A roundabout way of becoming a sponsor- Brian Sims

By iSportconnect | October 24, 2012

You know what they say about being lucky in sport, business or even finding a partner. It’s all to do with timing, about being in the right place at the right time.

If you’re a business CEO and happen to be seriously considering sponsorship as a cost-effective marketing tool for your company, I’ve got some good news for you. Your timing couldn’t be better!

Forget about phoning Martin Whitmarsh at McLaren F1, or trying to get hold of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea. There’s no need to call John Perera at the ECC, to tell him that you want to become the replacement sponsor of the England cricket team.

Rather save your budget. I want to present a range of stunning cost-effective opportunities which are waiting for you at the touch of a computer keyboard.

Right now there are more than 50 excellent sponsorship opportunities listed on the Borough of Milton Keynes web site which are just made for you. And best news of all, the most expensive will only cost you £5000 a year.

So you think I’m joking? Well you’re wrong, because you can pick up the phone right now and become the Title Sponsor of a Roundabout! In fact, Milton Keynes has around 125 in total, of which more than 50 are still unsponsored.

The entry level sponsorship fee is a mere £2500 a year, so it will save considerably on the amount you were expecting to spend to get into motor racing, football or many other of the major sports that are all after your money. Not only that, but you can save a fortune on your hospitality budget as well. A gazebo, a few tables and chairs and a top of the range Weber barbeque is all you’ll need to ensure that your guests can enjoy Sunday lunch whilst experiencing a “money can’t buy” view of the traffic hurtling around them.

F1 Paddock Club at $3500 a time? It’s got nothing on the experience that Milton Keynes is offering. A VIP seat at Stamford Bridge? Come on, you still have to put up with the other 59,000 people. The current England cricket opportunity? Useless if it rains all day at the Test.

No, the future definitely lies in Roundabouts. Please humour me and think about it for a minute.

As the CEO of a major business, you must receive hundreds of sports sponsorship proposals every month. What are the three potential benefits that most of them offer, no matter what the sport? Yes, that’s right, the famous three: Brand Awareness, Hospitality and PR. As if those three are the be-all and end-all of business development activities!

So, if that’s all that you’re being offered in the majority of these far more expensive proposals, why not see if you can save some money? Let’s look at Roundabouts and see how they match up in that respect.

Let’s begin with the inevitable Brand Awareness. Well, for a start, you can paint the barriers in your corporate colours. Then, and you’ll enjoy this, you can cover them with stickers carrying your brand and logo. How about that for originality? Oh yes, I nearly forget, you can also have an advertising hoarding, but only a small one. Now that should really boost your sales figures! After all, more than 50,000 people will pass by your logos every day, which should do wonders for your sales figures.

Now we come to that good old favourite in sponsorship proposals: Hospitality. What better way of promoting your business than offering your guests the chance to enjoy a “meet and greet” experience, including lunch under the gazebo, right at the heart of the traffic action. Why, you could even give them all a goody bag to take away with a cap and a T-Shirt. Now there’s an innovative idea.

Yes, that’s all very well, I can hear you saying, but what about PR? Not a problem! Imagine what local interest stories the radio and print media would be presented with, as all of the rubber-neckers drive right past the group of guests enjoying their day in the fast lane.

Maybe a really original move would be to take photographs of the guests sipping champagne, with a fixed grin to show how much they’re enjoying the experience. You never know, you might even attract the odd TV camera.

So there we have it. A no-brainer for you, Mr C.E.O. No more ploughing through the endless stacks of proposals that you keep receiving from sports teams, competitors, associations and event promoters, all offering innovative ways of generating nothing more than brand awareness, hospitality and PR, in return for what are often exceedingly high sponsorship fees.

Instead you can sponsor a roundabout!

In the process, you can be secure in the knowledge that you probably won’t be any worse off than many of your gullible peers. They believed the sales people when they told them that their sports sponsorship proposals would help develop business sales, increase market share and generally send the market into a frenzy of buying activity, all based on the use of Brand Awareness, Hospitality and PR.

There is another way.


Brian Sims is one of international motorsport’s most experienced and successful sales exponents, securing over £60 million of sponsorship deals at all levels of the sport.

He is the author of a highly acclaimed book on the subject of securing sports sponsorship, the second edition of which was published in October 2011.

His career in sport included 11 years as a championship-winning professional racing driver, in the UK and in South Africa. He also spent some years as the Marketing Director of the Kyalami F1 Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa.

On returning to England, he established the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), securing sponsorship from Andersen Consulting, Hewlett Packard and Ford Motor Company. This was the first trade association established to represent the British motorsport industry.

After three years as CEO of the MIA, Brian became Head of Motorsport for the international API Agency who represented the Benetton F1 Team. Brian secured over $14,000,000 of sponsorship for the Team subsequently becoming the Benetton F1 Team Commercial Director.

Brian then spent four years in South Africa, establishing the South African Motorsport Industry Association. In August 2010 he stood down as its CEO, to allow a South African to take over.

His latest major sponsorship acquisition deal is a three-year agreement with specialist insurance group, HISCOX, on behalf of the Official Aston Martin Racing Team, Jota.

Brian Sims’ isportconnect-profile-widget

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