Earlier this year I made the announcement that we are going to be starting our SBSC brand awareness initiatives with to-customer marketing of the SBSC ‘Blue badge’ for brand awareness. Since that time, we have launched initiatives such as We’ve Gotta Guy (which is now going international), the SBSC Small Business Summit player, added placements on the Microsoft Small Business Center, and more. Now, I am happy to announce the next step in this effort. This one not only works towards building SBSC brand awareness, but also creates an opportunity for each of the Microsoft Small Business Specialists to grow their own brand awareness and reach.
Microsoft, through the Microsoft U.S. Small Business Team (I just finalized the details on this late yesterday, which is why I’m posting it on a Saturday), has just become one of the sponsors of the No. 49 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team for the 2008 season. This sponsorship provides a connection to approximately 75 million NASCAR fans here in the U.S. The Microsoft sponsorship will feature the Microsoft Small Business name as well as the Microsoft Small Business Specialist (SBSC) ‘blue badge,’ which designates those Microsoft Partners who specialize on servicing the needs of small businesses.
This sponsorship, which showcases Microsoft Small Business as well as our Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partners, will hopefully not only raise more awareness of the professional solutions, services and assistance available to small businesses everywhere from Microsoft and its Partners, but it will also provide an opportunity for our Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partners to tap into a marketing venue not seen as financially available to many before.
With this sponsorship, the Microsoft Small Business name, as well as the Microsoft Small Business Specialist ‘blue badge,’ will be shown in a Microsoft section on the #49 car for all remaining races of the 2008 season. To further assist the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partners take advantage of this sponsorship opportunity, the BAM Racing Team has put together a sponsorship package which will be made available to Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partners through this sponsorship. This promotional package will include items such as:
- The SBSC Company’s Logo or Name will be placed in the Microsoft section on the #49 car for the remaining races for 2008. (allow up to two weeks from time of logo submission until placement on the car)
- A custom Promo Race Video that can be used online or on TV for marketing purposes.
- A custom Sponsor Promo-Pack which includes a Custom Sponsorship Icon, Official Sponsorship Certificate, and Royalty Free Image License (they will create images of the car with your logo shown as the primary sponsor and give them to you to use in your marketing and advertising).
- A custom Race Website with the SBSC Company’s Logo or Name
- A custom VIP Race Weekend Sweepstakes Program designed to get the SBSC Partner’s customers coming back over and over to their custom race website. Plus, a Custom Race Weekly Newsletter available to be automatically sent to all email registrants from their website.
- Custom “On Hold” messages for the SBSC company’s phone system announcing that the company is a proud sponsor of BAM Racing
- 2 General Admission Tickets to the race of their choice* (subject to availability)
- Possible Free Primary sponsorship – One business will be chosen to receive a Free Primary race sponsorship (Your logo/brand becomes the primary one on the car for a race), valued at over $300,000 by the #49 team
- Custom Press Release for the Microsoft SBSC Partner to use highlighting the new sponsorship.
- An exclusive promotional price of $3,995, which includes all of the above for the remainder of the 2008 season. This is a one-time fee only and it gets you all of the items above, including your logo on the car in the Microsoft section for the remainder of the season!
To kick off this sponsorship and the Microsoft Small Business Specialist sponsorship opportunity, the BAM Racing No. 49 car will feature a full-car Microsoft Small Business theme (primary sponsorship) for the March 30, 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next Sunday at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA. The car will show Microsoft Small Business and the Microsoft Small Business Specialist ‘blue badge’ across the entire car. (click images of the car spread throughout this post). In addition, very shortly an SBSC promotional sponsorship page will be posted where our Microsoft Small Business Specialists will be able to sign up for this exciting offer using a promotional code we will be providing you with. With this code, you will be able to use to get the entire sponsorship package, including having your logo being placed in our section of the car for the remainder of the season, for the $3,995 one-time fee.
We think this is a very exciting opportunity to work with all of our Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partners and BAM Racing to really drive some awareness and excitement around SBSC and Microsoft solutions for Small Business. For those of you looking to join us through this offering, please keep an eye out for the notification of where to get your promotional code at from me or the U.S. SBSC Partner Team once the sign-up page goes live. You can also feel free to drop me a line through the Blog and I’ll be happy to add you to the “notify me” list so you can be among the first to join in when the sponsorship sign-up page goes live.
So whether you are a NASCAR fan or a Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partner today or not, you may want to check out the race next Sunday at 1:30 EST/10:30 am PST to see the Microsoft/SBSC sponsored #49 BAM Racing car and cheer Ken Schrader and the team on! If you are a Microsoft Small Business Specialist, you may want to look into whether this is an opportunity you want to participate in. If you are a Microsoft Partner that focuses on serving the needs of small business and you are not a Microsoft Small Business Specialist yet, what are you waiting for? It may be time to “start your engines” and join the SBSC Program today!
Thank you and have a wonderful day,
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights