View Full Version : Appropriate to ask for sponsorship money?

Jul. 1, 2010, 10:28 AM
The AEC entry fee thread got me thinking about this. I am qualified and plan to compete at AECs. Would it be appropriate for me to approach local horse businesses that I patronize to ask if they would sponsor me at the competition? I'm not talking about having them provide all my stuff. I was thinking more along the lines of $50 or $100 toward expenses.

In return, I would buy an ad in the AEC program recognizing and thanking them; giving them a photo from AECs that they can hang in their store with something like "X Business Sponsors Local Rider in National Competition" across the bottom, so customers coming in can see that they support local riders; mentioning them in any media coverage (our paper has done stories in the past on local equestrian activities, and I've got some other media contacts as well). I can also hang any banners, etc.

I am a member of our local DCTA and plan to ask them for sponsorship as well.

Does this seem appropriate to you? Am I already behind the game in asking for sponsorhip? Would love to hear your experiences and ideas.

Jul. 1, 2010, 10:40 AM
Be careful if you are competing as an amateur. Sponsorship will require that you compete as a professional.

That being said, three of us were "sponsored" by a non-profit for the AEC's a couple of years ago. We emailed this to USEA, to make sure everything was kosher and we could still compete as amateur and were told, that as long as it's a non-profit this type of sponsorship was okay.

Jul. 1, 2010, 10:40 AM
When I was competing years ago- I had a local establishment sponsor all my shows. I put a stack of flyers (menus/specials) at the secretary stand at the show and gave the sponsor pics with my signature/thanks of them for his wall. I was a regular there at the time and often brought large parties to dine/drink. They considered the costs a cheaper way to advertise.

Jul. 1, 2010, 10:47 AM
Be careful if you are competing as an amateur. Sponsorship will require that you compete as a professional.

Thanks, eventer80, I was wondering about that. I am an amateur, so maybe I'll have to re-think.

ETA: under the USEF rules, GR1306, 2.d., it says an amateur can accept "reimbursement for any expenses directly related to the horse (i.e.farrier/vet bills, entries) however, does not include travel,hotel, room and board or equipment."

So it looks like I might could apply any money toward the entry fee. Is that accurate?

M. Owen
Jul. 1, 2010, 11:14 AM
As an amateur, I don't think you can accept sponsorship money from business, even if you are applying it directly to entry fees. I read "reimbursement" as a scenario where you are riding someone else's horse, you pay the entry fee, and they pay you back. Your best bet would be to call or email USEF just to be sure.

Jul. 1, 2010, 11:38 AM
WRT amateur status, the thing you have to be careful of is

d. Accepts remuneration for the use of his or her name, photograph or other form of
personal association as a horseman in connection with any advertisement or article
(including but not limited to clothing, product, equipment, etc.) to be sold.

It isn't whether or not they are a "non profit", but whether the "association" with you is expected to help them sell something.

But reimbursement of expenses by an organization that does not expect to use your reputation to sell somerthing should not be a problem. I know that CTAs often make contributions to the expenses of amateur riders who are members. And of course, the AHTF- but most of their contributions got to non-amateurs.

Jul. 1, 2010, 12:01 PM
Thanks, Janet! I was hoping you'd comment.

I'll definitely check with USEF and USEA to ensure that I'm compliant. I believe I'll be getting a contribution from my DCTA, so that should be kosher.

Jul. 1, 2010, 07:47 PM
been here, done this. Makes you a pro....Through the USEF rules. USEA goes by those rules. Stinks huh?