About Corporate Sponsorship

As an excited team exploding into its ninth FIRST season, Team Combustion knows as well as anyone the importance -and sometimes challenges- involved with finding corporate sponsorship. Fortunately for today's aspiring engineers, many influential businesses and organizations are constantly on the lookout for a way to give back to their world and prepare for a brighter tomorrow. If contacted and informed of your team's promising future and financial needs, most will generously provide the funding necessary for robots and trips to come.

To start with, Team Combustion prowled our local community for large, established groups that could afford to sponsor the team. Does your team have any mentor contacts with NASA, Boeing, or Raytheon, for example? Take advantage of your connections to find out when these companies draw their grant application deadlines, and even if your team isn't wired around yet, Let Us Google That for You. Once a schedule for request submissions exists- the more sponsors on board with your team the better- you can work on highlighting your team strengths and potential. Don't be too modest; now's the time to show companies why they should invest money in your kids and their FIRST experience.

Something else to keep in mind is that corporate sponsors do not have to limited to STEM-related groups. In fact, consider reaching out for non-technical potential sponsors a good way of spreading the wildfire. Look for local stores that you visit regularly- try to chat up a relationship with a Wal-Mart, Lowe's, or even a Raisin' Cane's. Be creative in pursuing your sponsors. It's not fair to let entire businesses stay oblivious to FIRST just because they're not STEM- affiliated.

Finally, it's similarly important -not to mention courteous-to keep up with your sponsors. After generous support for your team, your robot-building, and your outreach package, corporate sponsors deserve a warm show of gratitude in return. A genuine thanks doesn't have to be over-the-top; a nice thank-you letter will often do. Team Combustion actually opts to send commemorative plaques to honor our sponsors' acts on our behalf. Visit your sponsors' facilities if you can (and they want you to). We love to speak briefly about who we are at meetings and event days, sometimes even showing up with the latest robot for the extra "wow" factor. Finding a magnanimous sponsor is only the start; like in the real science and engineering world, a firm, sustained partnership will always be an answer to your team's financial success.

When Team 1912 travels, we carry handouts to educate community members and sponsors about how we function

1912 At a Glance- a concise document that illustrates our team's involvement with FIRST, within our schools, and throughout our community.

Sponsorship Presentation- a slideshow that introduces FIRST, shares our history and structure, and discusses corporate sponsorship.

Brochure- a brief overview of the major aspects of our team and FIRST as well as contact information.

Sustainment Presentation- a helpful how-to guide for all teams on how to become financially secure