ASK Cubby- So You Wanna Be A Sponsored Driver
For ask cubby
I am an aspiring rc racer with a question just for you. I work hard, I race hard, and I have some good finishes. I don’t have to tell you how expensive rc racing has become, what are my best options for getting sponsored? If I get sponsored I promise to always show off the products and help others at the track.
Cubby- Well hello there Jamie, thanks for the email. I would say that I get 2 or 3 of these a week, even though Big Squid is primarily a bashing website. Yes, I have probably answered this type of question a half dozen times before (which I am sure uber-fans will promptly point out) but this is how I feel about the subject right now.
So… do you want the truth? The real truth? Nothing but the truth?
You can’t handle the actual truth, but here it is…
Getting picked up is real simple, you only need to do one thing. You have to win.
Do you remember who finished second at the ROAR nats (any of them) last year? Who finished second at the 8th scale buggy IFMAR worlds two years ago? Nobody remembers second and companies can’t use a second place for advertising. It is real simple, if you win someone WILL come knocking at your door. And that is the true way to get sponsorship, to have people hitting you up on your FB messenger wanting to give you free stuff. When they contact you, they want you, they want to give you free stuff, or even free stuff with a check every month. But to do that, you gotta win, and you gotta win big races over a bunch of already sponsored drivers. Not easy, and not something everyone can do, but that is the straight truth.
Some Schmoes on the net will tell you that you need a big social media presence, or you need to be the friendliest/most helpful guy at every track you go to. Some guys will say you gotta be young with a model’s face and you need at least ten years of top level racing to get the call. Knowing what I know, I would say that you really don’t need any of those. You just gotta have the ability to win against any competition and not be a complete @sshat while doing so. Although even the @sshat thing is excusable if you are capable of winning the right classes.
Oh and hey, while I have you here. Please don’t fall into the “partial sponsorship trap”. Tons of Tom, Dick, and Harry rc companies will give you 20% off just for filling out a form. I know of two companies that hand out partials that do actually care about their drivers, but most seemingly could care less, all they are concerned about is making a few more bucks off of every Joe Blow racer that they can possibly get signed up.
Cubby I just bought my first kit, any suggestions for making the build go easier?
Cubby- Well hey now Roberto, you’ve come to the right place, I am all about building kits.
So you are get’n ready to build your first ever kit, here are a few recommendations that I have for you…
1. Tools, get plenty, and make sure they are good ones. For example, cut the check for a MIP 2.0. A high-end 2.0 will strip out less heads and make your life mucho easier. The instructions for most kits will actually list the exact tools that you will need, pay attention to that, then head down to your LHS and get all the proper tools that you will need.
2. This is FAR AND AWAY my best piece of advice- read the manual. Actually that is wrong, don’t read it, STUDY it closely. Modern manuals are extremely good. If you run into an issue during your build, either you didn’t look closely enough at the manual or you screwed up a previous step by not looking close enough. Seeing/knowing the smallest of details in the manual will save you worlds of time and frustration.
3. Calipers. Ok, so this falls under number 1, but they aren’t typically listed in the manual. You’ll need calipers to measure the lengths of various things, but especially when making sure you use the proper length of screw for a certain step of the build. If you use the wrong length of screw in one spot, it forces you to use the wrong length in another. The part you built with too long of screws can come back to bite you with broken parts or unnecessary rolling resistance, while the part you built with too short of screws can end up stripping out or breaking too easily.
4. Have a BIG open area to work. Kits involve a lot of parts and the more room you have to spread parts (and tools) out, the easier your life will be.
5. Good lighting. If you are an old fart like me, good lighting is a must have. You can’t build something properly if you can’t see it. I know everyone recommends that, but seriously, make it a point to set up extra lights.
6. Before building a “step”, get every single screw, metal part, and plastic part lined up on your table. I separate the screws by length for each step, then separate the other parts making them easy to tell which is which.
7. Take your time. If you rush a build I promise you will end up screwing something up, thus wasting a bunch of time. Plan on working a few hours each night until you are done. In my experience most 1/10th & 1/8th kits take about 4 evenings of work to get fully up and running.
So there ya go Roberto, I could keep going on forever, but those are the most importantly things off the top of my head. Shoot me some pics of your creation once you get it built.
So there it is, yet another ASK Cubby is in the books. Have a question? Desperately need an answer? Can’t wait to tell the rc world what is on your mind? In the industry and just want to shoot some bull? Send me an email- thecubreportrc at gmail dot com is my addy. Until next week, go epic, scrape the clouds, break the most parts possible.
YOUR Cub Reporter