Starting/Managing a team/club

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by bbrauer, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. bbrauer

    bbrauer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    For some time I've wanted to form a cycling team complete with sponsorship/team kit, etc. There are probably several ways to go about forming one and keeping financial records and transparency, but is there any advice available or resources I might check in to?

    What's a good way to go about selling the idea of sponsorship.
     
    Tags:


  2. carpediemracing

    carpediemracing New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a big topic. I'll start with a few general observations I've had over the years.

    From what I've seen, most teams start from either a shop/bike-type-company (go to any local group ride), a racer who has contacts (Slipstream is sponsored by a wealthy cycling nut, so was Mapei), or a business looking desperately to sponsor something (7-11 sponsored the team and velodrome since they couldn't build the Olympic pool prior to the 84 Olympics).

    Many teams evolve from a core of racers who want to race together and have some contacts who will offer sponsorship.

    Do you want a local/shop team? A regional level team (Snow Valley in the US)? A domestic pro team (Navigators in the US)? Or something bigger (Slipstream, Discovery, Mapei)?

    Sponsorship - it's like any other selling job - you have to have a compelling reason why a company should sponsor a team. Competitors to those sponsorship dollars include print/radio ads, internet ads/blogs, some mascot guy waving around the company's sign on the street corner, and all the other various people who want sponsors from the same company (cancer/ms/cf/etc fund raiser, local fire/police, charities, artists, local parks, etc). Convince the moneyholder that your team will make them more money than all those other things and you have it made. Or convince them you'll make more friends than they could on their own (perhaps Amgen was approached like this, and you could try tobacco companies, for example).

    Since sponsoring cycling at anything but a Discovery level is probably not really that profitable, most sponsors do it for other reasons - tax break, get rid of the pesky guy asking for sponsorship, they love cycling, they're a member of the team, etc.

    How do you start a team? In the US you simply pay a club fee. I think it's $125. Then you have to run or help run a race during the year to keep your sponsored status alive (i.e. you can wear team jerseys in a race). Incidentally, holding a race is great publicity for sponsors, it helps the sport, and you get to wear your team jerseys next year. Hard to beat.

    What do you need to do to keep a team running? That's not officially documented anywhere in USA Cycling.

    hope this helps get your creative ideas flowing,
    cdr
     
  3. reallyoldpunk

    reallyoldpunk New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    You have to start small and work up the ladders unless you have unlimited amounts of cash. Using a reputable and sizeable bike shop as a base is the best way to start. Access to wholesale parts/accessories, bike manufacture sponsorship is much easier through a good bike shop. After that, most of the work would fall on your shoulders trying to sell the team to lead and industry sponsors. It's important that you can show a viable dollar/exposure/lifestyle value to your sponsors. You need to be creative with your PR (I personally think the real time charitable aspects of race teams are often overlooked). Neutral support for all non-sponsored riders that have purchased your sponsors products at races is invaluable (actually helping everyone works well for your sponsors). You need to show your team is a friend to both the industry and society, IMHO. PM me for more discussion.
     
  4. bbrauer

    bbrauer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great responses. Much appreciated. I've seen a successful team organized through a local bike shop with a primary sponsor and tertiary ones. That's where I'd really like to begin. But eventually I'd like it to grow, perhaps become more regional, even sponsor a local ultra marathon endurance athlete and some Xterra racrers and give them a salary. For that, I'd be looking at a larger corporate sponsor. I had my eye on a growing coffee house chain;). No, not Starbucks. BTW, I'm affiliated with a local bike shop I'd like to see grow and expand itself.

    Any thoughts on budgets or what to charge with regards to membership to make our hypothetical club self-supporting and self-sustaining?
     
  5. gregkeller

    gregkeller New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    i think it's amazing that other than Jittery Joes, coffee places havn't gotten into cycling sponsorship. I mean cycling and coffee go together like pb&jelly. I feel like the traditional mid ride stop is 9 times out of 10 at a coffee shop. I just could see a perfect partnership between a cycling team and a coffee shop chain, or brand of coffee. At your sponsored race the team gives away the little packages of coffee to all registered riders. The team is a moving bill board for the brand. 10-15 million for starbuks to sponsor a pro-tour team seems like it would be a drop in the bucket. Or even a small local chain to sponsor a small local team would be a good match.
     
  6. speedenator

    speedenator New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Starbucks sponsors one of the women's teams here in Seattle actually. Zoka Roasters also sponsors a few teams, including one where they're the title sponsor. One of their shops, University Zoka (UZ) is big and very close to where a number of teams start their training rides around Lake Washington, so it works out pretty well.
     
Loading...
Loading...