Q. Dr. BBQ:
How do I go about getting a sponsor for my bbq team?
A. Hi Mike,
I get this question often, and there is no simple answer. The first thing I suggest to folks is to think about what you can do for them. If you can"t come up with more than hanging a banner at your cooksite, you probably aren"t on the right track. Some teams trade free catering for sponsorship, they cook the big company picnic, and maybe the Christmas party. Other teams host parties on Friday night at the cookoff for the company"s guests. I would not want this obligation, unless it involved a lot of money.
Others still, are able to properly promote a smoker, or a meat product to the public. This involves doing free demonstrations for them at a store or a show. Again, more than having the product on display at a cookoff. Another thought is to change your cookoff schedule to attend the big high profile events, instead of the nice homey ones that you may enjoy.
Another important thing is to keep your level of support up, and even increase it AFTER they hand you a check. I see teams lose interest once the deal is cut. Those deals don"t seem to last long. If you don"t want to earn it, don"t enter into the deal. Sponsorship isn"t free money, you need to earn it, and if you do, it can be very rewarding.