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Old 07-17-2002, 10:35 AM   #1
Lee

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How do I get sponsored by a manufacturer?

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6.7 How do I get sponsored by a manufacturer? [CM]
Ah, the green grass on the other side of the competitor's fence; sponsorship. Sponsorship is not the easiest thing to obtain. And it might cause more problems than you anticipated. Obtaining sponsorship really depends on how much dedication you show for competing and finding the right manufacturer sponsorship deal at the right time.

Keep in mind that car audio manufacturers consider sponsorship a form of advertising. Each manufacturer has a different policy concerning sponsorship. They are looking for a competitor that has shown they are committed to competing for a long time. They want someone that has shown that they know how to win, but also, how to handle defeat gracefully. They want someone that is well known in competition circles, someone that new competitors can come to and ask questions about the system and the manufacturer's products. They are basically looking for people that will put their product out there for people to see and help sell the equipment.

As a competitor, you must show that you are committed by to going to as many shows as possible. You must open up your their vehicle and show off the system. Manufacturers want a show system, which often means turning your vehicle into a "trailer queen." That may require you to buy a trailer and tow the vehicle to the shows you compete in (this also means that you may need a new daily driver). And of course, if your bought equipment below retail or were given the equipment, then you will be forced to compete in the Pro or Expert class.

There are different levels of sponsorship. It usually starts with manufacturer technical support. The manufacturer will give direct technical assistance to the competitor. At larger shows, they may reserve a space for you in their "tweek and tune" area.

Next, the manufacturers may let you buy equipment from one of their dealers or the factory and a discounted price. This will definitely put you into the Pro or Expert class. Some manufacturers will let you mix and match equipment from different manufactures. Others want you to use their equipment only.

Then the manufacturer might start giving you equipment and providing some or all of the installation costs.

The holy grail of sponsorship is when the manufacturer provides the equipment, installation, and pays some or all of your competition expenses. It takes a lot of money to travel to shows. By the time someone reaches this level, they are frequently hired as an employee of the manufacturer. This is a good way of making the car audio business your career.
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