It’s a question we get asked often during our phone calls with those deeply embedded in the sporting world – can we help individuals fund their own, or others, sports careers?
Unfortunately this it is not our job, we clarify – RTR Sports Marketing is a consultancy for companies interested in investing in sport, and we don’t deal with the search for sponsorships for third parties.
More often than not, though, the conversation then moves on to the individual’s countless sporting victories – star goalkeeper, for example, is a common theme.
We then explain that our core business is in motorsport – most predominantly in MotoGP, Formula 1 and Formula E.
Once again, we are told that the person speaking on the phone was not aware that this is the main aspect of our sports sponsorship work.
Before the telephone call is closed, we are often asked if we are aware of any contacts that could look for sponsors in youth football. Striving to be polite, we allow ourselves to answer that we are not aware of any and are unlikely to be able to help – as we are business consultants and not agents in the football world.
We might enquire politely as to whether the person on the other end of the phone has looked at the RTR Sports Marketing website, and usually the answer is no – in fact, they found us on Google but didn’t look too far into our services before arranging a phone call. Invariably, they haven’t looked at the list of services and the client portfolio that we sent them as standard ahead of our call. Their days are incredibly busy, they tell us.
It might seem paradoxical, to spend time insisting on arranging a phone call and then engaging in a conversation that is unlikely to reap rewards rather than researching the best people to speak to in the first instance, but it is typical of many of the initial conversations that we have at RTR Sports Marketing.
We, perhaps better than anyone else, understand the importance and the difficulty of commercial activity for any athlete, team, event or sports organisation.
We understand the frustrations of research and rejection, we know how hard acquiring sponsorship can be, and we too feel the discouragement that comes from engaging in conversations with those whose only focus on the practice of competitive activity rather than the broader value that can come from sports sponsorship.
We know all of this. But it’s also important to remember that, despite time pressures and other obstacles, the search for sports sponsorship can’t disregard research and investigation. At the very least, the correct people in the industry, those than can help and perhaps provide support, advice or results, need to be identified. It cannot and should not be a blind hunt, asking companies for “a few thousand Euros” without a plan, structure or strategy.
In numerous posts on our blog, although as mentioned it’s not our core business focus here at RTR Sports Marketing, we offer advice and best practice guidelines for those who need money to continue their sporting activities. We understand and respect those who seek sponsors – without athletes and teams we wouldn’t exist – and we always try to offer an answer to the primary question that is being asked.
The most important thing in the end, though, is preliminary research – failure to engage in this leads to conversations that are less than productive, and a fruitless waste of time for all those concerned.