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Help required as to how I should proceeed with sponsorship

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:46 am
by nakul
I am an undergraduate student doing my Bachelors in Mechanical engineering from India.Me and few of my friends are participating in an event known as FSAE.The car has to be built within a budget of 25000 US dollars.However, the entire expenditure including travel,shipping and stay would cost about another 25000 dollars.So we are looking at a budget of about 50000 US $.So I would like tips on how can we proceed with the sponsorship.And the biggest problem is that there are not many racing car sponsors in India.And the companies that we intend to approach are not purely into racing.
So I would request someone to help me with as to how we should proceed with the sponsorship??All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:46 pm
by DavidHarsay
Target a company in India which benefits from US exposure with regard to publicity, and also has a technology related positioning in the marketplace. Sponsorship above a remidial level needs to provide value to the company.

Value may include raising awareness and a positive mental association among engineering students for recruiting future employees, vendor relationships for future employers of engineering students, and generally promoting a positive image for viewers/readers of technical publications and media coverage of the events.

On a lower level at the same time, the "Airline" may provide sponsorship by providing tickets... Hotel may provide sponsorship with rooms, shipping company...rental car company... etc.

There's probably a lt more there, but hope this gets you started in the right direction.

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:20 pm
by nakul
Thanks a lot....but we are participating in the event which is being held in in that case I should look for companies which would benefit from an Australian venture.
And how should I proceed with when I approach the companies?I mean what will the companies generally look for when approached by us for sponsorship?

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:32 pm
by Noob
Congratulations on starting a FSAE car. While the car must be "priced" under 25000. You will find in the US that is a very subjective value. Also with the declining dollar you might want some clarifications ;) If you want to win I suggest you look at other teams cars. At the development they use. Then figure out how they account for it. I've never understood how some people will use CF monocoque with CF body and suspension components and account for it to be under 25k. no other manufacturer in the world can do what they do. Many winning teams are financially "cheating" if you will. If you want to run cheap and be mostly competitive. Plan to start basic and develop later. Don't overwhelm yourself with F1 inspired designs. Look towards old 1970/80 supervee's. Build what amounts to a lotus super 7 on a bike engine and you will do quite well. Being reliable and well sorted will pay off more than being advanced and new. I would look at Australian companies that have offices in India as well as corporations that have an international outlook in India and wish to expand. Never underestimate the "local guy". Local shops are a jem. Also since you're moving a car like that. Source an Airfreight/seafreight company that you can get on board. That will cut a majority expense. Airfares and hotels can be somewhat negotiated. Most will have a discount rate when you stay. The actual cost of the car will not be 25k. You must factor in labor which is free but must be billed as virtual "company" time. Dollars out of pocket our teams entry was just under $10,000 and that included a rented uhaul from florida to detroit and 2 hotel rooms with food. Paint was donated by a local hotrod shop, a motorcycle shop did the exhaust, tubing was donated from a local metal supply place, local mac tool truck guy sold us tools at cost, decals were donated from a sign shop. We did our body in fiberglass instead of CF because it's crazy priced in the US. Haltech gives a SAE discount. A local motorcycle junk dealer got us our engine for a discount. Tire store got us tires at cost. We went through about 6 sets in testing. Each local shop received an award plaque with photo of the car and us doing demo day and rides in their parking lot. They were totally thrilled. We revlimited the engine in the software to like 6500 but they enjoyed the thrill and would actually do some idiot proof testing for us. Like "see if they can break it" stuff. One hit a parking curb and thought they had damaged the suspension. It didn't but let us know that we weren't going to see a spindle assembly failure. I would honestly recommend 4 months of running driving development. Step away from the virtual and into the real world. You'll find it easier and cheaper to see results there. I got our group involved with local autox'ers. We did race alignments with corner weighting for them on friday nights and saturdays for about $60 each. This raised capital for the team but also got everyone on the team to work on their teamwork, learn to turn wrenches, make adjustments on a car and see results. Also everyone knew how to set toe, adjust camber, set bumpsteer, and adjust coilovers on many cars and got to see how different suspension setups work. Adjustments at the track were easy and anyone could pick up a wrench and do them so you were not beholden to one "team" of suspension guys with another team of engine guys. After 3 months we had raised a little over 3k. This covered gas, some tires, entry fees, welding supplies, tools, corner scales, etc. It was like our petty cash fund. We'd raid it when we needed a local tool or tap etc. It also gave the team a bit of sweat equity in the car and brought everyone up to speed. People who couldn't turn a wrench and were accomplished mechanics by the time it was over. Our welders did exhaust and intercooler work for the same group and raised even more money. It also gave people real world experience which is something 75% of sae teams are lacking. If you can put together a car that drives well, handles well, doesn't break down, and your weekend consists of not turning a wrench on the car then you will get noticed. Funniest thing about our team was team uniforms. Everyone complimented us on our professional team uniforms and behavior. The team shirt was surplus skycap airport shirts we found on ebay for $3 each. Nice button down collard shirts with a luminesce stripe sown on them. A team mom embroidered some names on there for us. Pants were dickies walmart $13.95 on sale. For $17 a crew member. The behavior was thanks to the teamwork and respect they had for each other. No one had a raised voice the whole weekend. Everyone was "Pro".