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Old 15th Dec 2008, 12:51   #1
Bindibadgi
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Obtaining Sponsorship: What NOT to do

This is a topic that has turned into something very serious in the last six months and now I want to make sure everyone understands the boundaries.

We will always endeavour to support the community wherever we can but let us make this clear: occasionally bit-tech chooses who to work with modders, offering support on upcoming case mods that we feel meet the grade for manufacturer support. This requires us to manage kit allocation closely with the industry, and balance its acquisition along with other things that benefit the community like competitions. However, it has come to our attention that at least a handful of people who post project logs on the bit-tech forums have been contacting companies without our knowledge or expressed permission, asking for hardware while claiming to have bit-tech's backing and direct support.

We have to stress that this will NO LONGER be tolerated and in response to this, every single one of our industry partners has been informed to ignore requests on behalf of bit-tech if they do not come from a bit-tech or Dennis Publishing employee. We have also asked the manufacturers, where possible, to inform us of who is carrying out these activities. We will not tolerate blag behaviour using our name at the possible expense of our community's reputation. Only companies we personally contact with the modder will be given support in an official capacity, but that certainly doesn't stop people seeking sponsorship entirely without our involvement.

We're sorry we have to resort to this rather firm warning, but the number of manufacturers coming to us to ask if we are supporting a modder using our name has grown exponentially in recent months.

Further Clarification

Our Guide to Mod Sponsorship
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 21:37   #2
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just to be clear... this doesn't mean we can't specify or link to our project logs on bit-tech, right? so long as we're not claiming any other affiliation beyond community membership.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 21:44   #3
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I have the same question as modminded - as my project log here on bit-tech (and a few other forums) is something that I've consistently referred to when seeking sponsorship. As well, I've mentioned my involvement as a nominee for MOTM.

I hope this wasn't against anybody's wishes - if so I apologize sincerely.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 23:06   #4
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I have a similar confusion.

I am building a project based on a Jetway motherboard with Crucial memory that I purchased with my own funds. It is currently up for MOTM and doing well in the voting. The project log has been well received by the forum community members. Now the confusion is - If I were to plan another build using these same manufacturers' products, I could not approach them myself and show them the link to either my project log or the vote tallies for MOTM as supporting evidence for a sponsorship request?
I have never looked for a sponsor yet so I am confused.

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Old 15th Dec 2008, 23:09   #5
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No, I think what Bindi's stating is that there are some yet-unnamed individuals that are approaching manufacturers, i.e. sponsors, for sponsorship and lying to them about Bit-Tech supporting them in an official capacity. I don't think it would be against the rules for a modder to refer to his/her's project logs, wherever they happen to be located, when approaching companies for sponsorship. I mean, frankly, how would they check out your work otherwise aside from hosting your own logs on your own site (which is doable as well, obviously)?

Please correct me if I'm mistaken.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 00:06   #6
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just to be clear... this doesn't mean we can't specify or link to our project logs on bit-tech, right? so long as we're not claiming any other affiliation beyond community membership.
Basically, trying to pull a fast one for free kit at bit-tech communities expense = no-no.

Just when personally seeking sponsorship you can't insinuate to "being on bit-tech" as front page material (i.e. content controlled by the staff, or supported by the staff) when you're just posting a project log in the forums.

Feel free to post sponsorship that you've got - I know people have some great relationships with manufacturers without our help and that's obviously absolutely fine!! We're not here to take that away from you. Post links to these manuf. and pics of sponsorship - that's cool, the relationship is strictly between you and them.

It's ONLY when we get companies calling us claiming "where is this mod and our link" when we have no idea - it's just some forumite that decided they couldn't be bothered half way through and kept the kit, for example. That ruins it for everyone.

Linking anywhere you want, adding pictures to albums, adding your own personally sought sponsors = absolutely.

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No, I think what Bindi's stating is that there are some yet-unnamed individuals that are approaching manufacturers, i.e. sponsors, for sponsorship and lying to them about Bit-Tech supporting them in an official capacity. I don't think it would be against the rules for a modder to refer to his/her's project logs, wherever they happen to be located, when approaching companies for sponsorship. I mean, frankly, how would they check out your work otherwise aside from hosting your own logs on your own site (which is doable as well, obviously)?

Please correct me if I'm mistaken.
This is exactly right. 99% of you carry on as normal.

This is also why we've also started the mail-in suggestions so we don't miss the awesome mods and can work with potential new talent in an official capacity in the future.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 00:07   #7
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Thanks bindi!
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 00:09   #8
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+1 from me.

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Old 16th Dec 2008, 00:23   #9
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Sorry I edited that like 6 times in the last 10 mins

I've also changed the email in thread too a bit.

The idea for 2009 since we *should* have more resources to better support the modding community where we can and to be more proactive on the awesome work people do. Since CPC also do modding it makes sense to tap this HUGE HUGE wealth of talent for both online and potentially print too. We need to get some internal structuring sorted first but it should be good next year for you guys too if things work out
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 00:46   #10
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This was the only sentence that confused me a lot
Only companies we personally contact with the modder will be given official support.

Personally, I didn't know that Bit-Tech or the staff or the parent company ever did work with the modder. That is nice to know. It's not often one finds a forum that works with the members. Most just supply space for words and they are done.
Thanx for all the explanations, and I do remember from a few years ago some flapup about users getting kit and bailing.

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Old 16th Dec 2008, 00:51   #11
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Cool, thanks for the clarification.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 08:53   #12
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This was the only sentence that confused me a lot
Only companies we personally contact with the modder will be given official support.
Fixed.

Quote:
Personally, I didn't know that Bit-Tech or the staff or the parent company ever did work with the modder. That is nice to know. It's not often one finds a forum that works with the members. Most just supply space for words and they are done.
Thanx for all the explanations, and I do remember from a few years ago some flapup about users getting kit and bailing.

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Old 16th Dec 2008, 11:18   #13
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Just a note from the other end of the story:

Our company has been contacted on numerous occasions for sponsorship "deals", they often mention company names and well known forums as references.

Obviously as a mod-shop this comes out of our advertising budget, and my pocket, so we like to make sure that its all above-board, and make the appropriate calls before settling on anything.
As with all advertising, which this form of sponsorship is - we want a return in investment.
We currently have one modder on-board, and im sure that it will come out very well (it should do, as we're painting it!)

These large companies get tens of requests every day, but i think its a bit sloppy on their end for not checking up on these things before agreeing.

However this is no excuse - if your not 100% affiliated with a company - dont claim to be, you'll get abuse back instead of a simple - "sorry, no"

I know quite a few people at Dennis - and they would fully agree with what Bindibadgi has said.

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Old 16th Dec 2008, 14:03   #14
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I know it seems offtopic, but as a beginner I'd very much like to see a "how to" with some advice for the best way to approach companies. I've written half a dozen of mails seeking sponsorship, and i never got as much as a "sorry, no" back.

Now that i think about it, i _really_ hope none of my mails were misinterpreted as claiming "official" support from you guys. I never mentioned any support from you guys, but i never explicitly mentioned the fact that i'm just a member either...
All this was months ago, so i doubt it is me that's the culprit here though.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 14:11   #15
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This is exactly right. 99% of you carry on as normal.

This is also why we've also started the mail-in suggestions so we don't miss the awesome mods and can work with potential new talent in an official capacity in the future.
Ah, sweet. Good to know. Thanks, Bindi.

Honestly, the modest amount of 'sponsorship' I get occasionally is merely from folks who approach me. I've never pursued sponsorship through anyone simply because I was raised old-fashioned; i.e. you'll get something if you deserve it!

I'll state again for anyone looking in on the thread wondering about sponsorship...

An easy stripped-down answer would be that you have to have a few really top-notch mods under your belt before expecting any kind of sponsorship. It's not an issue of getting free stuff from manufacturers; it's a business 'partnership' in the sense that you would basically be modeling their hardware/name for them. An advertisement if you will. Mod mod mod and if you're good enough you'll get noticed.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 14:21   #16
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I know it seems offtopic, but as a beginner I'd very much like to see a "how to" with some advice for the best way to approach companies.
Been there, done that:

http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2007..._sponsorship/1

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Old 16th Dec 2008, 14:21   #17
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Xtrafresh - What where you offering them in return for their investement?
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 15:25   #18
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I'm glad this issue has been brought up. I'm usually not that vocal in my comments, but I think there is a misconception by new modders, and it's been noted by others above. They simply think of a sponsorship as "Ooh, free hardware!" As stated before, it's really more complicated than that, and simply having a great idea isn't enough. Past projects, and the ability to follow-up are critical. They want to have faith in you, that your vision will be delivered. Not only that, but it should be done in a timely manner.

In all honesty, even with a few cool projects under my belt, I'm not guaranteed any sponsorship. It's something you need to work at. Be persistent without annoying. You have to sell yourself, and your project. Why will people notice it? What makes it unique? If you have definitive answers for those questions, your odds of a manufacturer taking notice, greatly increase. For example, when I started work on the Rogue, the only one that had a vision of the completed project, was myself. I had no way to explain to anyone exactly what I was trying to attempt. Sure, I had a huge list of goals, but nothing I could truly show anyone. So, why is this relevant? Sketchup, ViaCAD, AutoCAD, Solidworks, or Adobe... Use any of them or all of them. Get your concept worked out! It's something I didn't do, but will do with every project from now on. Anyway, excuse my ramblings... Mod on!
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 15:41   #19
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Ok, i'm hush and i'm reading! Why did i never find that? Probably because i only used the forum search, not the site search! Anyway, thx Bindi!

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Xtrafresh - What where you offering them in return for their investement?
I didn't expect any freebees. I really understand a company's need to see ROI, and i wasn't expecting much, nor was i asking for much. What i was offering them was exposure on the LANs i attend, and these and other forums that i've posted my project on, plus any feedback on the product that i have while using it.

I was really hoping for one or two companies putting in some tidbits here and there, giving me a chance to build up a relationship. Much like you people are saying, i realised i didn't have enough to offer yet, so I'll try later when i have more time and more portfolio.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 16:08   #20
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fair enough Xtrafresh!

What we are doing for one of our Modder's is offering some components at trade, and as we are doing the paint job, i said that i would do the window etch graphics for free (with the sponsprs logos, inc ours)

That sort of stuff is acheivable.
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