This idea has been in the works for a while, but now it’s happening, and just in time.  When we helped introduce Jumbotrons to the course in 2009, it was a fun experiment.  Now it’s practically a necessity.  Can you imagine not being able to see what was going on in the chute while you’re at hill 2?  Actually, most of you probably can because you were around before 2009, but I think we can agree it’s a pretty awesome addition.

The only problem is that Jumbotrons and other pro-spectator efforts like our printed Raceday Guide don’t come cheap.  A pair of jumbotrons for the weekend is in the neighborhood of $10k.  Printing 2,000-3,000 color copies is more than most people can pull off on the sly at work.  We’ve kicked in $1,000 each year from our Lead Truck Auction, and Alumni Relations has contributed, but much of the rest has basically just put Sweeptakes into the red each year.  That’s not sustainable.

Luckily, raceday is an exciting event with lots of eyes from high quality demographics, and we think that there are lots of companies out there who would love to help support buggy and be part of such an important event at CMU.  We will be introducing a number of sponsorship opportunities this year for the first time, and we hope your company wants a piece of the action.  Most notably, both jumbotrons will have sponsorship banners flanking the screen, and our printed raceday guide will carry sponsored logos.

Some of the spaces are already sold, but we’re looking for more support.  Download this PDF and show it to someone in your company who makes these decisions.  It briefly explains what buggy is and has rates for the different placement options.

Buggy Sponsorship Information 2012

You might notice that raceday is not that far away and that we need commitments even sooner (2 weeks from today!).  We realize corporate decisions don’t always happen this fast.  We hoped to have this together quite a while ago, but it’s our first time in this arena.  If your company loves the idea but can’t make it happen, we understand.  If you can make it happen … awesome, let’s do it!





10 thoughts on “Ask your employer: Don’t you want to sponsor Buggy?”

  • the notion of buggy being a corporate sponsored event doesn’t really sit well with me. i realize that at the moment, it’s basically this or no jumbotrons, and since i don’t have a particularly viable alternate funding solution, i’m basically just griping out loud, but there’s something nice about going to see raceday and not seeing advertisements everywhere. buggy has generally been a university and alumni sustained entity; something feels wrong about placing objects on raceday that are basically revenue-generating devices. if they’re such a financial burden that we can’t have them without selling advertising space, maybe we don’t really need them?

    if i had a pile of cash burning a hole in my pocket, i’d honestly buy out a sponsorship slot myself and just leave it blank, but alas, i am a mere carnegie mellon university employee being paid one and a half beans.

    • I am honestly sympathetic to this feeling, but after careful consideration of the options, I really think that having both sponsors and spectator enhancements is better than having neither. I think that what it comes down to aesthetically for me is that once you’ve got a 15 foot LED jumbotron on top of a 20 foot trailer with it’s own generator and sound system, I don’t think adding 28 sq ft of sponsors is what crosses the line to gaudy. I love rolls for the quiet purity of buggy. I love raceday for the intense and exciting atmosphere.

      It’s worth noting that most of the companies we’ve talked with so far are interested not because they want to sell us something but because they want to be more visible to our talented students who make good employees. I think most people have positive feelings about enabling companies to recruit our graduates while supporting one of our coolest traditions.

      • for the record, it’s not gaudy that bothers me, it’s advertising. regardless of the intent or nature of advertising, it is something that lowers the signal to noise ratio, and turns spectatorship into a commodity. that’s not why i go to raceday.

  • I know the feeling and if we didn’t need the money, I might agree that we should try to keep it separate and make it seem more like a way to get away from our daily lives and just enjoy and reminisce. But sadly, like Sam said buggy has been slowly making a comeback and the jumbotrons have helped a lot. I feel like getting rid of them, though it would lighten the financial load, would really take away from the race as a whole.

    I know my company wants to sponsor because, as a pittsburgh start-up, most of our people are CMU and a good number of them are buggy alums too. I feel like getting those companies with people who understand buggy are the ones we want to get sponsoring, at least to start with.

    anyway, my 2 cents.

  • I’m scared by the precedent this may set. I would be heartbroken if buggies stopped looking like and started looking like; if “CIA” and “Fringe” became “Samsung CIA” and “IBM Fringe”. Are there rules that place limits on how far corporate sponsorship can go? Do we need them? Do we want to need them?

  • Leaning towards the positive side, sponsorship could lead to cheaper avenues for CMU students to grab materials to build. The more accessible the materials the more potential for new buggies and orgs. Money and finding cheap yet quality items (especially wheels and carbon fiber) that fit within the small budgets are hard for new orgs. We’re going to run xootrs for the foreseeable future because of the financial burden wheels present. So basically we won’t compete.
    If some sort of rubber company or something like that sponsored sweepstakes, which led to us contacting them and receiving a sweet deal on competitive wheels (that aren’t 2 hundred freeking dollars a wheel) it could diversify day 2 which I believe to be a good thing. If the patriots were able to qualify for 3 playoff spots, and the steelers or patriots and giants or packers won the the super bowl every year I think people would get bored with the NFL pretty quick.

  • Connor, connor, connor…. Xootrs are competitive wheels. Trust me on that. TRUST ME ON THAT. And also trust me that buying the nicest carbon fiber and wheels will **NOT** make you a good team. In any way.

    As for getting sponsors for materials, I will quit all this the day I see a FibreGlast logo on the side of a buggy, and then promptly vomit. While I agree with you that SDC having 4 spots in the finals is borderline ridiculous, I don’t want to see teams get sponsored.
    That’s a flat out no.

    However, I DO support BAA getting local and corporate sponsors for raceday. If I were say, Boeing, I’d have a pretty good interest in seeing some of the mechanical engineers’ handiwork! Furthermore, I think local businesses could get their name out to the local crowd if we reach out to them. I agree with Vincent’s point that advertising feels a little raw for such a home-grown sport, but as a homegrown sport, it’s constantly evolving, and I think the recent developments with photo-finish and Jumbotrons have made it more attractive to campus (and hopefully will boost involvement).

  • For the record: CMU’s Undergraduate Student Senate made a special allocation of $5000 towards Sweepstakes for the jumbotrons last Thursday (29 March).

    One of the reasons why getting the money was a problem this time was because of a misinterpretation of the budget submitted last year – JFC allocated $2500 instead of $5000 for the jumbotrons, thinking that it was $2500 per screen and that one would be enough.

    Also this year, Sweepstakes/cmuTV was planning on using the same jumbotrons that were being used at a Pens game right before carnival – except NHL rescheduling meant those screens were no longer available and Sweepstakes had to scramble to get a new deal.

    However, judging by how money continues to get tight with the demand for more funding far outpacing the increase in the student activities fees, I see this to be a problem in future years as well and I think we need to start thinking about a better long term solution.

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