When the new year came around I sent out a mail to a bunch of companies wishing them all the best for 2004 and checked if they were interested in supporting FATBMX. We've got our costs and need to cover those. We've been fortunate enough to have friends who feel that what we do is important for BMX.
The site is pretty informative, has a decent event calender that shows people what's going on and we cover a wide range of contests, races and other BMX related events for people who don't have the possibility to go to all of those. A big thank you to VANS, ACS, SNAFU, HOFFMAN BIKES, Paul's Boutique, EBC, FlyBikes and WeThePeople for their 2003 support.
The reactions from BMX companies on the FATBMX mailing shows in what stage BMX is in right now. I'll give you a few quotes:
"I am out of the office today but when I get in on Monday I will talk with Robert and the marketing team back in Madison to see what we can do. I have to say that it sounds like a hell of a deal."
"Hi cool, thanks for checking in. I have to say that everyone here lives by your site just as it looks like the whole world does. Your #'s are awesome, good job! We will seriously consider sponsorship in the future, stay on me about it."
"I would love to support fat but I have no money. Times are super tough for me right now."
"What can you do for 100 EURO? That's all I have."
"Hi Bart! We really would like to support you, but we are not sure if we can afford. We plan to do ads in ride-us, which are kind of too expensive, but we have to push the us-market for us. We will think about it and I will let you know! Any special deals?"
"We will not be able to get involved with this."
"Thanks for the letter and stats. When Bernie gets back later next week I'll go over it with him and see where we're at for our advertising budget for this year, and if we can commit to being a Fat BMX sponsor/advertiser at this time."
"As much as I support Fat, we just don't have internet advertising on our radar quite yet. Gotta Keep It Real!! Thanks for all you do!!"
"Thanks for your email. Advertising with FATBMX looks without doubt very good value for money but right now we’re not looking to expand our advertising."
"I would love to advertise with you, unfortunately, we are very broke and haven't advertised in anything for over two years, and it is somehow working for us. It is keeping us on the edge of obscurity, but still there, if that makes any sense. I appreciate the offer to put us on your site and hopefully will be seeing you again in 2004."
"bart, sorry for the late reply, I was on a little road trip for a week...I'm gonna check my budget and see if I can't do something...it sounds good, but harvest has a very small budget, especially for advertising, so give me a few and I'll get back to you, thanks for the offer...."
"Thanks for the info on your site. I really like what you're doing, but we don't have the cash flow available to do any other web advertising. We've been spending quite a bit on our own sites lately and also started doing more magazine ads. Maybe down the road. Keep up the good work."
"yeah got an answer sort of... got no money honey is what they said"
"When we start planning online marketing, I will definitely keep you in the loop."
It gives you an idea that running a BMX business doesn't automatically mean that you're entering the big time. It's more like struggling to survive. That's exactly what FATBMX will do for 2004. Without the support from Eastern Bikes, WeThePeople, ACS, VANS, SNAFU and PB we would probably have to shut the whole thing down. Enjoy it while it lasts, at least for another year.