A deck is typically a colorful PDF file, printout, PowerPoint presentation, or video that captures attention. It is a generic non-binding sales tool with visuals of your assets and a description of your program. A proposal is a document that lists what you offer for a price. Valid contracts need offer, acceptance, and consideration (money or compensation), so if a recipient of your proposal accepts the offer and sends consideration, the proposal becomes a legally binding contract. Don’t send someone a proposal when you should send a deck, and vice-versa.
The deck is your way of getting a potential sponsor interested. Less is more, so don’t overload it with text. If your deck has too many words, nobody will read it. Use decks to capture attention and start conversations to learn about companies, their brands, and what their customers value. After you understand their business, customize a proposal that describe show your racing will benefit them.
Decks are a way of fishing for interest and starting relationships. They are often the first impression you give, so use decks to show how hard-working, professional, and honest you and your team are. If you race for a living, your deck should make it clear that you are in the occupation of racing, not the hobby of racing. Show how your race program is a business that targets race fans. A lot of companies want to sell to race fans. The deck should demonstrate that you are their link to the market.
In your deck, list credible data that describes demographics and relevant information about event spectators and television viewers. Every series has data to share. The series salesmen use this information to sell sponsorships, so ask them for updated spectator profiles, viewership ratings, and event attendance. Using series data will ensure that your numbers are the same as what they send out.
Images must be high-resolution and artistic.Make the photographs and graphics in your deck so powerful that very few words are needed to describe your program. The images should tell your story.
While decks can be generic, proposals should be customized for each sponsor. No two proposals are the same. As I wrote in last month’s article, if it’s a young organization, offer to open distribution channels and tell spectators about their brand. If it’s a food or beverage company, explain how you will hand out samples and collect feedback. If it’s an endemic brand, describe how you can demonstrate their product’s performance by winning. If it’s a service company, show how you’ll create new leads. Custom-tailor each proposal for every company.
It’s important to base your proposal on creating value for your sponsor, not how much money you need to race. Where the deck has no prices on it, the proposal must have realistic values for everything you offer.But prices must be rational and based on relative media rates of your tangible assets and the compounding effect of your intangible assets.
I’ll cover what goes into a proposal in the next blog. And in the two blogs after that, I’ll explain the difference between tangible and intangible assets. Until then, remove the word “exposure” from your deck and create separate proposals for each company you approach.