Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sponsorship and Adventure Travel - Who Needs Sponsorship? Bicycle Touring, Adventure Racing and Global Expeditions...




Sponsorship is a vital link in the chain between the explorer and the the dream expedition. So, what is the recipe for gaining corporate sponsorship? Perhaps, it takes creative genius - An adventurer willing to map out something extreme and desirable (Running from Pole to PoleWalking Home from MongoliaRound the World Cycle ExpeditionCircumnavigate China (make a Guinness World Record, then plan another like circumnavigating India on motorcycles (and compare the sponsorship lists between the first China ride and the second India ride), or for a rather extreme example of fame and expeditions, you become a famous actor and take the Long Way Round, or television personality who loves adventure to try to become the first to cycle to the South Pole  just to name a few here). All of them have used their talents, connections or their own creative abilities to share their experience in the public (media attention, blogging, news and/or television appearances, foundation links, credit and credibility that the product or service a company is offering is valuable to the companies that supported them). The audience could be as small as a few friends trying out a famous race as individuals or big when they build an audience in the thousands. The idea for the expedition needs to be sound, purposeful, connected to community in some way, and require use of a product or service that generates interest and hopefully for the marketing department - more interest, more customers.

Most large companies have been in business for many years, have now well established reputations by producing and standing by their craft, research and development and support community development or environmental protection programs. Northface as an example, supports community programs which is good for community and supports a philanthropic corporate image. Although their tents, outdoor kit and clothing is used in a wide variety of situations and sports - they only sponsor a select athletic activitiesThese products or services that has been designed, tested and are being promoted by a field of professional atheletes.


In any major sporting industry - from extreme mountain bikers, global explorers, mountaineers, ocean rowers, arctic and polar adventurers, extreme sports enthusiasts (name them), and let's not forget the long-distance touring cyclists, are all adventurers with a unique drive to take on the world, all also trying to succeed using the right equipment.  


The bigger geographical expeditions, however, require more planning, logistics and financial investment to prepare and share them in professional media venues, and finally launch while maintaining social connection with an audience as the expedition is live in the field. The more "live broadcast" the expedition or sporting event is receiving or transmitting through Satellite in remote locations, the greater the potential for sponsors to capture their target audience. Not all events are equal, nor are they broadcast the same way. And some require a great deal of planning and preparation - some seek professional advice.


Gaining sponsorship takes time, commitment and a partnership formed from a mutually-beneficial relationship. Companies need marketing, but most successful companies already spend millions of dollars to successfully capture their customers interest, time in the field of expeditions and money invested in the quality gear upfront definitelty proves something to potential sponsors down the road - that you have commitment. And some have enough talent to make a movie. Now that is going to bring home support for expeditions.


Starting off as a new explorer, adventurer, travel writer, ambassador isn't easy and most established companies have lists of applicants asking for their commitment, support, free product and/or service.


A friend and sponsored long-distance cyclist recently said to me, "What makes you different from all the other world touring cyclists out there?" Sponsors want to find something or someone that is pitching something unique, professional photography, advice about creating or carrying out expeditions, or the lucky ones that just complete expeditions, many of them over a lifetime and others that publicise it as television programming. Some operate on small budget adventures, others take on almost impossible odds to reach the Poles. Whatever your talent may well be, it better be thoughtout and trained and tested in the field.


It's best to use the sponsors equipment or services first, and talk about what it does for you. Also proving the expeditions are worthwhile and can be continued in the future draws interest -but sustainable (and successful) races, treks, attempts to reach the poles, start new expeditions - are all really what everyone is reaching for, isn't it? This is an important consideration for explorers and their sponsors to understand that the journey isn't over when the trip ends, the contract binds the explorer to share it with their audience, big or small.  


Skills in expedition scheduling is a careful consideration - how much time do you have to compete and complete the races, expedition, ocean row, canoe journey -time management in exploring starts from planning, preparation, training and continues until completing whatever goals were drawn from the beginning. This is so important, calculating and creating outcomes, placement in races, completion in endurance, and sharing when the experiences can be worked into material suitable for blogs, social media, corporate media or public broadcasting


How much is this expedition going to cost me and how am I going to pay for it? 


How can you travel the world and still have time and money to afford to travel some more? Afterall, expeditions are forms of traveling - although the conditions may be extreme.  Before asking for something in return for the time and effort you've put into planning, complete an expedition, a race on your calendar, or start recording events and share them when they happen. After all of that, return from events you planned and executed with results - spending time searching for sponsors will hopefully speed up a notch or two.  


Completing expeditions, competing in internationally recognized events, or researching and doing something different - will all help the process of gaining sponsorship a possibility, rather than remaining a distant notion or vague idea. 


Work a little more, save a little more, test out yourself on local events, regional cycle rides or races, or train for the Himalayas closer to home first. And buy and use the equipment you really need to get the job done safely and professionally - that's a start and will require enough effort, time and money to make results payoff.


There are lists of equipment manufacturers posted in many successful blogs offering 'information' and they have afterall worked hard sharing information through that website (which helps their sponsors attract new customers who want to do the same thing). Most well known online retailers you know will carry the new equipment required for your next adventure, expedition, race or round-the-world tour. But do your homework first, determine what products you really need, and can they be found locally - another brand with similar quality perhaps? Can you build one yourself, could you do with just the basics to get started? 


Some of the best travelers and explorers known in the world started out without sponsors, without credit to anyone but themselves and their keen interest and satisfaction at going out into the world, equipped for what they were getting themselves into, and came back as Adventurers with stories to tell their friends and families and found sponsors later. And perhaps, afterall, that is what exploring is all about  - taking on a big adventure, challenging yourself, pushing to new limits, and coming home to share the experience with others. If the adventures take on new heights, the sponsors will understand what you need and offer it to you.


I have been fortunate to have a family which supports my dreams, and accepts the idea of global exploring. This hasn't been easy to come away with as a father, teacher and adventurer wrapped up in one. It's taken time, new experiences and development, long and thoughtout negotiations with a spouse, the long gaps of time between adventures - filled with work schedules, family obligations and the training required to return to expeditions in the coming year. It's tough and at times - very stressful trying to live both lives at home, and out on the road where adventures live and breathe with opportunities, risks, and new hopes.


But nothing is impossible - Inspiration is out there, a living adventure in our daily lives. It just takes time, pressure, creativity and experience to know how to design a life that is worth living, and risks in adventure that are worth taking. I appreciate all the chances I have been given, all the blessings, and luck to complete the missions.Himalayas and western China by bike in 2011 and Crossing Mongolia in 2012 and I shared thoughts about being a father and an explorer with Global Explorer - Mikael Strandberg after successfully completing my second major, independent expedition of Outer Mongolia by bike.


Inspiration and the will to overcome -are essential ingredients for explorers and adventure seekers at achiving all their dreams and reaching the end of the road - a measureable success and life experience, big or small.


Life is good - when I live to Ride.


Sincerely,


Brian

Sponsors – currently seeking partnerships. 

Please contact me to discuss partnerships.  bpexpedition@gmail.com

 Thanks to all supporters of these expeditions:

THANK YOU – DONGJIN IMPORTS, SOUTH KOREA – DJSPORTS.CO.KR FOR SUPPORTING CROSSING MONGOLIAX2012 EXPEDITION PROVIDING A M240S TITANIUM FRAME FROM THEIR STOCK. DONGJIN IMPORTS IS A PRESTIGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY IMPORTING WORLD CLASS BICYCLES AND COMPONENTS TO SOUTH KOREA.
LYNSKEY PERFORMANCE USA, THE ORIGINAL MAKERS OF HIGH QUALITY PRESTIGE TITANIUM BICYCLES (LITESPEED) AND COMPONENTS. SPONSOR PROVIDED ASSISTANCE WITH A SPECIAL MODEL RACING/XC MOUNTAIN BIKE FRAME USED EXCLUSIVELY WHILE COMPLETING A 2499KM EXPEDITION-TYPE MOUNTAIN BIKE CROSSING OF OUTER MONGOLIA. INCREDIBLE SUPPORT/GENEROSITY CAME FROM THEIR SALES REPRESENTATIVE WHO COMMUNICATED WITH DONGJIN SPORTS, SOUTH KOREA TO FINALIZE THE SPONSOR SUPPORT. BIG! THANK YOU TO THE ENTIRE TEAM IN TENNESSEE HELPING TO MAKE THIS EXPEDITION A SUCCESS IN 2012.
  LYNSKEY, USA MAKERS OF LIGHTER AND STRONGER TITANIUM BIKES!
MODEL: M240S, FRAME SIZE: 19″ WHEEL DIMENSION: 26″
ATTILA BICYCLE STORE AND PRO SHOP, ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA  
(located behind TREK BICYCLES)
INCREDIBLE STAFF, LOGISTICS SUPPORT OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL, EXCELLENT SELECTION OF SPARE COMPONENTS, 3 RACKS, MECHANICS READY TO HELP, FREE LABOR ON PARTS/SERVICE, BRAKE COMPONENTS TO ASSIST A KOREAN TEAM IN DISTRESS. 
ASK FOR NARAN FOR SUPPORT WHILE CYCLING IN MONGOLIA.

Commuter Bicycles, Santa Barbara, California, USA
COMMUTER BICYCLES, SANTA BARBARA, USA ERIC PROVIDING OPEN COMMUNICATION AND SPONSOR SUPPORT WITH A DISCOUNTED PROFESSIONAL TREKKING BICYCLE
THE KOGA-MIYATA WORLD TRAVELLER AND SPECIAL EXPEDITION COMPONENT REPLACEMENTS. 2 SADDLES, REPAIR KIT INCLUDED.
AND SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THE PRIVATE SPONSORS WHO STEPPED FORWARD AND OTHERS WHO ALWAYS BELIEVED IN EXPEDITIONS
THE MONGOLIAN NOMADS AND THEIR FAMILIES THAT GRACIOUSLY SUPPORTED THE ENTIRE EXPEDITION. 
MIGA BAASKA - SUPPORTED THE MONGOLIA EXPEDITION, PROVIDING LOGISTICS AND PARTS IN THE MONGOLIAN STEPPE. MIGA RIDES FOR TEAM ATTILA BIKES, MONGOLIA.
NARAN, OWNER/OPERATOR OR ATTILA BICYCLES, ULANBAATAR, MONGOLIA 
JEFF LIEBSCH - BUSAN HAPS, JOURNALIST
BRYAN KAY - JOURNALIST
DON ERWIN - LYNSKEY PERFORMANCE BICYCLES, USA - MARKETING MANAGEMENT
MECHEL KAI – KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII, USA (CYCLIST)
TIM COPELAND, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (CYCLIST)
MURRAY DU PLESSIS (CYCLIST AND VEGETARIAN AFICIONADO) 
DR. BRIAN THOMAS SULLIVAN, ONTARIO, CANADA (CYCLIST)
CARL BENTLEY, PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA (CYCLIST)
JAMES PENLINGTON, GLAND, SWITZERLAND (INTERNATIONAL LAWYER)
DAVE BABCOCK, GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN USA (LONG-TIME SUPPORTER)
MALCOLM WESLEY WREST, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (CYCLIST)
GREGORY AND LI WEN SCHILLER, BELLE RIVER, CANADA (ENTREPRENEUR)
SAROJ KUMAR NAYAK, DELHI, INDIA (TOURISM EVENT PROMOTIONS, MTB!INDIA)
KOB FU, NONTHABURI, THAILAND (CYCLIST/ADVENTURER)
JEFFREY R. RAMSAY, TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA (SURVIVOR PARAPLEGIC)
VYACHESLAV STOYANOV, SOFIA, BULGARIA (CYCLIST/EXPLORER/ADVENTURER)
MATTHEW PAUL MCKINNON, MORRINSVILLE, NEW ZEALAND (CYCLIST/ADVENTURER)
RICK GUNN (SOULCYCLER.COM ADVENTURE CYCLIST/AUTHOR/SPEAKER)
NICHOLAI BANGSGAARD, MIDDLEFART, DENMARK (RTW CYCLIST)
ALASTAIR HUMPHREYS, LONDON, ENGLAND (RTW CYCLIST/EXPLORER/ADVENTURER)
TIM TRAVIS, DOWNTHEROAD.ORG (LONG-ROAD CYCLIST, ENTREPRENEUR)
ANTUN COLIG, ZAGREB, CROATIA (CYCLIST AND TRUCK DRIVER)
TOM ALLEN, LONDON, ENGLAND (MTB ADVENTURER/FILM MAKER)
AMY, DAVID, NADIA, SONJA, BEULAH, MICHIGAN, USA (FAMILY)
LARS BENGTSSON, SWEDEN and the WORLD, THE LOST CYCLIST 
ROB HILL, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA (EXPLORER)
ANTONY JINMAN, PLYMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM (EXPLORER)
AMAZING EDDY GLAYZER, EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN (CYCLIST)
GARETH ZANE BARKER, GIMPO, SOUTH KOREA (ENTREPRENEUR CYCLIST)
PANYAPHICHAIYUT OATCHATHANIT, UDON, THAILAND (CYCLIST)
LINDA BARON, WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA (CYCLIST)
CIRO VIVIANO, WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA (CYCLIST, MAPLE LEAF CC)
GREG ALLEN, WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA (CYCLIST, MAPLE LEAF CC)
MAPLE LEAF CYCLING CLUB, WINDSOR, CANADA (MY CANADA TEAM)
STEFAN PINCKNEY (ADVENTURER AND CYCLIST)
PATRIK LECHNER, TAIPEI, TAIWAN (LONG-DISTANCE CYCLIST)
AND ALL OTHER FRIENDS WHO ALWAYS ENCOURAGED ME (:

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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.


In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.


Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.


The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).


Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

Thanks for visiting my Journal from Asia

I hope you enjoy the updates!

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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