Small Team Sponsors

Hello!

I am part of FRC Team MRT 3216. We are the only FRC team in Montana. We are looking for larger companies to sponsor us. We have had smaller, local companies sponsor us in the past. Are there any companies willing to help out?

Thanks!
MRT 3216

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My recommendation is to go to every business you can think of in the area, get a contact on the inside (either through a contact or just asking) to talk to about FRC and ask if they are interested! You can raise a lot of money very fast by providing good details, a great presentation, and a good example. Make sure that you have some incentive for companies to sponsor, more than just a picture on a robot. Scheduled update emails, sponsor open houses(COVID approving), thank you notes, etc. Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you want any more info/advise

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I had to fact check this! I’m surprised there is only 1 team in Montana

In terms of big sponsors, the first place I would look is mentor’s companies. I know in Michigan, you can easily get some sort of money if you have a mentor on a team if they’re employed at one of the big automotive companies

It’s going to be tougher with COVID

Also, don’t underestimate small sponsors. Get a small sponsor to take care of an expensive part of the team. For example, a metal supplier for metal, a restaurant to feed the team on weekends/competitions, a hardware store for rivets and tools, etc.

Our team has over 80 sponsors, all decently small. I can count on one hand the amount of sponsors that donate over $1000

Now that’s a cool number. And pretty close to 3256 too! That’s neat.

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It’s a long shot, but heck, if you’re the only team in Montana, see if the state itself will support you. I had the opportunity to compete with a FIRST LEGO League team from Slovenia, and with the amount of “I Feel Slovenia” merch they were dishing out, I am convinced they had a direct relationship with their government.

I’m sorry to say they weren’t as cool as the team with suitcases full of Stroopwafels.

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Thank you for the advice!

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That is a great idea! I’ll look into it!

Thank you for the information and reccomendations!

We have gone to many businesses in the area. We are going to try an expand to even more business in the area. Thanks for the other information!

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Any military bases in the area or mentors who are in the services or reserves? DoD and the services are a big sponsor of a lot of teams, you might be able to get something following that path…

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I’ll look into it. Thanks!

A quick search of your school district followed by “sponsors” brought me to this list. I’d start with the companies already sponsoring your district.

https://dodstem.us/

Again I don’t know if any are close, but worth a look for you.

https://dodstem.us/blog-posts/2020/celebrating-first-robotics-2019-2020-season-achievements

Google maps can be helpful. I never knew there were so many industrial companies nearby, within a 30 minute drive. See what you can find on maps

Up in Kalispell the biggest local industry is probably building vacation homes. Maybe Missoula is close enough to take advantage of that?

New Homes Construction development maps pretty well onto FRC, and the firms tend to be privately held - so they will often have the ability to Just Write A Check in the way a publicly traded company often cant. On the other hand their cash flow is very lumpy, so they won’t always be in a position to write you a check that year.

Local chamber of commerce and local politicians can probably introduce you to the developers/prime contractors…

Edit: a lot of local contractors in plumbing and electrical already sponsor the District based on the list above, so definitely aim for the GC’s and developers…

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You can also search for various terms such as “engineering”, “manufacturing”, “fabrication”, etc. Keep in mind that sponsors don’t have to be in STEM fields. They just have to people in charge of the purse strings who value STEM education.

Do some basic homework before contacting the companies you find. Some may be branches of large companies where the staff have very limited authority to make decisions about spending money. Your best bet is to aim for companies where the decision makers are “in the building”, as @s-neff suggested.

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If you’re the only one in the state maybe talk to your local legislator, maybe the state would like to encourage this kind of STEM engagement or they might be able to hook you up with some local NGOs that can help. Also, don’t think just STEM companies. Our longest-term sponsor is a local charter bus company – (in normal years) that is so incredibly helpful. And our newest? (one of our newest, anyway) is a tiny local ice cream company. Can’t go wrong with that! Another idea might be local service clubs (Rotary, Chamber, Elks, etc)

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+1
Some of the members might also know of other companies that are in a position to sponsor your team.

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