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Are Your Events and Sponsorships Truly Performing? Check out USMA's Checklist!

Updated: Jun 11

As the summer sun blazes down on the asphalt lighting up car enthusiasts and race car engines across America, we're already fully immersed in a new season of motorsports/automotive marketing, sponsorships, and activations. Soon after, we’ll transition to bustling trade show aisles at events like SEMA and PRI.

But in the rush of it all, are we truly pausing and asking: Are we maximizing the potential of our sponsorships and event activations, or merely repeating past routines? Are decisions being driven by emotional feelings or grounded in facts?  Do we have clear ways of measuring and reporting events and sponsorships? 

Without clear answers, we risk wasting resources and missing opportunities, leading to emptiness once the event buzz fades. As we navigate through another season, prepare for upcoming fall trade shows, and set our sights on 2025 strategies, it's crucial to secure clear answers to these questions.  The USMA offers a concise checklist to guide you in ensuring your sponsorships and activations are on the right track.

Event and Sponsorship Framework Checklist

Objectives:  Have you clearly defined your goals and objectives for each sponsorship and event activation?

  • Are they specific?

  • Are they measurable?

  • Are they achievable?

  • Are they relevant?

  • Are they time-bound?

  Three Clear Objectives:

  1. __________________________________

  2. __________________________________

  3. __________________________________

Audience Knowledge:  Have you thoroughly researched and understood your target audience?

  • Are you aware that the Motorsports/Automotive audience has diverse cultures, demographics, preferences, dynamics, and behaviors?

  • Do you understand the importance of authenticity and its impact on audience engagement?

Level of Confidence:

  • Yes, we are confident in our deep understanding of the audience.

  • No, we view the audience as an opportunity but lack the confidence to approach them effectively yet.

Activation Strategy:  Do you have innovative and engaging strategies planned for each sponsorship and activation?

  • Are you leveraging the event's or sponsorship’s overall theme, dynamics, culture, and terminology effectively (e.g., digital platforms, social media, experiential marketing)?

  • Is your focus on consumer engagement or business-to-business connections, or something else?

  • Do your plans reflect your goal?

  • Are you creating standout displays, attracting attention creatively, building relationships, and forming emotional connections?

Partnership Qualifications:  Do you have the right partners for sponsorships and events?

Partner Selection Criteria:

  • Have event organizers or sponsorship seekers invested time in understanding your brand, or are they solely focused on acquiring funds quickly?

  • Have you negotiated offers, display space, branding opportunities, and overall pricing effectively?

  • Does your sponsorship align with your listed objectives, and have you communicated this clearly to your sponsorship and event partners?

  • Can the sponsor or event organizer effectively implement your activation strategy within your budget?

  • Are you buying an off-the-shelf program, or working with the event sponsor to mold your program into your vision?

Analyzing, Tracking, Reporting Mechanisms:

  • Are you learning through facts or feelings?

  • Did you survey your target audience and gain data to ensure you’re on the right track?

  • Do you have methods in place to measure success?

  • How will you report internally within your organization to clearly show success or failure?

  • If asked to give a 30-second pitch for or against the event or sponsorship, could you do it?

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the complexities of Motorsports/Automotive event planning and sponsorship management, don't worry—you're not alone. The USMA's expert team of event planners and sponsorship consultants is here to help. With our deep industry knowledge and proven strategies, we can ensure your events and sponsorships are not only well-organized but also highly effective. Contact us today to learn how we can help you maximize your opportunities, engage your audience authentically, and achieve your goals with precision and impact. Let’s work together to make your next event a resounding success!

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