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Old 04-22-2011, 12:52 PM   #21
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Interesting thread!

YES, there are sponsored drivers who aren't continually in the A-main but the manufacturers already often have people filling those spots. There's a segment to sponsorships that simply involves creating a presence of the brand, and in some respects that's exactly what my Caster team is all about.

EVERYONE knows that we will 'be there' to aid those who own Caster's and will always lend a helping hand to someone who needs a part, advise, or simply requires some creative problem solving.

My hats off to all the guys on the Caster team (and every other sponsored driver who helps others) for always being there for everyone, and for continually giving parts away to other people, that they actually paid for. At a steeply discounted price, yes! But still parts they paid for non-the-less.

It's not uncommon to see someone needing a Caster part coming to see me, or Chewy and Jordan for a Mugen part, or Steve and Abiye for a Tamiya part, or Dave for a Losi part, or Marlene, Marco and Steve for a Kyosho part, Endler Nolan or Ziggy for a Hotbodies part, Sandy and Carl for an Associated part, or Vic and Nate for a JQ part, etc...

Yes, sponsorships are often abused and looked down too but with the right approach, they are a wildly effective way for all manufacturers to have good representation at the races as well as a good supply of parts!!! Apart from being a nationally recognized driver and gracing the pages of glossy magazines, we all work hard to represent our manufacturers the best we know how...to support all other people who use the brand while trying to win races as well.

Gump said it best when he said that there's a certain degree of pride in representing something while your on the track. I for one, enjoy it thoroughly and it simply adds more excitement to a race weekend for me. It makes me happy to see 'brands' rallying to beat one another. It brings excitement to the race in my opinion.

Dave Henry and Dave MacLean pioneered the 'RC team' a number of years ago, and in my opinion, it was the beginning of a whole new era of RC car racing. We now have teams for almost every manufacturer and the overall atmosphere has changed as a result of it. Like Bob Flegel said, there may have been less bumping and grinding 5 years ago than there is now, but few would argue that the talent pool is stronger than ever before and the term 'tenth's' has become a FAR MORE common term around 1/8 off-road racing than it ever was in the past.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:37 AM   #22
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I have really enjoyed the relationships I have built over the years (5 years with Kyosho and Orion, 4 years with JConcepts) with both the companies and the people behind those companies. They have gone away from the "credit card" sponsorships in the last year or two and have really trimmed the fat of their race programs which I think is a positive thing. There are pro's and cons to any form of sponsorship, but I would probably be running their stuff even if I wasn't part of their race team. But overall people get way too hung up on having a "sponsor". At the end of the day, having a sponsor isn't going to make you any faster or make your day at the track be any more fun.

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Old 04-23-2011, 08:14 AM   #23
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There is a difference of being sponsored by a team, and being subsidized by a company for promotion of product.

Like Steve B mentioned, with a subsidy deal, a company is benefitting by selling direct to racers, cutting out the middle man (Hobby Shop owner)

Also RC is a competitive hobby, not a sport.

At best, it could be considered a fringe motorsport but that is pushing it I think.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:00 PM   #24
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I look at sponsorship in a few different ways.

One, I am honored to have raced for factories with the history Kyosho and losi have in the rc industry. I will always try my hardest to be the best representative I can be for my sponsors and that entails many many things. Race results are only a tiny part of my responsibilities. Even more important are spending time helping others, especially the average racer, and making sure I try my best to always behave in a courteous, respectful and ethical fashion when I am at the track. Thankfully I find this pretty easy as I really really enjoy the racing.

Two, I see many manufacturers offering partial sponsorships more so now than in the past. Having representatives running their products is a big part of their marketing and it often helps out racers stretch their own budget.I see this as a positive in almost all cicumstances but it truly amazes me how some sponsored racers behave when out at the races! The lucky ones that are sponsored need to be the guys setting the best examples so the up and comers don't get the wrong idea.

A few years ago when more and more racers started getting support things changed at the races in our area. There seemed to be (and I feel still is) a tonne of jealousy surfacing. "I beat him so I deserve it more" "I had a faster lap than so and so" blah blah blah. Who cares? If you feel you want to represent a company then earn it!

The way I see it too many guys are way too hung up on getting sponsored. Sure it is nice but it so more to handle. Dave Lyons comments about getting the support of your local hobby should be everybodies first step.

I race because I LOVE the hobby! I consider myself lucky to have the support of a bunch of companies but as soon as it stops being fun I am gone! I retired in 2002 from Kyosho/o.s./futaba/great planes as it had become too much traveling each year. Remember guys we are racing as a pastime and a hobby and it needs to be fun everytime we go to a track or why bother! While I am lucky to have a bunch or support it does not mean i spend less racing each summer. In fact it just gives me the opportunity to stretch my budget and attend more races than I otherwise would.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dave Henry
I see this as a positive in almost all circumstances but it truly amazes me how some sponsored racers behave when out at the races! The lucky ones that are sponsored need to be the guys setting the best examples so the up and comers don't get the wrong idea.
Very Nicely put, Dave. I too believe that getting sponsorship is not just about the best lap times. The racers I have, are passionate about the hobby and the brands they run. These guys were actually running the Z-cars before I sponsored them. They are also very good to deal with, and don't go to races to be a**holes. They are the best representatives I could possibly have for my company.
If they ever go to a race and get on that stand to start yelling and screaming, or being rude to other racers, the sponsorship is over.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:22 PM   #26
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For the record...I'd be racing every bit as much without sponsorships of any kind. Thus, it's fair to say I'm in the hobby for the right reasons.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:05 PM   #27
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Personally, I have always raced for the fun of the hobby since day one! It was always a blast coming out to the tracks and racing with all my friends and competitors!

Last year I had the opportunity to race for Hot Bodies. This was great as it cut me a bit of a deal on racing and it allowed racers to see more D8's out on the track in our area, which at the time, was a rare occasion. Let me tell you, when I got the sponsorship I felt great! It was like "WOW I am actually able to support a company and drive a car no one else has around here!". The feeling was great, being one of two drivers supporting Hot Bodies in the area at that time. But, not long after it seemed Hot Bodies was popping up everywhere in our area. It was because of that, that I decided not to re-sign. It was then that I realized that I wasn't so special after all and that almost anyone could get the deal.

Now, I continue to drive for the love of the hobby, without any sponsorships. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't lose sight of why we all started in the first place. For the love of the hobby. Don't be a sponsored driver just to be sponsored and say your sponsored. Do it only if it makes your experience better and actually means something to you. For me, it meant something when I was one of two drivers. But when I became one of a million it took some of the excitement away.

Don't do it just to do it! Do it because you love the product and truly stand behind the product!
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:33 PM   #28
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Sponsored drivers or team drivers

Wow, some of you got it and some got a little off topic. Dave Henry should have wrote my opening cuz he hit it right on the mark.
My point is don't be jealous and hate on other drivers for being on a team or with a company. You never know what the whole picture is. Support your local hobby shops or it will kill the sport.
I would never had writen this if i had not herd and seen it in our community.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:01 AM   #29
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This may be a good thread to post a question that has puzzled me for some time.
When racers want to see the results from a race, the race director posts the heat sheets right off the computer. That's fine and I know that the he/she has enough to do on race day.
However, most race series will list the results and then what they are driving

In R/C this would be helpful for the sponsors to see their investment going to good use

I don't know who would compile this info but once it's in a data base it shouldn't take long to post the results. Maybe someone wants to do this.
Not me though lol
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #30

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I agree with Mike, knowing that in my area if I was a "sponsored" driver I'd be the envy of quite a few ppl. When I first started racing last year I definitely had in my head it'd be so cool to be a sponsored driver. Then Mike V started showing up at Elite and (even though Mike will deny it) he was the envy of most of us at the track simply because he's a sponsored driver. I too at the time just because I was ignorant was thinking that he got free products and all the latest products to test out.

In my 2nd year of racing, I've quickly learned that being a "sponsored" driver definitely isn't necessarily what it's cracked up to be......at least IMO. Personally I love the freedom of being able to run whatever products I choose. I realize if I was sponsored, this freedom would become very limited as I'd be limited to only using the products my sponsor(s) sell.

I'm not saying I'd never want to be sponsored (the fact that I'm not that good so I won't exactly have companies chasing me down ). But, if I had the opportunity come up in the future I would definitely entertain it, but at least I'd be going into it with open eyes. Just being at the odd track with Mike I see quite a few guys getting all googly eyed when they hear he's a sponsored driver. Most of them probably don't have a clue of what being a sponsored driver is all about. I know when I was a complete noob I didn't have a clue either.
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