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  • Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

    I note there is yet another thread, discussing how we should or should not deal with sponsors.

    I've been around for a number of years and during that time have sponsored several series (3 years as Solo 1 title sponsor), CASC in general, as well as some individual drivers - so let me give a strong opinion on this matter.

    1. Sponsorship at this level is "always" a money losing activity for the sponsor. They usually participate for goodwill or PR purposes and to help build our sport at the grassroots level.

    2. Sponsors write out cheques in cash - or provide product / service for a real dollar value. All disciplines in CASC would be much worse off (and costs would be much more expensive) if it were not for our sponsors.

    3. Sponsors DO NOT COME TO US asking "hey where can I sign up". Every year several volunteer members from CASC go out and seek to renew existing sponsors and sign up new ones. It is a very difficult and frustrating task. (I strongly suggest that dissenting members give it a try some time )

    4. Over the years, we have had some great sponsors, some good sponsors, and some sponsors who you may not want to deal with. But none the less - each and every one of them paid to be a sponsor and supported our activities. And for that, they all deserve our thanks.

    5. You are not obligated to deal with a series sponsor - but - every sponsor that we have should be considered in each and every purchase that you make. If you decide to go elsewhere - fine enough, but at least look at the sponsor in your shopping.

    6. If you decide to go elsewhere - please - don't use the CASC forums to boast about what a great deal you got. Keep it to yourself - or share it in privately with your buddies. You have every right to promote someone else - but don't rub our sponsors face in it. Nothing is worse that coming to the forums of a series that you help sponsor to hear all the claims of some great alternative supplier.

    7. Likewise, if you have a complaint - (even if you are absolutely correct and justified) - the CASC forums IS NOT the place to do so. The internet has many, many venues where you can discuss the strengths and shortcomings of suppliers.

    If a sponsor is great - go ahead, sing their praises - but if they are not, by all means, take your business elsewhere and let your silence (and your dollars) speak.

    Now growup, show some class and learn that there is a BIG difference between what you have "the right to do" and what is the prudent, mature, respectful way to handle matters. Go back and read item number 1 again!
    Last edited by Bubblecar; 05-21-2006, 10:57 PM.
    ===================
    M NICK MAJORS
    Race Director - CASC-OR

    - 2010 CASC-OR Formula Libre Roadrace Champion (Elan DP02 sportsracer)
    - 2006/2007/2008 - 3 time CASC-OR GT1 Roadrace Champion (Viper Competition Coupe)
    - 2008 Mobil1 RaceOntario OVERALL Roadrace Champion ("Darth Viper")
    - 2007 Ice Racing OVERALL and RWD Stud Class Champion (turbo-charged 240sx)

    (Executive Director - RACE DRIVERS' GUILD of CANADA - )

  • #2
    Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

    Thanks Nick!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

      Some very good info in that racing at almost any level unless you are the #1 guy is a money losing venture .

      All and any help is a big plus

      Steve
      86 GLHS #315
      05 SRT4 S3 #166
      Sponcered by Fast Trac /ftrac.org

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

        Well said Nick
        2005 F-Super Stock National Champion
        2005 F-Super Stock Regional Champion

        We Don't inherit the world from our Parents, We borrow it from our Children

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

          Well said Nick. I'd like to add that sponsors, whether for a series or an individual, are hard to come by. Trust me. If you are fortunate enough to have one or many, embrace them and never let them go, meaning treat them as if they were paying to help you race.....oh wait ...that's what they are doing (sarcasim implied). You will never know the good a sponsor brings until they are gone and then it will be too late.
          James McDougall
          No Limit Motorsports
          2008 Mobil 1 GT Champions, GT3 Class
          2007 Ontario Challenge Cup Champions, GT3 Class

          "If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

            Although I think complaining about sponsors on the board is bad, I think a post like this is just as bad. A lot of people on this board aren't as in touch with the community as we'd like to be, so a lot of people aren't going to know where to go if they have a problem. The CASC board is the primary means of communication between all the members of the Solo 1 and 2 community, and if a Solo 1/2 sponsor isn't delivering on a promise then what's somebody to do if they don't know who to talk to about it?

            I know it's not my place to argue about this kind of thing, but I think this looks REALLY bad. The sponsorship bashing and all the noise about not bringing it up on the boards. If I was new to the Solo community and someone told me we get a good deal on something through a sponsor, then they didn't deliver on that deal, the first thing I'm gonna want is to find out why I didn't get the same treatment. Obviously the first place I'm going to go is the boards, and what then? I get an earfull from the people who have dug themselves into the community. That's not very encouraging for a new competitor, and it creates a lot of unneeded tension between everyone.

            If sharing negative experiences with sponsors on the boards is frowned upon, then there needs to be a notice or a sticky about who to talk to if there's a problem with a sponsor. Without that people will still keep posting if a sponsor screws up, because even if EVERYONE on the board reads this thread, it'll die and people will forget or new members will never see it. What then? Will someone else have to fly off the handle about other people's posts?

            If an alternative isn't offered and advertised, then threads like this only make things look worse.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

              The emails for the CASC board are posted on the main website
              http://www.casc.on.ca/contactus.php
              There shouldn't have to be a 'sticky' for this. It's just common sense, and day one stuff for anyone in motorsports. Be nice to your sponsors no matter what.
              As Carroll Smith would say, if it's too hard to understand, other sports beckon...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

                Originally posted by SE-R Racer
                Be nice to your sponsors no matter what.
                This sentence just poked me in the ribs. I have to ask a question now.

                If a sponsor is screwing someone over with a bad deal/service and this someone is not the only case, this someone knows of fellow racers in the same/simmilar situation. If these people have tried unsucessfully for a period of time to receive the already paid merchandise or service or refund in money, would it not be courteous to other fellow racers to let them know about the said sponsor?

                There is a limit off course. Not every customer can be pleased and there always is someone that may not be happy with a service. No point of bitching on the web about ONE service gone bad.

                However, if there is a pattern and several people are affected by real bad service, I believe the better choice is to let others know. Depending on the severity of the problem, the notification of the CASC board may be to slow to stop further mistreatment of other racers by that sponsor.

                The web is a real great tool to get known and to advertize for sponsors, particular in a close community as here. Good deeds, price money and products go a long way and the rewards (business sales) come very quickly (see Williams Performance brakes in the last couple of years).
                It could also backfire very quickly if the product or service is not up to par. And I think everybody should have the right to praise or to critisize the sponsors. That's the risk a business takes.

                Please dont tell me to be nice with EVERY sponsor no matter how much they screw you over and to shut up NO MATTER WHAT.

                Nick, I appreciate what you have to say and it is true for the most part. It is true that almost all people involved in this sport are honest and help each other out, and whatever help you give to someone you will get returned ten times, as individual or sponsor. But you cannot deny the fact that there are also people / sponsors that are just looking for opportunities to make a quick buck and dont care about the fellow enthusiast. You cannot throw everybody in the same pot.

                If there is a major problem with the service or product of a sponsor, thank the individal for letting others know, not tell them to shut up.
                Klaus
                BMW 325es
                Solosprint SGT2, #192
                Solo 2 D/Mod, # 192

                The older I get, the faster I am ...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

                  Thanks for your comments Rick - you make a number of points, but I just think you are wrong and missing the issue.

                  If a newby made a post saying "I just went into Nick's Garage Co Ltd and asked for the Solo discount and they didn't know what I was talking about. How do I get our special pricing?" - that would be an appropriate post for this or any other forum. But I don't think I've ever seen a post like that and what is far more common is your other point of "sharing negative experiences with sponsors on the board" - which I think is unacceptable.

                  For example, the recent thread that prompted me to speak out - a member quite correctly posted an inquiry as to who (if anyone) the new tire sponsor was. Great, he is trying to give first consideration to our sponsor (gold star !). Then unfortunately he goes on, as an afterthought, to raise some questions about our previous sponsor (who by the way is still sponsoring some other disciplines). We should have all just dropped it right there, but another member took that as a lead in to expand on his own criticism. (sorry posters, don't mean to center you out - but it's a good example - no offence meant).

                  This goes on quite often. And I know of several sponsors who have noticed how common it is. No series anywhere in motorsports allows participants to "publicly" criticize series sponsors - period! In some, it's even grounds for disciplinary action.

                  I think if you had a concern with a sponsor and how they are treating our members, it would be good cause to send a note or letter to the Solo committee expressing your thoughts, or just go out to a meeting and express your ideas.

                  Finally, as to the appropriateness of this topic and thread, I have received PM from 2 sponsors thanking me for the post.

                  At every driver's meeting, we thank our sponsors by name and participants applaud their support. It's nice to think that means something and is not just a pointless ritual.
                  ===================
                  M NICK MAJORS
                  Race Director - CASC-OR

                  - 2010 CASC-OR Formula Libre Roadrace Champion (Elan DP02 sportsracer)
                  - 2006/2007/2008 - 3 time CASC-OR GT1 Roadrace Champion (Viper Competition Coupe)
                  - 2008 Mobil1 RaceOntario OVERALL Roadrace Champion ("Darth Viper")
                  - 2007 Ice Racing OVERALL and RWD Stud Class Champion (turbo-charged 240sx)

                  (Executive Director - RACE DRIVERS' GUILD of CANADA - )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

                    msix -

                    You make a really good point - I know of similar cases - but my answer is in the post I just made above -

                    "No series anywhere in motorsports allows participants to "publicly" criticize series sponsors - period! In some, it's even grounds for disciplinary action.

                    I think if you had a concern with a sponsor and how they are treating our members, it would be good cause to send a note or letter to the Solo committee expressing your thoughts, or just go out to a meeting and express your ideas."

                    Nick
                    ===================
                    M NICK MAJORS
                    Race Director - CASC-OR

                    - 2010 CASC-OR Formula Libre Roadrace Champion (Elan DP02 sportsracer)
                    - 2006/2007/2008 - 3 time CASC-OR GT1 Roadrace Champion (Viper Competition Coupe)
                    - 2008 Mobil1 RaceOntario OVERALL Roadrace Champion ("Darth Viper")
                    - 2007 Ice Racing OVERALL and RWD Stud Class Champion (turbo-charged 240sx)

                    (Executive Director - RACE DRIVERS' GUILD of CANADA - )

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

                      Originally posted by Bubblecar

                      "No series anywhere in motorsports allows participants to "publicly" criticize series sponsors - period! In some, it's even grounds for disciplinary action.
                      Perhaps we should start....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Respecting / Criticizing Sponsors

                        Originally posted by SE-R Racer
                        Perhaps we should start....
                        Some who think they have a problem may be tempted, but I don't think it's a good idea. There's an old maxim of effective leadership "praise in public, criticise in private", and I think that this is a good way to deal with sponsors too. Others have touched on the problems of attracting sponsors to our sport (all disciplines), but there's another aspect to consider. Dealing with the public is a tricky business, and I don't think the best of companies ever achieve 100% customer satisfaction 100% of the time, in addition, it's often the customer who is to blame for a problem. There may be crossed communication, unrealistic expectations, factors beyond the control of either party, plus which, a few customers are just plain arseholes (and anyone who has ever dealt with the public can verify this). The best way to deal with a perceived problem involving a sponsor/supplier is through calm, rational and business-like communications. If that doesn't work, then use the avenues already mentioned (meetings/committees, CASC board members, etc.), and if that doesn't work then, and only then, you might have a cause to go public or file a complaint with the appropriate Better Business Bureau, etc., but again only after advising the other party of your intentions and giving them one last chance to address your concerns. Bad-mouthing a sponsor/supplier out-of-hand without following these or similar steps will eventually give our sport a bad reputation to the detriment of all competitors, so engage brain before starting mouth.
                        The Man's Prayer:
                        "I'm a man, but I can change ... if I have to ... I guess!"

                        "I'm so old that when I hear the word "Spandex" I think of watch bracelets."


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