Finding sponsors

#1
So I am still high off the race that I had last week and still very motivated to get onto the JCRC Tour of Japan next year. The only thing holding me back really is being able to pay for entry fees travel and lodging fees. Being a student I have a limited income so I need to find ways to get money to be able to join the tour. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can collect money or get sponsored to ride in the Tour?
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#2
If you see an escaped convict on the moors, bring him some food and a file to cut through his shackles. Worked for me, but I did originally think the person who was sponsoring me was an old woman who sat in a chair all day, whose daughter I fell in love with. When she burnt to death, my real benefactor revealed himself, however, and my journey came to an end.

Hope that helps.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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#3
Our first champion rider in our club....would ride to events (no matter where or how far or what the weather was.... Spare wheel strapped to his backpack and a tent. He's sleep by the side of the road if need be...almost always won... went from X to S class in a year much like FE did last year...

It's not impossible...but I don't know anybody who gets sponsored in JCRC to the point of having entry fees and lodging paid for... no harm in trying.
You may need to promise results and good advertising coverage to be taken seriously...

I suggest you find a wealthy girlfriend who likes racing...
 
#5
I doubt anyone would sponsor me to the point of pay fees and lodging unless I was like a world champion, but I think its within my range to buy a tent and sleep on the side of the road. Costco has good cheap ones! The first race of next season is past Osaka far far away. I think I might be able to make that one, but if they decide to race in Okinawa of Hokkaido, that could become a problem.

A wealthy girlfriend that likes racing is really hard to come by in Tokyo, I think I would have to get out of this city to find someone like that!

I would ask my parents but I've not asked my parents for money in so many years I think it would be awkward to start again!
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#6
You need to understand that it’s a two way door, they support you and in return you give them what?

As an individual it’s going to be very hard for you to get sponsored, I was lucky in this respect as I already had 16 years of racing behind me and know a lot of people in the industry, whom I called in a few favors from.

However most clubs/teams that will support a rider expect at least 2 years if not 3 of consecutive racing results with Podium finishes. Sponsors will also want to know what your AVE is (Advertising Value Equivalent) basically the amount of times you appeared in the press and how much that was worth.
To give you an example at the end of 2010 my AVE was worth around 14 million yen for Japan, this did not include coverage in Africa and Asia for other races I attended.

Basically you are going to have to pay your dues and cough up the cash and get at least 2 seasons under your belt. But then please don’t be surprised if a team does take you on that you’ll still have to pay for everything, even at Fuji most of the riders had to pay their own way.

I'm actually working on a new team for 2012 and working with some of the top names in the industry and even at UCI and JPT level you have to have checks and balances to quantify the partnership with these companies.

Good luck, but like I said you need to get racing and start winning.
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#7
It's not impossible to get sponsorship but from where you are starting it will be difficult.

I would think there is no sponsorship racing the JCRC.

In the JBCF, if you climb up to the top rank there are lots of possibilities for sponsorship. Negotiate well and you can get all your expenses, bike, kit and maintenance covered.

However, just to enter the JBCF you have a few fees to pay. You have to be in a registered team (club fees, kit fees). And then... then... you have to finish top 3 in a race to move up a rank during the season. Not impossible, but you need to be good.

From your starting point, I recommend you find a big team based out of a shop in Tokyo. The right shop and you should get all your bike stuff done free or almost free. Enough riders going to races and you should be able to jump in a car with others. If you can find like minded people who want to do it on the cheap, you can travel on the day of the race or camp.

Accept that you'll have to pay the race fees and work on reducing all other expenses.

I rode in the top rank of the JBCF a few years ago. I was approached by a university student from Niigata who was in a similar boat to you. He used to ride to my place and I'd drive him to races, where we'd camp up. All he paid were his entry fees. So yeah, with a positive mindset, you can probably have a good racing season on a limited budget.

Good luck!

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
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#8
Eric, I'm not sure you really need sponsorship. Attending races doesn't need to cost that much. When I was competing in the 2009 JCRC series, I traveled to basically all races by public transport and bike, and as much as possible only on the day (and back the same day). Most races are in the Kanto area, so this is feasible. Sure, together with the race fee, you still have to dole out some amount of money, but it is not as much as others pay who travel by (rental) car, take along the family and stay somewhere over night.

Also, you can limit your outlays by competing only in the five Tour du Japon races which make part of the eleven JCRC races.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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#9
Or get fat like me and only race Saiko... that's about the only race that suits me since they changed the course at Hitachinaka... It will take you years then to get to the top.. :( One grade a year...and that's if you podium..

Kawagoe is probably a chance but I haven't been to see myself.

No point wasting money on races you know don't suit your style either. Especially if money is a big concern... Being 22 though, you should be able to handle all types... Find out if you're going to be competitive on some of the steeper courses.
 

FarEast

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#10
Or get fat like me and only race Saiko... that's about the only race that suits me since they changed the course at Hitachinaka... It will take you years then to get to the top.. :( One grade a year...and that's if you podium..

Kawagoe is probably a chance but I haven't been to see myself.

No point wasting money on races you know don't suit your style either. Especially if money is a big concern... Being 22 though, you should be able to handle all types... Find out if you're going to be competitive on some of the steeper courses.
Kawagoe is a tough race, its a pure aggressive racing and you need a good knowledge of crit racing and tactics. It rough and tumble, very fast, very close and very technical and you need to be 100% comfortable with your handling skills and making contact with other riders.

Gunma or Shuzenji really are the best races in the JCRC to cut your teeth on and will give you a real idea of the level and the style of racing in Japan.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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#11
Our Tuesday & Thursday night sprint and road training are supposed to be really good for Kawagoe...especially one unlit road when the cherry blossoms are falling. Scary when there are 10 of us and that's where the light weights like to attack.
I've been asked to do Kawagoe a few times but have never been available that weekend. Don't think I ever will though.

Sometimes it's a points race???

Anyway... I need to figure out how to get back in shape. Getting depressing.
Racing is the best way...but I need the current weekend job for the time being. Maybe when my kids finish uni I can concentrate on racing again.

I love saiko and if I can get ready for Saiko...in 2012 (no excuse not to) I'd like to give it a crack again. It's a great feeling racing that course when you are 100% fit and primed to win. The last time I went though, full of confidence we got scrambled with S class right on the finish line.

Was like a wet blanket being cast over the critical part of the race...only took that unexpected up in the last 800m for me to lose my plan...
ie.
I didn't plan for that! Some of us went to the left and some went to the right... I should have gone to the right!!!
All that hard work for the year ruined by poor JCRC planning. I was too pissed off after that to d JCRC again...
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
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#12
1) Sell your jersey space to anyone. Dei Ai companies, ramen shops, Panchinko, whom ever will give you a go-en for it! Promise to hand out at least 250 of their tissues at each event.

2) Set up a set of rollers on the sidewalk with a donation can. Harajuku Station Bridge outta be good for this. If people can collect money-for-hugs, why not for rolling?

3) Boost your value by making sure you get into the press. Meet and befriend the reporters from all the rags and give them a report. They are lazy bastards for the most part , so if you are hooked in, they will just use your stuff. The more you are 'in the news' , the easier to sell yourself.

4) Put a 'DONATE' button on your blog. And also on the center pocket of your jersey.

5) Start a Kickstarter Project.

6) Night bus is the cheapest way to travel to outside Kanto events. Even cheaper than friend's cars as they will often ask you to share expenses which are insanely high in Japan. Sleep at night, then race in the day, sleep at night coming back.

7) Make all your own ride and race supplements. You will save a fortune on food and drink stuff alone! What you don't eat or use, sell to the other boot strapped riders.

8) Get a job at a 'Butlers Cafe' and then court a 'matron' for support. Cycling is hot in Japan and this will put you at the top in the host pecking order.
 
#14
Haha lol, all very good advice!

Unfortunately my student visa does bot allow me to work in that kind of entertainment business. Once I get a few wins under my belt I will start going to companies. Red bull would be one of my first tries because they sponsor so many things!

Kickstarter is also a very good idea too!
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#16
Very good points . Remember - nearly 99.99% of the big name 'Pros' started out as juniors and got tons of results prior to being scouted by a 'team'. Who paid for them? Mom and Dad, most likely. And every amateur 'team' is self supporting to the extent of doing as much as they can to raise funds as a group doing everything from bake sales, car washes, work in the bike shop for free, donations, etc.

This is a sport for those who are committed and obsessed. You need to get on your bike and spend your last 5000 yen happily as a choice between an entry fee or a hotel room. Then you'll know have what it takes.

Back when I had ' biker house' and most of the Junior team lived with me, we'd dumpster dive for food and get all the day old stuff we could scrounge. Everybody chipped in for the entries and gas for the van, plus any premes or prizes went right back into the pool. No where was different. Europe, US , Canada, -- all the same. Spend all night sewing up your mutiple patched tires and stealing the leftovers from the rooms around you. You ran what you could, choices were very limited and generally just cast offs from the Elite squad or ROM (Rich Old Men) who dumped stuff at the shop.
 

Malte

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#17
This is a sport for those who are committed and obsessed. You need to get on your bike and spend your last 5000 yen happily as a choice between an entry fee or a hotel room. Then you'll know have what it takes.
5000 Yen for entry fee for 20km 'races' is just cutthroat, it might limit Japanese talents fostering and seems to be geared to ROM and their kids mainly.:eek:
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#18
Very good point. It actually cuts down on my event participation. Especially when the fees are even higher for even shorter - or - curtailed. If you are a junior rider and want to fill your schedule with meaningful races the options here just aren't there. I'd honestly recommend moving to the US, UK or Europe where at least you can pack in your race schedule with at least 3 choices a week during the on-season and many options for off-season like CX, MTB and track.

5000 Yen for entry fee for 20km 'races' is just cutthroat, it might limit Japanese talents fostering and seems to be geared to ROM and their kids mainly.:eek:
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#19
Very good point. It actually cuts down on my event participation. Especially when the fees are even higher for even shorter - or - curtailed. If you are a junior rider and want to fill your schedule with meaningful races the options here just aren't there. I'd honestly recommend moving to the US, UK or Europe where at least you can pack in your race schedule with at least 3 choices a week during the on-season and many options for off-season like CX, MTB and track.
Totally agree with this. Just reading my friends' Facebook feed, who is a crit racer up in Lytham, UK, it seems like there isn't a night when he is NOT racing. Would love to be able to do something like that, with a society so supportive of the sport.

Move to the UK, Eric! With your handsome young looks, and yankie-doodle-dandy accent, even if you come last in every race, you will definitely be able to pick up some saucy big girls.