I spent a few hours at Stumptown last night hiding out and writing a “sponsor me” letter and proposal. Sacha needs something from me to send out as part of the Vanilla team. I am also going to start scrounging around for donations to help me race through the winter.
One of the things Sacha and I talked about is owing some big company a huge debt in exchange for a cash money or product sponsorship. It just does not feel quite worth it, being the independently minded people we are. It is fair to say that his frame business and my little bike shop are “off the radar” of the bicycle industry. As a bikeshop and framebuilder we can purchase pretty much anything we need for racing at wholesale. So teaming up with “X” company exclusively should have more significant benefits than free bike parts.
The bigger businesses we could approach for sponsorship dollars are likely not interested. In thier eyes Vanilla or Veloshop as businesses can in return do very little for them. You won’t see Vanilla’s for sale in a bike shop and you won’t see a full line of bicycles in the Veloshop.
The product and service Vanilla and Veloshop offer are so atypical of the mainstream bike industry that our place in the grand scheme of racing and race sponsorship is askew. So what does a sponsor get for putting money into the Vanilla cross racing squad?
Being associated with high quality people who understand that it is about more than bike racing.
I am of the mindset that I may not be the fastest bike racer but, I have something a little different to offer than the run of the mill hoser bike racer. My take on bicycle racing and it’s place in the world is bigger than pro contracts and sponsorship deals. That should be worth something right?
The point? This cyclocross season is gona hurt! Fiscally and physically. I’ve got a lot of racing and a ton of travelling planned.