Value. Racers need to show that sponsorship will provide a value to the business. How will giving a racer a sum of money to put the sponsor's name on the car help the business? What is that linkage between the spending of the money and an increase in business for the sponsor? Data is something that many racers leave out of the equation. They bring passion to the table and often forget about the data that will help the potential sponsor get as passionate about the idea of sponsorship as the racer. What kind of data do you need to bring to the table to accomplish this shared passion? The most logical answer is, it depends.

First, just how many people will see the sponsor's name each week? This eyeball count is not just going to happen at the track. You need to look beyond the track. It is going to happen on the way to the track. Remember your racecar trailer is a moving billboard and people will see this on the way to the track and possibly where you park it between race weekends. You are in a competition with the print and broadcast industries for this advertising dollar. They have this data; you need to arm yourself with the same data. In fact, you do have an advantage over the print and the broadcast media. The racing fan is a loyal supporter of those who support racing. Given a choice most race fans will pick a product of a racing sponsor over a non-racing product. This is not conjecture-it is a fact demonstrated by many marketing surveys over the years.

For example, let's concentrate on just the track. The data from the track is something you can get and it gives you an advantage. What is the weekly attendance at the track? Remember there are people in the pits as well as the stands and they all count. You need to start gathering some data about track attendance. If it is not made available to you by the track, gather it yourself. There are plenty of clever ways to gather this data. Make a fair estimate of weekly attendance by counting seats. Go into the parking lot and do some data mining:

• What kind of cars are in the parking lot? This might give you some insight to what kinds of cars the race fan is buying-a data point that may be of value to the local car dealers.
• Are there more foreign cars than domestic? A simple metric with two data points; is this spread different at dirt or paved tracks?
• What kind of tires do they have?
• Do they have accessories like aftermarket wheels? Valuable information if you are looking at local tire dealers for sponsorship.
• Are there more trucks than cars?
• Are people coming to the races in groups?
• Are they doing any sort of tailgating prior to the races?
• If they are tailgating, what are they doing-cooking, using prepackaged food, or fast food?
• What kind of bumper stickers do the cars have? (Are they promoting racing, and do they have a notable number on the rear window or bumper?)
• Remember that all short-track fans are not NASCAR fans and some short-track fans are very loyal when it comes to supporting their favorite drivers or the sport they love.
• Look in the stands and see what the fans are wearing. Are they wearing the shirts from their favorite local racer or from a national series driver?

Data Mining
Remember, racers are in a very competitive marketplace. Your team will not be the only team in the pond looking to land that next big sponsor. Key ingredients are often missing from the presentation package. The one key ingredient is why the sponsor should be giving your team money to place its name on the car. What are the data points that are driving that decision? In developing this package you need to answer some questions that the potential sponsor will have about why it should even consider this proposal. It is better to ask and answer these questions prior to being asked by the potential sponsor. These questions and answers should be part of the presentation package.