What Is Rider Support?
Let's start at the beginning. Rider support is a brand's way of giving back to the racing community while working to sell products and services within that community.
Rider support is a discount on products in exchange for growth of the brand. These discounts allow you to buy products at a discounted price so you can put that money into other areas of your racing program. In exchange for that discount, you act as a brand ambassador, working to increase product awareness and sales. The more sales you’re responsible for, the more support you'll get, regardless of your skill level.
There are 3 tiers to rider support.
- Discounted product - Usually ranging from 20-50% off. Primarily reserved for the weekend warriors. You can move up from here but it takes a big commitment to the brand and doesn’t happen overnight.
- Free product - Free product is a possibility for a select few who have proven race results as well as social media influence and a history of selling product for their sponsors. Free product comes with responsibility. When your reputation as a racer precedes your resume, you’re on your way to earning product.
- Paid - This is so far and few between it’s hardly worth addressing, but the fact is some riders do make money from brands to run certain products. We don’t pay anyone to run our products, they run our products because they trust and believe in them.
You may still be asking “Wait, rider support season?!” Yes, most brands operate on a seasonal application period. Some brands are open year-round, but most are only open for a short period between September-November. For us at Fasst Company it’s September 1st to October 31st.
For 99.9% of us, racing is a hobby. An expensive one at that. It’s important to keep that in mind when seeking sponsorship, don’t ask for more than you realistically deserve, it’s off putting and not a great way to start a relationship.
Now for the important part, resume building!
A quality race resume will include:
Name - Full name, first and last. No nicknames.
Contact Info - Home address, phone number, email address, social media links.
About Me/Bio - Age, skill level, classes raced, etc.
Accomplishments - Race results, athletics, and academics. Personal and professional.
Value Added - What can you do to help the brand?
References - 3+ references you have a professional relationship with.
1 Action Photo - High quality, can be placed anywhere.
In most cases, the first step to landing one of those sweet sponsorship deals is your resume.
A resume summarizes who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and what value you have to offer. Your resume should outline your racing experience. Avoid loud colors or fonts and try to keep your resume on one page. The objective is to make an impression but as concise as possible.
When building your resume, start with your contact information and a short bio. Include a high-quality action photo and any social media accounts you promote with.
Once your contact info and a short bio are placed near the top of the page, move on to accomplishments and results. We don’t need results from the last 5 years, recent highlights are sufficient. Be sure to list which classes the results are for. Accomplishments off the bike should be noted as well. If you’re an honor student, multi-sport athlete, or business owner, we want to know! We’ve always thought highly of good riders with good heads on their shoulders off the track.
Next, address the value you offer the brand. If you have 3 riding buddies and none of them run that product, that’s an opportunity for growth. If you have a social following or a YouTube channel with thousands of subscribers, that’s valuable! Make sure you're clear on how you can promote their products in your region.
Wrap up your resume with a list of references. Make sure to include contact information.
Once your resume is complete, PROOFREAD. Consider it the final touches. The most underrated characteristic of a resume is good grammar. It’s not confidence inspiring to the brand if you won’t take time to proofread your resume. Potential sponsors will take you more seriously if it’s well written.
Now that your resume is complete, the big question, who do you send it to?
When it comes to sponsorship, it’s not always quantity, it’s quality. We know the social media flex is to have a long list of sponsors in your posts, but it’s not helping those sponsors as much as you think it is. Instead of 30 sponsors that you have no interaction with, try for 5 or 7 that you have an opportunity to grow with.
Quality, not quantity. You could be the rider that helps a small brand grow.
Build relationships with brands that you can have an impact on. Unless you’re Eli Tomac Oakley may not appreciate what you have to offer, but a smaller brand that’s trying to gain momentum on a regional level might. Make a list of brands you want to build relationships with. Do some research to see who manages their rider support program and send a personalized email introducing yourself, with your resume attached. That personalized approach will get a better response than a blanket email sent to multiple brands at once.
Now that the emails are sent, let's wait to see if you made the cut!
If you have any questions email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you. We encourage questions so don’t hesitate to reach out!