are:
    POC
    Felt
    Industry 9
    Pro Gold
    etc

    Are they all dropping him?
    his profile on goneriding also says: " I ride for & work at Top Gear Bicycles in Ocala, FL. I get a lot of help from Milsaps Training Facility and Industry Nine Components."
    Ryan Woodall profile

    But really, you just have to ignore Vizladogs posts about Woodall. The guy cant sneeze without him posting about it.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    his profile on goneriding also says: " I ride for & work at Top Gear Bicycles in Ocala, FL. I get a lot of help from Milsaps Training Facility and Industry Nine Components."
    Ryan Woodall profile

    But really, you just have to ignore Vizladogs posts about Woodall. The guy cant sneeze without him posting about it.
    Lol...youre a douche. Ryan still has all of his personal sponsors,and is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Looks like he may be doing a bigger privateer effort next year

  30. #30
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    Don't go in thinking that a sponsorship means free team kits and free or heavily discounted bikes/parts. I have run several teams throughout the years, usually, pro, cat 1 would get 2 free kits, free parts from various sponsors, some travel and a support at local races. Everyone else got kits at cost, discount on all parts needed and race support.
    The last few years have been lean in regards to outside sponsorship, this season we just came up with a team name, Team Hurricane, had a couple of small sponsors and everyone bought their own kits, paid their own entries, but sometimes had race support. We did it as a camaraderie type of thing. Next year, we're going to change it up a bit and hopefully pull some more sponsors on board to pay for some race entries.
    Although my team was small(10 riders) we were very successful in the hotly contested So. Cal region.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner'd View Post
    I get two free kits a year free labor and a bike at 30% below cost from trek and cost +10 on any parts.
    ....cool?

  32. #32
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by shenny88 View Post
    ....cool?
    Considering you are not a complete jerk and you are willing to blog your races, then more or less in So. Calif it works like this...

    Cat 3 = nothing

    Cat 2 pack fill = nothing

    Cat 2 who podiums in US CUP caliber races where fields are deep = some shop support

    Cat 1 = shop support guaranteed if pursued / race reimbursement / kits free / highly discounted bikes or frames

    Podium Cat 1'ers = similar to local pro...maybe just less of it..

    Local pro = you should be getting nearly everything for free somehow...often it is a "loaner" bike to be raced on for one season and given back to company sorta thing.

    **Also, within a club, the incentives/payoffs are often higher based on your category.

  33. #33
    more skier than biker
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    How'd you get sponsored? - And other ankle biter questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Considering you are not a complete jerk and you are willing to blog your races, then more or less in So. Calif it works like this...

    Cat 3 = nothing

    Cat 2 pack fill = nothing

    Cat 2 who podiums in US CUP caliber races where fields are deep = some shop support

    Cat 1 = shop support guaranteed if pursued / race reimbursement / kits free / highly discounted bikes or frames

    Podium Cat 1'ers = similar to local pro...maybe just less of it..

    Local pro = you should be getting nearly everything for free somehow...often it is a "loaner" bike to be raced on for one season and given back to company sorta thing.

    **Also, within a club, the incentives/payoffs are often higher based on your category.

    This. ^^. My experience as well in NorCal. Although would move the "free kits and race reimbursement" out of Cat1 and into local Pro / consistent (ie years) Cat1 podium guy. At the "local pro" level actual contracts are involved in the loaner bike situations.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    , and a deal on cookies. .
    This about sums up what is important.
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    And then we eat them."

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    ...The last few years have been lean in regards to outside sponsorship...
    Haha. I'd say more than a few years. The last interview I saw at cyclingdirt with a money earning pro was there are maybe 6 American ment getting paid. 3 of those guys probably make more as a barista. That's like staying married to an abusive spouse who is stealing from you too.

    What might be missing from these posts is a sponsor is happy when you are moving her product. You can't just ride, place and leave. That's not going to sell stuff.

  36. #36
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphalt_jesus View Post
    Haha. I'd say more than a few years. The last interview I saw at cyclingdirt with a money earning pro was there are maybe 6 American ment getting paid. 3 of those guys probably make more as a barista. That's like staying married to an abusive spouse who is stealing from you too.

    What might be missing from these posts is a sponsor is happy when you are moving her product. You can't just ride, place and leave. That's not going to sell stuff.
    Exactly. That is why the blog is so essential. They want a nice blog with high traffic...aka...advertising.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    This. ^^. My experience as well in NorCal. Although would move the "free kits and race reimbursement" out of Cat1 and into local Pro / consistent (ie years) Cat1 podium guy. At the "local pro" level actual contracts are involved in the loaner bike situations.
    Haven't heard of a "loaner bike" or part situation from a sponsor unless you're on a special test program to give feedback on prototypes. And with that it's if you know a guy rather than your racing status.

    It all comes down to you being able to sell more of their product. They don't really care about your performance in the end. It's how you use that performance to generate and maintain relationships.

    Free stuff is rare... really rare.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clintox50 View Post
    Haven't heard of a "loaner bike" or part situation from a sponsor unless you're on a special test program to give feedback on prototypes.
    Loaner bikes are somewhat common for high end local riders (Utah), but it's usually a deal made between the bike shop and team. Bike is lent, contract signed (mostly rider taking responsibility, and to cover liability issues), and bike is given back and sold by the shop.

    I have three friends who get loaner bikes every year. They are younger Cat 1's on the road.

    There are also some issues though. Race season is over, then what? No bike to ride. I know that one of them got pretty bad knee tendonitis which he attributes to different pedals and shoes he had to use. I believe he messed himself up by changing in late base season after logging lots of miles with other setup.
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  39. #39
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    Loaner bikes are somewhat common for high end local riders (Utah), but it's usually a deal made between the bike shop and team. Bike is lent, contract signed (mostly rider taking responsibility, and to cover liability issues), and bike is given back and sold by the shop.

    I have three friends who get loaner bikes every year. They are younger Cat 1's on the road.

    There are also some issues though. Race season is over, then what? No bike to ride. I know that one of them got pretty bad knee tendonitis which he attributes to different pedals and shoes he had to use. I believe he messed himself up by changing in late base season after logging lots of miles with other setup.
    That is a bummer about the shoes/pedals. Considering that pros in the TdF get to usually choose whatever shoes they want to use for comfort reasons, it is weird that your friend "had" to use that product with no other option (even if he had to buy his own shoes).

    I always found it fascinating how many pros who raced on Trek frames/teams were sporting Specialized SWorks road shoes..

    Clintox: Sponsors care deeply about results. Everyone around here knows the big hitters in cat 1 and pro and we all know exactly what bike they are on when they are kicking our ass.

    Also, when they blog and show themselves on the podium in the number one spot with their bike beside them, it is free advertising.

    Someone who loses every race may make the brand look less appealing...haha.

    Our club's development road team all get free BH road bikes for the season. It used to be Cannondales. We did have some of our dev team winning in Europe this year. Seems like a fair trade to me.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    That is a bummer about the shoes/pedals. Considering that pros in the TdF get to usually choose whatever shoes they want to use for comfort reasons, it is weird that your friend "had" to use that product with no other option (even if he had to buy his own shoes).

    Clintox: Sponsors care deeply about results. Everyone around here knows the big hitters in cat 1 and pro and we all know exactly what bike they are on when they are kicking our ass.

    Also, when they blog and show themselves on the podium in the number one spot with their bike beside them, it is free advertising.

    Someone who loses every race may make the brand look less appealing...haha.

    Our club's development road team all get free BH road bikes for the season. We did have some of our dev team winning in Europe this year. Seems like a fair trade to me.
    Right, I didn't say that results didn't matter. They matter more to the racer/spectator community, getting you in a position to influence. And you said it perfectly with: "Everyone around here knows the big hitters in cat 1 and pro and we all know exactly what bike they are on when they are kicking our ass."

    But like I mentioned before, it's not the results themselves that matter to the sponsor, it's how you use them and influence through them.
    Thank you Lord for strength, endurance, and salvation.

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Our club's development road team all get free BH road bikes for the season. It used to be Cannondales. We did have some of our dev team winning in Europe this year. Seems like a fair trade to me.
    Investing in the youth seems to be the wave of the future, especially with development of these HS leagues. Makes sense. That's where you are going to get your future bike buyers, and young people seem to have loyalty to brands that gave them something.

    Like I received a free box of Gu Chomps for our HS team to use. Now that the box is done all the kids want now is Gu Chomps, nothing else!!

    The days of the midpack sponsored Masters racer may be numbered.
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  42. #42
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clintox50 View Post
    Right, I didn't say that results didn't matter. They matter more to the racer/spectator community, getting you in a position to influence. And you said it perfectly with: "Everyone around here knows the big hitters in cat 1 and pro and we all know exactly what bike they are on when they are kicking our ass."

    But like I mentioned before, it's not the results themselves that matter to the sponsor, it's how you use them and influence through them.
    Got it. Good results + good influence = sponsor time!

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