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  1. Default sponsorship... is it possible? where to start?

    my friends and i have been talking about an epic roadtrip on and off for the past year or so. what we want to do is drive from alaska to the bottom of argentina. maybe barrow, alaska (northern most city in alaska) to ushuaia, argentina (southern most city in the world). we figure it would take about a year to "do it right." the main stumbling block is the money. off the top of our heads we figure somewhere around 60-75K.
    is it possible to get sponsorship for such a trip. cash, vehicle, gas, etc...
    and where would you start such a project?
    im not opposed to doing some leg work, we dont think our schedules will line up until about 2012, but this is something we really want to try.
    any thoughts, idea, or other input would be greatly appreciated.

    thank you.

  2. #2


    It sounds like quite an adventure! I do not have experience with sponsorship in the 'outside world' but my experience with this comes from when I worked in motorsport and, even then, when times were good, sponsorship was hard to come by even though we were offering live TV coverage every other weekend, trackside hospitality for the company's employees and guests and public appearances as requested. What exactly would you be able to do for your sponsors? Are you looking to produce a TV show or book or something? In either of those cases you will likely be expected to finance yourselves and sell the story after the event. I am interested in what your USP is for this project?

  3. Default

    there have been talks of blogs, photo essays, and books at the conclusion.
    as far as USP... the only thing i can come up with off the top of my head is that we would do it. the trip would span two continents and some 15 countries. that exposure has to be worth something to some company.
    we were also thinking about car companies. with new hybrid technology coming available-- give us a hybrid suv. we will put it through snow. desert. rain. jungle. mud. highways and surface streets. the heat and the cold.
    i dunno. like i said we are sorta just talking about it right now. really looking for a jumping off point. none of us have any sort of experience in this.

  4. #4


    Realistically... the car companies will a) hear these sorts of requests everyday and b) will already have done it themselves. The only way you will likely find backing from them is if you should know the right person. Got an uncle who is high up in Ford, perhaps? Without it I hate to say but you are unlikely to succeed. We used to look at a return of interest in the region of 1% as being succesful. And probably only 20% of the parties showing an interest would commit any investment at any level. They all wanted to see other sponsors committed to the project and a definite plan for what benefits they will see as a result. We always joked that it would be easier to find the funds to run our cars by going out and getting a full time job. In your case it might just be that way but I do wish you well.

  5. #5

    Default You Want To Go Where?

    I haven't read it myself yet but this book by Jeff Blumenfeld - which comes highly recommended by no less an authority than the editor of RoadTrip America - apparently provides extremely useful guidance on getting other people to pay for your trip.

    Another book you definitely want to read (if you haven't already done so) is Road Fever by Tim Cahill. This chronicles a speed run he and pro driver Garry Sowerby did in the opposite direction (south to north) and will give you an indication of what you'd be up against.

    You've probably come across it yourself already but, in case not, the Go-Panamerican web site looks extremely useful.

    Hope you make it happen!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Slim to none [I think Slim's left town]

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I agree with Craig I'm afraid, whereas it is possible, in the real world it is highly unlikely you would get sponsorship IMO. In a day and age where recognised people are prepared to travel the world for TV programs and the channels are full of them, the Web is full of blogs of peoples travels you have to ask yourself, "How can I get someone else to pay for our adventure of a lifetime, what can I do that will be so different from anything done before". That's the easy part, then you have to try and sell it !

    If you find the answer please let us know, millions of people have the same question.

  7. Default

    thanks vambo25 for the jumping off point.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default thinking backwards

    I agree with a lot of what has already been said. I also completely agree that Road Fever should be a must read. Its 20 years old, so its not exactly a field manual at this point, but it is a fabulous read and entertaining read for anyone interested in such an adventure.

    Sponsorship-wise, you really need to think in terms of what a potential sponsor would see as value in your trip. With the current economy, traditional advertising dollars are being cut to bare bones levels, its an extreme uphill battle to get money for a non-traditional form of advertising.

    Essentially, you need to think in terms of how you will be able to help a company get their message out - what can you bring to the table that a company couldn't get somewhere else. A trip across 2 continents might be the starting point, but its certainly not the answer to this question. Thinking that someone will give you a car just because you'll be driving in a lot of different places is pie in the sky, you need to show how your trip will make the sponsoring company more money that they are investing. If you can show how you can make a company money. Even that is still not a sure thing, but that at least will give you a chance of starting a conversation with potential sponsors. Most likely, this means you would have to make some serious changes to your trip where instead of exploring sights and places along the way, you'd be spending most of your "extra" time stopping to promote your sponsor.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default You Gotta read that book

    Jeff's new book, provides invaluable advice for doing exactly what you want to try and getting someone to pay for it. The costs of having sponsorship often exceed the "value" of the money -- but such sponsorship is also the only realistic way to get funding at the level you'll need. Before, I read Jeff's book, I would have agreed with most of the posters of this thread -- that is, you have nearly a zero chance of getting funded -- but after you've read the book, you'll be amazed with all of the source of funding out there.... Here, again is my review of this new important resource!


  10. #10


    I would still be amazed if you manage to secure funding but I would be delighted to hear how you get on when you start presenting to corporate and wish you the best of luck. Maybe you can keep us informed?

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