I'm putting together a business plan for a new product. It is aimed at women, and there certainly are a lot of women at dressage shows! I have an idea of how to target the eventing market, but I'd love to hear suggestions of how to capture the attention of dressage enthusiasts. What I'd love to do is sponsor a Competitors Party, but I don't think they really exist, do they? What about a prize which would be something with the product logo on it (saddle pads, coolers, anything else?) How much attention would sponsoring an amateur rider get, and suggestions on how that would work?
Any other ideas, anything at all?
(It goes without saying the only ad budget I'm building in is to advertise on the COTH forums!!)
Amateurs cannot accept sponsorships- although pros and juniors can. Quite a few shows actually have competitors parties (or did at one time). I think thats a good idea.
Both Saugerties shows have competitors parties. Westbrook June had one this year to benefit the region's NAJYRC team. Sussex had one in the past- I recall Lendon and Cesar commenting on demo rides- but I don't see anything on their schedule for this year.
I suppose we could organize a raffle at a party, the winner to get the product, and the tickets to benefit a not for profit . . .
Try not to have a scenario where the exhibitors/riders/owners/ trainers have to buy anything in order to participate. Raffles and silent auctions are good examples. People are already financially tapped out at shows, and would much more appreciate a complimentary party, free product sample, etc.
Orlando Dressage sponsors competitors parties at at least three of their shows a season. I've also seen a competitor party at the region's championships last year and I remember the SFP chapter of CDS having a competitor party for its annual show.
No doubt you've gotten (or will get) PMs from show organizers around the country who welcome contributions for prizes.
Donating products for class prizes provides lots of clout since the prizes usually sit on a table near the office for everyone to view for much of the day before items are chosen/claimed.
I have not gotten any PMs yet (I welcome them!) but it is a little early -- this product does not yet exist, though, if all goes well, it will within the year. I'm trying to be as specific with my business plan as possible. So instead of saying we'll target the equestrian market, I'm saying we will provide (for example) saddle pads with our logo as prizes at X number of shows at $20/pad; and sponsor X number of competitors' parties etc.
Agree, don't want this to cost people money -- I'm trying to find the biggest bang for the buck in terms of giveaways -- what has the most impact.
For example, would white saddle pads with a tasteful logo be useful (maybe not used at shows, but around the barn)? Or is there another horse product you'd rather win?
The raffle idea is that you'd price the tickets at $1 or something (at a free party) and win a case of the product, worth $300+ e.g. If the ticket proceeds went to some well known horse rescue or something I think it would be a win-win situation.
One comment re competitors parties: because they are typically at the end of the day, many people do not attend. Some because they have ridden and left, some because they are busy taking care of horses, others just because they are tired. Think about something you could offer earlier in the day or all day. Free bottled water or gatorade, some snack bars or light food, carrots for the horses. Table near show office or other visible location. Also have a vinyl banner made. For XX dollars per show, you can buy a place to hang it. If you start w/ this, you will get visibility w/out breaking your bank; as things go well, you can move to pricier sponsorships.
We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........
Good point about the parties being at the end of the day. The thing is, the product is an Adult Beverage, so perfectly suited for a party . . . . but I take your point -- if not many attend then not many are trying it etc.