Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Sponsorship - would it be possible...?

Wouldn't it be nice to find someone charitable enough to sponsor my first season with British Eventing?! Oh, yes, it would be fantastic!
I have been toying with the idea for a while now and finally decided to make a few steps towards at least getting some feedback on the matter.
My contact with the subject of sponsorship is limited. About 8 years ago, when I run my own business together with my parents, my company was involved in sponsoring a series of regional show-jumping events. It was very much of our own initiative and came from enjoyment of being involved in the sport so the organisers didn't have to ask us twice.
The Marketing/PR studies I did also brushed on sponsorship but this hasn't changed the fact that I have never actually been on the other side i.e. trying to acquire a sponsorship.

It obviously doesn't help that I am a completely unknown quality in the equestrian world in the UK, I have no name to flash into VIPs faces and no competition record in this country to speak of. I guess I could dig something from PZJ (Polish Equestrian Federation) but even if they did still have anything I could be proud of I doubt those old records would change much. Additionally, it would all be to do with show-jumping only.

So, how do you go about asking a company for a £1.000 to cover the costs of British Eventing for the 2008 season? Here is what I did.
First of all, I checked the Rule Book to see what I can and can't do as far as exposure of logos, names etc is involved. I reckoned that I need to know what I can offer to potential sponsors in the first place.
Thankfully, both BEF (British Equestrian Federation) and British Eventing have a wealth of information accessible online.
Here are some of the materials I went through:

1) Get Sponsored - UK Sport
2) Other Support for Riders - unfortunately I am not eligible for any of the listed options :(
3 Sponsorship section on the British Eventing website - a quide for potential sponsors

Considering I cannot offer any glorious publicity and to avoid looking totally foolish I decided to start with friends who I knew worked for companies that could be potentially able to sponsor me.

The aim for the 2008 is to attend the following events:
  • March 21 - Munstead (already enetered)
  • May 25 - Borde Hill
  • May 31 - Merrist Wood
  • June 14 - BCA (Berkshire College of Agriculture)
  • July 19 - Iping
  • July 26 - Mattingley
  • August 16 - Burnham Beeches
  • August 30 - Firle OR Munstead
  • Oct 4 - Pulborough
All this is just a plan depended on Hamlet's form and of course, on finances. I will probably also do some BD dressage competitions and some BSJA in between the events.
The company name/ logo/website address could be printed on the numnahs, cooler rugs and possibly my XC colours (providing the company colours are not too vile ;) Any other endorsments could also be discussed.
Hamlet's owner, Jenny, suggested I also add that the Eventing is what Zara Phillips does and that this information alone might sway the decision ;)

I don't hold my hopes high but will keep you posted on the matter.

Meanwhile if anybody would like to help, please
click here to contact me via my website as soon as you possibly can :) I really cannot wait to hear from you!
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