Who Gets a Sponsorship from BendPak?
You might be wondering, "Who are these elusive people who actually get your sponsorships?" The answer is not as clear as you may think, and it's by design that we don't shout every partner's name from our sunny, Southern California mountaintops. We prefer to look at "sponsorships," not in the traditional sense, but as organically driven partnerships. We love helping out influencers in the automotive community, and that's just how we want to leave our mark—as behind-the-scenes helpers. We never ask our partners to do "BendPak ads," because that kind of thing makes us cringe.
Partners, Not Sponsors
A partnership with BendPak comes in many different forms. As you've probably noticed, just about everyone in this industry uses our equipment or knows someone who does. Because of the ubiquity (love that word) of our stuff on popular channels, there's a misapprehension that all this equipment is just given away for free. The truth is that most of the product you see online was purchased by the influencer, sometimes at a discount.
Discount, You Say? Say More!
In 2019, we developed an Influencer Kit to help our community members see where they stand in relation to a partnership with BendPak. We generally require an influencer to have at least 100,000 followers on BendPak or Instagram before we are willing to extend product placement pricing. That means the equipment will not be free, but it will be considerably discounted.
The next partnership level increases the minimum follower/subscriber count to 500,000. The top level partnership requires 1 million followers. These numbers are not unattainable, but they don't happen overnight. It may take years for a popular channel to achieve these numbers, and it may never happen. A partnership, sponsorship, assistance program or whatever else you want to call it reflects the hard work and dedication that influencers put into their businesses.
To Seek a Sponsor, or Purchase Outright... That is the Question
Running a YouTube channel, building an audience and maintaining both over the course of many years is no easy task. In fact, it's a full-time job that requires 40, 50, 60 or even 70 hours a week to get it right. Our most successful partners aren't in it for the money and glory, and their certainly not in it for free stuff. Most young channels require an investment—like any business—and once those investments pay off, opportunities (like partnerships and sponsorships) may come a'knocking.
If you can afford to wait for a sponsor to court your channel, by all means do so. Most folks, however, need equipment to get their work going, or they aren't able to work. This is our best advice: Don't hold off on making a purchase that will benefit your personal and professional brand. Our hope is that BendPak's Influencer Kit will give you something to aspire to. If you make the minimum required numbers, you can truthfully count yourself in among a very hardworking, lucky group of car enthusiasts.
Good luck, everyone. And don't forget to have fun!