• 3rd November 2006 - By greg

    Sponsors and blatant self promotion

    On a whim, I blindly sent out some emails a few weeks ago to sort of test the waters with regard to how eager companies would be to sponsor the Atlantic expedition project by donating their products. I sent an introduction email with the above .jpg image attached. I have a macro set up in PhotoShop that mostly automates the insertion of the potential sponsors name and product image, then spits out a .jpg file like the one above.

    I was a pretty good marketer in my former entrepreneurial life, and I know how important it is help your target audience imagine the benefits of what you are proposing. At Image Club (sold to Adobe, sold to Eyewire, sold to Getty Images, and now Veer), in our catalog, we always featured many great examples of what our publishing content software could do for a creative campaign. In my opinion, that ‘creative inspiration’ that we provided was largely responsible for the success of the catalog, and my company.

    I have had some pretty good success with the blind email approach, and I really think I can get most of my equipment and supplies donated by companies who want to be involved with this project.

    This is what I am offering sponsors in return:

    1. Their company logo on the boat
    2. A series of high res photographs and video clips of their product being used in the ‘extreme’ ocean environment while on the expedition which the sponsor could use as content for various advertising and promotional campaigns.
    3. A testimonial from me regarding the applicability of their product and it’s use during the expedition.
    4. I managed to get quite a bit of press coverage for the 24 hour HPV record including the cover of Popular Science magazine, and I plan to aggressively seek as much publicity as possible for the Atlantic Expedition. A sponsor would definitely benefit from that kind of PR exposure. Imagine a sponsors logo on the side of Critical Power HPV in Popular Science Magazine that is distributed to over 7 million people!
    5. Web site advertising content like the image shown above that the sponsor can take advantage of now, rather than waiting until I do the crossing.

    I have not devoted much time to pursuing sponsors yet, but from the few ‘feelers’ I sent out, I managed to develop a few partnerships:

    Nimbus Kayaks is providing a Hyak Tandem Kayak that will be used as a base for the prototype human powered boat.

    Trimble is providing a Recon rugged PDA. These PDA hand held computers are absolutely incredible! Water proof and shock proof – perfect for an ocean crossing. I will be using the PDA to run a GPS with navigation software, and to BLOG text, photos and video web updates to the web site via a satellite phone. Trimble is sponsoring the expedition with TWO PDA’s a primary and a backup.

    Fugawi Marine is providing GPS marine navigation software that will work with the GPS and Recon PDA computer.

    Rugged Technologies is providing three of their top of the line water proof Cool series keyboards. The keyboard will plug directly into the USB port of the Recon.

    I need your help

    I think this approach to finding ways to fund an expensive project like the Atlantic crossing is really beneficial to both the sponsor and myself. I get the expensive equipment I need to complete my quest, and the sponsor benefits from valuable testimonial advertising content that is an important part of a robust marketing campaign.

    I could use some help! If you have some free time and would like to become involved in the project, I could really use someone to help me find more equipment and supplies sponsors. I will provide you with a list of all the equipment and supplies that I require. You would need to phone the potential sponsor companies, speak to the marketing manager about a sponsorship in kind, and follow up with emails and various other information on the expedition that I will prepare for you.

    From my brief experience, I have found that if I can connect with an actual person before sending emails, my chance of success is very high. Emails get lost and easily dismissed, whereas a phone call is taken seriously.

    If you have a bit of time to spare and would like to get involved in the project, please send me an email or give me a phone call. 403-242-5482 greg@justgreg.com

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