Common Sponsorship Mistakes

How to Avoid Them

maddix park mx


A rider support manager tells you the secret keys to getting your resume looked at and the product on your bike 

Every company of any size has a dedicated rider support manager; this person is tasked with picking a select group of riders to represent the products of the company they work for. As a rider support manager for one of the bigger companies in the industry I'm going to share my thoughts on resume season (although I’m not going to tell you my name or the company I work for). 

Think about it. In a three-month period I handle over 5000 paper and electronic resumes. In those three month, if I manage to dedicate half my working hours to looking at resumes, that gives me just three minutes per resume (and when you subtract the minute or so that it takes to enter the data in the computer that leaves the applicant with slightly over 60 seconds to get his message across to me).

In that one minute I don't want to have to search your seven pages of information to get the “must have” details. Thus, I have a “loser” pile next to my desk. The loser pile is made up of the resumes that I don’t think I have the time to work through–riding skill aside. The loser pile is the resumes I receive with no return address, no phone number or no email address (the return address on the envelope does not qualify, because I throw the envelope in the trash immediately). These resumes have every thing in them but the most important thing – contact information! At the end of the resume season I review the loser pile, find the best and most professional resume and hang it on my wall. I still don’t know how to find the rider who sent it, but I admire their handiwork of what I call “The biggest loser.” 

Before I tell you what a rider support manager wants to see, let me tell you what a support manger doesn't want to. 

(1) We don't want to know about the sport of motocross. We have that covered. It's what we do. It's our life. 

(2) We don't want to know how many people of what age and demographic watch Supercross on TV. Plus, if you are one TV, then we already know who you are. If you aren’t on TV, don’t try to make us think that you are. 


Let’s get to the gist of it. Assuming you have clearly listed your name, address, phone number and email address at the top of page one, you are off to a good start. Just based on these facts, I will most likely make you an offer of support based purely on the fact know who you are. Next, I will scan down the resume to see what brand of bike you race. This is important as I need to know if my company has products for you to use.

The most interesting part of every resume is your racing results. Not only am I looking at what class you race and how well you do, but also how consistent your racing program is. If I'm going to offer a spot to you I'm going to want to get bang for my buck; meaning track time. If you race three times a year, I'm not interested. If I am going to invest in you, you need to be at the track showing off my product every week.

As for the results — For each result you list, I want to know the date, the track, the class you raced (don’t lie or be vague) and your overall finish in each class. I don't need to know who was in the class or any excuses. I just want an honest idea of the level of rider you are and be able to quickly search my database of results to validate what you claim. Believe it or not, if you list it, I can probably find it. Don't lie to me.

There are just two more things I like to see in your resume: 

(1) A list of all the sponsors you currently have. 

(2) A photo of you riding and a photo of you sitting on your bike. Why do want these two additional bits of info? Simple. If you list Thor as a sponsor and send me a photo of a bike festooned with Fox stickers (or you’re wearing Fox gear) then I have a pretty good idea of your idea of sponsorship? I use the sponsor list you provide and the pictures you send to judge how seriously you take sponsorship. 

Once the resumes are all reviewed and my support program is full, I will contact each accepted rider and make him an offered for varying levels of support. The only people I can’t make an offer to are the ones in the loser pile. 

Click here for a local perspective on sponsorship.

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