Builder's Spotlight The Paceline Forum Builder's Spotlight


Go Back   The Paceline Forum > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-01-2016, 10:27 PM
Dead Man's Avatar
Dead Man Dead Man is offline
The B!
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: where i lay my head
Posts: 4,847
Starting a cycling team - tips n tricks?

Howdy

This season, I'd decided to do a partial sponsorship of my (essentially non-racing) "team" via my roofing company... at least get us some new nice kit, maybe fund some entry fees, etc. No expectation of any return on the investment, and the investment would be small. But tonight, sucking on bloody marys instead of hitting my intended training ride, it just hit me: Why don't I just full-on start a whole new team and sponsor it for real??

I mean... who is our target market? Crap... if the exposure lands my company even a couple residential jobs, it'd fund a whole team's worth of NICE kit and neutral wheels and a pile of tubs and possibly even more.

Why the hell haven't I ever thought of this before?

But since I know jack crap about sponsoring, or assembling an actually-competitive team... I figured I should probably just post this up.

Tell me what I don't even know I don't know??

Some things I wonder: what's an appropriate level of subsidization? I'm obviously talking amateur racing here... I'm not buying bikes and . But if I'm going to do 100% ownership/sponsorship, what's a good level of benefit to offer to attract talent? Partial kit? Full kit? Race license and entry fees? Free beer and dope? What else is there? In other words..... what's this gonna cost me?

Thanks

-B
__________________
They said he was fast; I didn't think he was that fast.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-02-2016, 07:59 AM
Gummee Gummee is offline
Old, Fat & Slow
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NoVA for now
Posts: 5,280
I got nuthin, but the thought's crossed my mind too

M
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-02-2016, 08:33 AM
jr59's Avatar
jr59 jr59 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Jacksonville fla
Posts: 4,604
I would create a non profit 501c3???? for my race team. Or at least talk to my CPA about how and what you can/could do.

You could say you are trying to promoting bike safety and get out and be active. Put on a safety clinic or 2 and you should be golden.....I think

Last edited by jr59; 01-02-2016 at 08:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-02-2016, 08:33 AM
Mikej Mikej is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,005
I can tell you this- our cycling team has a phenomenal clothing bill$$$
Also be prepared to never see half of your team once free kit is handed out. Our team also has an accountant and tax I'D as a non profit.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-02-2016, 08:34 AM
shovelhd's Avatar
shovelhd shovelhd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Western MA
Posts: 6,382
You will need to consider a bunch of things.

What is your budget?
How many categories do you want to support?
How many riders are you comfortable supporting, beyond money?
Do you want to support men and women equally?
Do you want this to be an invitational team?
Are you focused on grassroots racing, national racing, or development?

Back in the day I was fully supported at the Cat2 level. Bikes, tires, kits, race fees, etc. Those days are over.

The last Masters team I rode for provided three full kits each year, and cost for anything else like vests, jackets, etc. We got a new helmet every two years. Entry fees to NCC and one race series were paid. We had about ten members every year. Invitation only.

The club I belong to has a racer rewards program. You have to buy your own everything although kit prices are reasonable. Depending on how much you raced and how well you did, you got a rewards check at the end of the year. When I "won" the club championship I got a check for just under a grand. I know people that got more in other years.

You might want to think about sponsoring a club racing team. You can get all of the same rewards...your own kit, etc., but you will have help doing all the logistics...like designing the kit, choosing a vendor, ordering, delivery, returns...plus all of the USAC stuff.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-02-2016, 08:47 AM
echelon_john echelon_john is offline
extremely tall
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: southern vermont
Posts: 3,924
Biggest consideration for me would be who's on the team? If you want to do it so your crew of friends have kit to wear and a little focus, that's cool, and realistic. You get your name out a bit, you build some goodwill. Maybe give each rider $100 entry fee subsidy, or pick up their season pass to a training series.

If you're talking about a REAL team, then you're talking about recruiting riders who will represent your brand, not be d-bags in traffic wearing your jersey, etc. Much more of an effort (and time suck) than the informal scenario that was your first thought.

Personally, if it were me I'd either do #1 (informal), or if I was really determined to formalize a team, it would be either juniors or women. Two groups that can generally benefit from sponsorship/support more than your typical Cat 2-3-4/Masters dude. I think you'd get more appreciation for the effort you put in, and it would be cool to be part of from a rider development POV.

And don't forget the maxim about needing to spend $2 in marketing for every $1 in sponsorship. Probably less true now with the power & pervasiveness of social media, but the point is that to realize any 'return' (used loosely) you need to promote the team through images, stories, etc. Sachs is a good example of a team manager who milks every ounce of potential from social media. Might not cost a lot of $, but definitely an investment in time & effort.
__________________
Enjoy every sandwich.
-W. Zevon

Last edited by echelon_john; 01-02-2016 at 08:51 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-02-2016, 09:10 AM
oldpotatoe's Avatar
oldpotatoe oldpotatoe is offline
Proud Grandpa
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Republic of Boulder, USA
Posts: 38,004
Quote:
Originally Posted by echelon_john View Post
Biggest consideration for me would be who's on the team? If you want to do it so your crew of friends have kit to wear and a little focus, that's cool, and realistic. You get your name out a bit, you build some goodwill. Maybe give each rider $100 entry fee subsidy, or pick up their season pass to a training series.

If you're talking about a REAL team, then you're talking about recruiting riders who will represent your brand, not be d-bags in traffic wearing your jersey, etc. Much more of an effort (and time suck) than the informal scenario that was your first thought.

Personally, if it were me I'd either do #1 (informal), or if I was really determined to formalize a team, it would be either juniors or women. Two groups that can generally benefit from sponsorship/support more than your typical Cat 2-3-4/Masters dude. I think you'd get more appreciation for the effort you put in, and it would be cool to be part of from a rider development POV.

And don't forget the maxim about needing to spend $2 in marketing for every $1 in sponsorship. Probably less true now with the power & pervasiveness of social media, but the point is that to realize any 'return' (used loosely) you need to promote the team through images, stories, etc. Sachs is a good example of a team manager who milks every ounce of potential from social media. Might not cost a lot of $, but definitely an investment in time & effort.
Vecchio's sponsored a men's team, some juniors(Timmy Duggan was one) and a woman's team. My take-away? Women and juniors. Men's team was frustrating from the very first day. Too much, 'whathaveyoudoneformelately' attitude, self centered, average racer/cyclist butt-heads..by-in-large. About 15% of the team were 'worth it, the rest a waste of time.

Also, expensive.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dollar-flow-black-hole-6797566.jpg (74.4 KB, 187 views)
__________________
Chisholm's Custom Wheels
Qui Si Parla Campagnolo
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-02-2016, 09:20 AM
shovelhd's Avatar
shovelhd shovelhd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Western MA
Posts: 6,382
Richard Sachs does a fantastic job, but he is dealing with international class athletes. That's a completely different deal than grassroots Women and Juniors.

If development is your focus, you must consider the time sink that it is going to be to do it right. Trash the Seniors and Masters all you want, but the right group of cats will manage themselves.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-02-2016, 09:32 AM
echelon_john echelon_john is offline
extremely tall
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: southern vermont
Posts: 3,924
Not sure if you were responding to me, but I wasn't trashing anyone, simply expressing from experience where the more gratifying relationships seem to be from a sponsor perspective.

And it's true that the Sachs team is on a different level, but the opportunities for promotion created by social media are equally important (and equally available) whether you're established or just starting out. It just takes time, effort, and some creativity. The most successful grassroots teams have a cohesive image, 'message' and culture that is much more important to capturing eyeballs than a focus purely on results.

Just my 2「.




Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
Richard Sachs does a fantastic job, but he is dealing with international class athletes. That's a completely different deal than grassroots Women and Juniors.

If development is your focus, you must consider the time sink that it is going to be to do it right. Trash the Seniors and Masters all you want, but the right group of cats will manage themselves.
__________________
Enjoy every sandwich.
-W. Zevon
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-02-2016, 11:29 AM
carpediemracing's Avatar
carpediemracing carpediemracing is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 2,728
My Carpe Diem Racing team was like this. When I managed/had a shop it was the shop team. After the shop I kept it alive using my own money.

I think I spent $4-5k a year on kits. I know one year I did about $8k, maybe $10k. I collected wholesale kit cost from the members, who were friends who wanted to race flying the CDR name, or just wanted to ride in the kit. I had no other sponsorship, gave nothing, received nothing. I think some years I was $5k in the hole on the club, but that was my hobby and it was okay with me. I didn't really have a business to write off, just race promotion (but that was the reason for the club, etc etc etc).

USAC membership was $175 or something, I forget. I haven't renewed this year. You get a race director license if you want to hold a race. You get some liability from USAC.

Your company's liability policy should cover you, but make sure with your agent. YOu don't want to get sued because someone gets hurt in your kit (rider/driver/whatever) and has to sue you to avoid bankruptcy (think medical bills). Suing can be totally not personal, just a need, but it happens.

Kits - you can get low volume kits. I know and like Verge. They have a low volume version of their kit. Don't expect too much of a discount from anyone until you hit bike shop quantities, like 25 of each piece. Some kit companies bundle like items, so shorts, bib shorts, are counted together, short sleeve jerseys and skinsuit tops are counted as another. Jackets usually separate. Things add up quickly.

You can sponsor a shop team/club, but you give up design control.

gotta go
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-02-2016, 01:35 PM
parco's Avatar
parco parco is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 263
I agree with Peter. A Junior's team would be very rewarding and probably much less hassle. The shop team I was on started out great but quickly imploded. It became more about meetings and less about riding. We never did get the promised kit and at one point the club president wanted to have a car wash to raise money.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-02-2016, 01:42 PM
Dead Man's Avatar
Dead Man Dead Man is offline
The B!
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: where i lay my head
Posts: 4,847
It happens to be that I've ALSO been wanting to start up a local junior/youth cycling club, with the hope of a competitive team eventually growing out of it, just for sake of my own kids. I hadn't even thought about sponsorship, for that, but I guess I certainly would be - figured I'd probably be subsidizing to some degree... but the bikes. The bikes have held me up - youth especially, but even junior sizes are hard to find and expensive, and here in my キキキキty little town it's all $75 Walmart MTBs.

I've been meaning to post a thread on building up 650 junior size frames from steel tube kits... but even building the kits (and doing the welding myself for free) I'm still looking at $500/pop for a proper road bike, with old used groups and handbuilt cheap wheels (also free labor from me).. I just don't see these hick town section-8 single mothers forking out any kind of money so their kids can "go ride bikes with that spandex wearing fag"
__________________
They said he was fast; I didn't think he was that fast.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-02-2016, 01:45 PM
Dead Man's Avatar
Dead Man Dead Man is offline
The B!
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: where i lay my head
Posts: 4,847
If the point is just to get my brand out there and do a good thing, I can build a Portland-based junior team. That'd probably be the solution there.

I also have to admit that at least 49% of the appeal of this whole idea, however, was the ability to better justify training for my own racing, and more saturdays on the race course - since, being team captain and manager, riding bikes would be part of my JOB

How can she bitch at me about my riding when it's officially part of my job?
__________________
They said he was fast; I didn't think he was that fast.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-02-2016, 06:30 PM
Ronsonic Ronsonic is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 908
Quote:
Originally Posted by The B View Post
Howdy

This season, I'd decided to do a partial sponsorship of my (essentially non-racing) "team" via my roofing company... at least get us some new nice kit, maybe fund some entry fees, etc. No expectation of any return on the investment, and the investment would be small. But tonight, sucking on bloody marys instead of hitting my intended training ride, it just hit me: Why don't I just full-on start a whole new team and sponsor it for real??

-B
I know nothing about this, but think I know some of the questions. USAC will want a team membership and have rules. I'd share some bloody marys with someone who's got a team and pick his brain especially about how his accountant handles it. Maybe talk to the guy with a race car parked out front of his muffler shop about his accountant's approach. I'd also make sure that the team budget was sufficient to put it's owner/manager on a suitable bike for each course being raced that season and deducted from the company's advertising budget.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-02-2016, 07:30 PM
Climb01742 Climb01742 is offline
needs adult supervision
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Concord, MA
Posts: 13,446
I see two ways you could go:

1. Joe's Roofing Cycling Team

2. 'Fill-in-the-Cause' Cycling Team Sponsored by Joe's Roofing

If you ever hope to recoup your investment by having goodwill lead to some roofing contracts, I'd suggest way #2. Way #1 has little inspiration, memorability, or evocativeness. But way #2 if it was tied to either junior or women's racing could have a much stronger halo effect for your business.

Sponsoring a team vs supporting a cause -- a cause as 'simple' as getting more young people on bikes, or supporting greater access or equality in women's racing -- is a huge difference in public awareness and how folks would view your and your team. To be clear, when I say 'cause' I don't mean it has to be 'big' like fighting a disease or stopping violence against women, though it could be if you wanted to go that route. Instead, a cause could be just a small corner of the world you want to make a little better, like juniors racing as a healthy, positive things for kids to do, or making it possible for a few more women to pursue their athletic dreams.

I'd just give your team a slightly larger mission, do some genuine if small good in your part of the world, as a way to make your team a bit more memorable and give people a reason to root for it/you. A straight up sponsorship can seem a bit self-serving. But if you try to do a little extra good, I think it's easier for folks to care...and ultimately maybe bounce some business your way.

As an example, because of Patagonia's environmental good works, I_always_buy their stuff when I need outdoor clothing, even though I know based purely on function there are other companies making stuff just as good. But when I buy Patagonia I'm supporting something bigger.

Even at the level you're thinking about, you can support something good at very little additional expense. It may take extra effort to think about it and figure it out, and hone the idea you want to get behind, but long-term some good benefits could accrue to you and the idea you support. As others have said, I'd focus on juniors or women and find a 'cause' linked to one of them that you can get behind. Every dollar you spend could do you and others good.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.