Having done quite a bit of research on how to find sponsors for our team in the 2010 Mongol Rally, we thought it might be helpful to write about the process for other folks in the rally, or similar adventures.
Step one – analysis. We read as much information as was possible on the Mongol Rally, including the main demographic, audience, marketability, legality, etc. Once we were confident we could easily explain even the most obscure details of the rally, we moved on. We even purchased and read the only book published by a former rally adventurer.
Step two – organize. We created an excel spreadsheet and brainstormed backwards, thinking about the items our team would need on the rally and then compiling a list of companies that might be interested in sponsoring us. Our spreadsheet was broken down into sectors, like ‘camping equipment’ for example, and then companies, like ‘REI’, and then their contact information so we can keep track of our correspondence with each potential sponsor.
Step three — proposal. We created a snazzy sponsorship proposal that compiled information on the rally, our team, our charity and then listed how sponsors could benefit by helping out our team and charity. Then we sent the proposal to the companies in our spreadsheet from step two.
Step four – press. While contacting sponsors, we also created a spreadsheet for potential press and media coverage, and set about contacting local and international media about our team and the event. After the creation of the proposal, we simply morphed the same document into a mini press kit for interested media affiliates.
Step five—website SEO. While all of this was going on, we maintained the website and blog, and did a bit of much-needed SEO, including some link building and revamping the landing page and Mongol Rally page of our site, gearing them towards the rally and securing sponsorships.
Step six – phone calls. While all of these documents and online work can go a long way towards endearing the team to potential sponsors, nothing is as meaningful as a phone call. We followed up all potential sponsor leads with calls, because in the end it is about people helping people, and the human element is the most essential one.
Good luck with your own fund-raising, and have fun!
Good luck raising money. I have always dreamed of doing the Mongol Rally in a 4×4 Fiat Panda – they are bad ass! Can’t wait to read about your adventure. Maybe someday there will be an Atlas Obscura team on the course.
Hi, I am considering doing the mongol rally in the next couple of years. I was wondering if your aquired sponsorship was in the form of equipment only or if you recieved any cash for your personal costs of the rally.
I was also interested to know if any companies donated to your charities or only provided equipment/cash. Or the combination of both.
We didn’t do so hot getting sponsors, but we also didn’t really contact anyone after our initial push early this year. We did have people donate supplies, but they were not companies. I think the recession made this a tough year for a lot of people. I hope you have better luck when you seek sponsors for your rally. Keep in touch and we’ll give you the low-down after the rally in a few months!
Hi im doing mongol rally this year and i was wondering if you can maybe send me a copy of your proposal for me to study?
Thanks so much for posting this– my brothers and I are doing the rally in 2013, and since they’re both mechanics, the detail work has fallen to me.
It’s a bit overwhelming, but this definitely helped. Thank you!
Doing the Rally, hopefully in 2014, would love to get some sponsorship deals, but just wondered if you had any hints or tips. I have a cunning ideas up my sleeve.
I May just see if any of the major dealers with small cars wish let us have one for the Mongol Rally, to see if it can survive such an ordeal? like The Chevy Team a few years back?