We'd all relish the opportunity to have a major dirt bike manufacture offer their latest 450 model free of charge along with support in the form of riding gear and aftermarket parts from all the popular racing brands.
Only until you've proven yourself at the upper echelon of Motocross with hard work and podium results do the offers flood your way. But like everyone else looking for sponsorship, those highly sought after pros had to apply, justify themselves and scrap together a resume to get the attention from industry folk simply for a discount on purchases, maybe a gift card, or just a pair of gloves.
Racing is much like an investment. You dig into your own bank account to keep the dream alive until the handful of dollars trickling in turns into a substantial check or that pair of gloves comes with a full set of riding gear. Eventually, the dedication pays off and the less you'll rely on your own money to support your racing passion.
So how exactly do you get sponsored for Motocross?
Local dirt bike shops, companies like MotoSport and industry standards like Fox Racing, Fly and Troy Lee Designs offer sponsorship programs that require an application, your riding resume and proof of racing and results.
When writing to these companies be personal and include specifics. Do NOT under any circumstances send the exact same letter to every company you can find any address for and simply change the name and address. Trust us - we know.
Pick only those companies you want to work with and promote. If you grew up riding Alpinestars boots and you win arguments with friends that they make the better boot then apply to Alpinestars, not one of their competitors. Tell them why you love the company and their products along with your history of wearing their gear.
If you live in Motocross country, non-industry related companies might jump at the chance to have their company logo emblazoned across your fender for all to see. Much like banners at the Little League field, don't forget the local dentist, insurance company or hardware store. You'll need to market yourself and show you mean business, if you want their business.
Have a realistic expectation of support. Whether it's the industry name brand or a local supporting business don't presume a $1000 check once a month. Likely you'll get a discount on products, gift cards or in the case of non-Moto related companies, a small donation.
Lastly, send all sponsoring companies race reports including photos and results. Because next year when you reapply and they haven't heard from you but have heard all about the next Ryan Villopoto from the town next to you, guess who gets the sponsorship. And don't forget to tag the companies on social media!
Soon you'll adorn the rear fender of your dirt bike with stickers from sponsors
You're not the only one seeking fame and fortune riding dirt bikes. Industry heavyweights get hit up throughout the year and those that have a specific period to apply, imagine the number of applications mailed. Most places have an actual rider or former or current pro reviewing the applications (we do!) because they know who they want to represent their brand. It might not be you. Take no offense and try again next time.
Don't be a Jerk
Are you the local hothead or a well-known dirty rider? People talk and as big as Motocross feels it's actually a pretty small town and everyone eventually knows your name. If word gets around that you're difficult to work with or you ride cheap and below the belt, don't expect the sponsors to come running, at least not in your direction. Conduct yourself in a manner worthy of sponsorship and pretty soon you'll have stickers all over your dirt bike.
Winning isn't Everything
Guess what? Sponsors care about winning but it's not a deal breaker. Consistent Top 10 results go a lot further than the once-in-a-blue-moon podium celebration. Consistency shows you're practicing in-between races, you're not a fluke rider and you're in it to eventually win it.
You've probably raced against someone who hit the podium once and you never saw them again. Sponsors expect you to represent them in front of lots of people regardless of results. If you don't race regularly then you won't get sponsors and you'll never prove yourself. Enter local and regional race events and if you're hitting up qualifiers to bigger programs like Loretta Lynn's you're going a long ways to build your resume and show sponsors they better get in now before you're a household name.
Getting sponsors is a bit tedious but if you want to supplement your racing endeavors it's a must. Once you get a handful the process gets easier and more tend to follow. Remember, keep racing, keep applying and just like on the tract if you fail, get up and try again.
Interested in riding for MotoSport? Click here!
Written By: AndrewT