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How to Write a Motorsport Sponsorship Proposal

by | April 7, 2023

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Before you dive in, if you are interested in motorsport sponsorship, check out these titles in our “sponsorship for motorsport” series:

According to the 2023 Motorsports Global Strategic Business Report, in 2022, the motorsports industry was valued at $5.8 billion. It’s a huge global market that’s only growing bigger, which leads to lots of sponsorship requests.

Whether you’re the owner of a motorsports organization or even a driver seeking sponsorship, I put together this guide for you. In it, I’ll provide all the tips and pointers you need to write a perfectly succinct motorsport sponsorship proposal.

Let’s dive right in.

What a Motorsport Sponsorship Proposal Is and Isn’t

Before I lay out the steps to writing a motorsport sponsorship proposal, I want to make it clear what purposes this proposal fills and which it doesn’t. 

A sponsorship proposal for any industry is a document that lays out all the details of an impending deal with a sponsor. It includes copious amounts of audience data in a chart or table format.

The proposal leaves room for a brief discussion about your motorsport organization. It includes a menu of assets and activations and contact information so the sponsor can get in touch. 

All in all, it’s about six pages, including the cover letter. 

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A sponsorship proposal is not your ticket into the door of sponsorship. I’ve seen too many sponsorship seekers treat the proposal like it’s a key that unlocks this magical door.

That’s not true. A proposal is a key to nothing. Heck, it’s not even mandatory in obtaining sponsorship. I’ve personally had sponsorship deals go through (back when I was still a sponsorship seeker myself) without ever having written a single word of a proposal. 

I’ve also had deals go through where the proposal is more of an informal document.

You’re not supposed to call up a sponsor or cold-email them with the intention of showing them the proposal. You shouldn’t even have a proposal ready yet.

The best sponsorship proposals are customized toward what the sponsor needs. You can’t understand their needs without the discovery session.

That’s why you reach out to a sponsor initially, for the discovery session!

The Current Motorsport Sponsorship Proposal Model and Why It Doesn’t Work 

In motorsports especially, it’s all too common to conflate high-quality sponsorship assets with logo placement. Sponsors can slap a logo on a car or a racer’s uniform, and that’s good enough, right? 

Well, if you’ve tried to find a sponsor and failed, and especially if you’ve tried and failed many times, I think you can answer that question for yourself. 

No, it’s not good enough. 

Logos have more of a place in motorsport sponsorship than they do in other forms of event sponsorship like festival sponsorship, but that can’t be the whole shebang. You must offer more value to sponsors if you hope to hear back. 

How to Write a Motorsport Sponsorship Proposal 

Now that you have a better understanding of what a motorsport sponsorship proposal is, let’s go over the steps to writing a proposal. 

Step 1 – Define Your Marketing Opportunity 

Wait, marketing? You’re in motorsports; you’re not a marketer. Maybe not, but sponsorship is marketing at the end of the day. If you want a sponsor, you have to speak their language, and that language is marketing.

I’m not saying you need a bachelor’s degree in marketing to excel in sponsorship. However, you need to know the basics, such as marketing opportunities. 

In other words, the assets and activations you can introduce that allow brands to interact with your audience. Logo placement will be on the list, but low on the list. 

After all, at best, a logo on a car or a racing uniform will only raise awareness of a brand. If that isn’t your sponsor’s goal, you’re wasting your time and theirs by presenting logos. 

You’ll have to think outside the box when defining your marketing opportunity. Think of all that your racing organization can bring to the table based on what you’ve done and have the capacity to do. 

I always recommend that sponsorship seekers not offer anything outside of their abilities just to lock in a sponsorship deal. For example, if you offered the sponsor naming rights to a racetrack when you have no stakes in that track, what do you think will happen?

A sponsor will bite, but once they realize you can’t deliver, they’ll pull out of the deal. 

Step 2 – Know Your Audience

You can’t possibly put together a compelling motorsport sponsorship proposal without knowing your audience.

If you own a motorsports organization, audience knowledge is critical. Without it, it’s impossible to determine who you’re marketing and advertising toward. 

That puts fewer butts in seats, which impacts your bottom line and limits how many races you can put on and the caliber of those races.

You’ll also struggle to obtain sponsors, who want ultra-detailed audience information. I’m talking about going way more in-depth than basic demographics and geographics like location, age, and gender. 

You must incorporate psychographics into the mix, which refers to the behaviors, beliefs, motivations, and opinions of your audience. 

So how do you know these things? You won’t know until you ask. If you have yet to send your audience a post-event survey that digs deep into demographics, psychographics, and geographics, do yourself a favor and send one of those out.

This guide has plenty of guidance and pointers for writing a survey with high-quality questions that will give you the kinds of results you need to create rich audience data. 

Rich audience data is niched audience data, by the way. Surely, your audience has something that makes it stand out from the broad motorsport audience. If it didn’t, a sponsor could choose any motorsports company or racer to support, not just you. 

So how do you niche down your audience data? Take each segment and break it down as far as it will go.

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I always liken it to a Russian nesting doll situation. You know how if you open Russian nesting dolls, you eventually reach the smallest one? That’s the case with segmenting your audience too.

It means you’ll break down your audience into ultra-specific criteria, like exact job titles, specific industries, neighborhoods and boroughs, and specific age ranges. 

It takes time to get data like this, but it’s what sponsors want to see. Up to 50 percent of your proposal should include audience data.

Equally as importantly, this kind of ultra-specific data helps you better promote your motorsports organization or racing league to your audience. You’ll sell more tickets and more merch.

Step 3 – Build Amazing Experiences

Some industries have to work hard to craft engaging experiences because what they do just isn’t that interesting. You’re in the motorsports industry, so you don’t have that problem at all. 

That naturally makes it easier for you to come up with activations or experiential marketing opportunities that simultaneously fulfill the need of your sponsor and your audience. 

I know, when I describe it like that, it sounds like such a tall order, right? 

The best way to make it manageable is to take it one need at a time. For example, perhaps your audience told you in your survey that they’re interested in more interactive experiences at your racing events. 

If your sponsor has an interactive or immersive activation like a mini onsite museum or a walk-through, that creates the more hands-on experience your audience craves.

Now let’s say your sponsor wanted to increase email signups or sales. You could incorporate components in the activation that achieve that. Everyone goes home happy. 

You can’t create amazing activations without understanding your audience. You also can’t prospect for the kind of sponsors whose great activations will attract large crowds without understanding your audience.

It all goes back to audience!

Step 4 – Use Case Studies

Oftentimes, when writing a sponsorship proposal, brands, organizations, and companies get hung up on talking about themselves. They write pages and pages about their cause, background, and all the money they’re seeking.

Do you know what happens to sponsorship proposals like these? They end up getting thrown into the trash!

I already told you that 50 percent of your proposal must include audience data. There is some space to talk about yourself and do it in a valuable way that might inspire sponsors to want to work together.

It’s in the case study.

A case study details specific instances of you helping a former sponsor or a similar business partner. In the case study, you go over what the partner’s problem was and how your motorsports organization helped. 

Use rich data such as numbers and figures to present just what an amazing impact you had on the partner through your efforts. 

Case studies give the sponsor the opportunity to picture themselves in the shoes of your partner. If the sponsor has a similar issue and you’ve proven you can help your partners overcome it, that bodes well for the sponsor’s interest in proceeding. 

Step 5 – Include Your Media and Social Media Following

These days, you can’t exist as a business of any kind without a social media following. It’s just not something that brands do. 

Even if a sponsor doesn’t need your help bringing their social media to new heights, they still want to see your media partnerships, social media following, and clips produced about your motorsport organization or you as an individual racer or promoter. 

In a similar vein, you should share snapshots of your website traffic over the past few months to a year or so out. 

I’ve Written My Motorsport Sponsorship Proposal – Now What?

You’ve finished your motorsport sponsorship proposal. What do you do with it?

Sit on it. Yes, I’m serious!

One of the easiest ways to kill what could have been a great sponsorship deal is by sending the proposal before a sponsor is ready to see it. Failing to customize your proposal is another way to cost yourself the deal. 

Both these points go hand in hand, but let’s start by discussing the send timing. 

As I mentioned, you should not lead in with any sponsorship communication by sending your proposal. You shouldn’t mention it during your initial phone call, and you certainly shouldn’t attach it or copy and paste it in the body of your first email.

The reason a sponsor doesn’t want to see your proposal so early isn’t only that it’s unsolicited. Mostly, it’s because the information in there can’t possibly pertain to them.

Think about it. How can you produce a tailored sponsorship proposal with solutions personalized according to a sponsor’s needs if you don’t know what those needs are? 

The discovery session must come first. Doing it in any other order is putting the cart before the horse. 

That’s why I recommend you sit on the proposal. Don’t even bother writing it until after the discovery session at least. 

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Listen, I understand that most people who seek sponsorship aren’t doing sponsorship full-time. They have a motorsports organization to run or races to participate in or event tickets to sell. 

I get that, as I was once in your shoes too. That’s why I don’t want you to waste your time writing a proposal that will get you ignored and flat-out rejected by sponsors time and again.

The best time to write the sponsorship proposal is when a sponsor asks for it, and if they don’t ask for it, that means no proposal. 

Now, just because you don’t have a proposal yet doesn’t mean you lack its components. You have case studies ready to go. You have tons of audience data. It’s all there; you just haven’t put it together yet.

If you don’t have these things, you need to focus on obtaining them before you try working with any sponsor. 


Writing a motorsport sponsorship proposal requires the right “ingredients” and quantities, so to speak. 

You’re allowed to discuss your opportunity, but only for a few paragraphs. The bulk of your proposal should be audience data and case studies. Those let you shine a lot more than three pages describing your cause.

Equally as important as the content in the proposal is when you send it. A proposal shouldn’t go out before you’ve even met with the sponsor. You must have the discovery session first, then the proposal follows up from there. 

Now get out there and start writing killer proposals!