In December 2014, Shea Holbrook raised $32,222 on Dark Horse Pros’ crowdfunding platform (www.DarkHorsePros.com) to be able to compete in IHRA’s Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. February 2015 landed two large campaigns, raising separately $13,084 and $8,600.
After seeing those successes and having a last-minute fallout of sponsorship money, Melissa Paris, now sponsored by Dark Horse Pros, turns to her fans and other sponsors to bridge the funding gap so she can continue racing in the 2015 MotoAmerica race season.
In a discussion about what today’s fans want, Christina Miller, GM of NBA Digital and SVP of strategy, marketing, and programming for Turner Sports states that, “Everything about sports is participation and fan participation is critical. It’s about engagement, giving the fan control, power, and accessibility.”
And that’s exactly how crowdfunding works.
For a contribution of $2,500 each, only ten of Melissa Paris’ fans will have the privilege of riding at her and Josh Hayes’ home on their private flat track and mini-motocross track.
For $250 each, five contributors will get to be Melissa’s Umbrella Girl/Boy at a MotoAmerica event, complete with a photo op to remember their experience.
Other rewards range from $5 for a Social Media Shoutout to $590 for a Vegas Off Road Experience 5 Lap Tour for 2 (thanks to VORE’s sponsorship) to $30,000 for a Platinum Level Endorsement, giving both individuals and businesses the opportunity to participate.
“A successful crowdfunding campaign is incredibly rewarding for you and your supporters,” says Shea Holbrook. “I gained exposure, an opportunity to cultivate new partners, market current partners, work directly with my supporters, and provide an emotional and empowering human experience.”
Running a crowdfunding campaign takes effort. No doubt about it. But crowdfunding offers athletes branding, credibility, and a new way to reach out to fans and sponsors.
Melissa Paris has contracted championship-winning M4 Suzuki to prepare and support her equipment for the Supersport championship in the 2015 MotoAmerica series headed up by World Champion Wayne Rainey. In the last five years she has finished in the top ten of the prestigious Daytona 200, become the first woman to qualify and race in a World Supersport Championship event, tested a MotoGP bike, and raced successfully overseas in the FIM CEV Repsol 600 Superstock Championship.
Dark Horse Pros is an online crowdfunding company dedicated to the needs of athletes in action and extreme sports. DHP’s purpose is to offer an opportunity to athletes who may not otherwise have the financial means to pursue their sport. Athletes who sign up at www.DarkHorsePros.com can use the site to obtain crowdfunding, build brand identity, develop their fan community, leverage their current sponsors, and attract new sponsors. Dark Horse Pros Inc. launched their crowdfunding site in August 2014 and is headquartered in Flagstaff, Arizona.