So you want to sponsor a rally car...

That's fantastic! Well perhaps not a rally car, but maybe a professional road car. Rally is one of the mainstays of AWD performance cars currently. Though still not anywhere near as popular as it is in Europe and the rest of the world (rally is only second to soccer for fans in many other countries) it is gaining attention fast. Several manufacturers have stepped up with factory-sponsored teams starting with Hyundai, Subaru, and Mitsubishi. Dodge is the latest manufacturer to join the rally craze and enter a factory works car. Why the sudden interest? Well several reasons really. Rally was somewhat more popular in the 80s in North America when Audi was pushing with its factory team during the Group B revolution in European WRC (World Rally Championship). It lost interest in the early 90s until Hyundai and Subaru stepped in with somewhat factory teams. In the last several years these teams have grown to become several cars per manufacturer spanning several different classes of cars. Younger people are joining the craze after seeing rally cars in video games and on television. In fact an estimated 70% of spectators at a recent rally were under the age of 30, and there were hundreds of spectators there for the event. Part of the appeal is how close you can get to the action. Most racing you watch from stands, well away from the action. In rally you stand several feet from the actual road these cars are racing on. With how explosive fan support for the sport has increased in the last few years we should start seeing live coverage of events on networks like the Speed Channel in the next few years. Rally cars have already seen broadcast network coverage on commercials like for Subaru's WRX and Volkswagen's New Beetle. With the huge popularity of rally-bred cars like the Subaru WRX and the Mitsubishi EVO (due for release soon in the United States) the sport has yet another draw.

What does this mean for you as a sponsor? If you haven't guessed it already it means more coverage for your business for one. Depending on how much you're willing to invest you could have your name plastered all over a car so much so that it's referred to as your company's car (such as Steve Gingras' Act II popcorn car). You don't even have to be an automotive-related business to gain something from that kind of coverage. Even smaller donations can get your name on the car or be listed in press releases. Every sponsor for teams on this website will have their business or name listed on the website. Another bonus is being part of the action. As a sponsor you'd be more than welcome to visit the team at events (just don't slow them down!) and keep up to date on how they're doing. Some teams may even offer ride-alongs or other such options for their sponsors. Many teams would also be more than happy for you to use their team in promotional items for your business such as ads and commercials. Don't you think a professional competition car with your company's name on it could be used as part of an effective advertisement somewhere? Breweries, design agencies, restaurants, and media agencies are just a few of the non-automotive businesses sponsoring rally teams.

If you're interested in sponsorship the best time to start is now. With how fast rally is gaining interest it may not be long before all the larger businesses start grabbing up teams. We have at least a few teams right now that are looking for sponsors and are looking to be some of the best new up-and-coming drivers. Contact Garrett, our website administrator, for more information.

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