There was a nice article in the KCBS Bullsheet a few months ago about the importance of securing sponsorship for competitive bbq efforts. I you have a copy of the Bullsheet, be sure and check it out. Another idea that goes along with sponsorship is developing cooperative marketing efforts with businesses or other bbq teams that market similar products to yours as a 'value added' marketing opportunity.
Understandably if you market a bbq sauce or a bbq spice rub, it might not make much sense to team up with someone that is also marketing bbq sauce and bbq spice rubs, but what if you approached someone marketing bbq grills, or bbq smokers?
Do you think there are people marketing smokers and grills that would feel that having a bbq sauce or spice rub to offer their customers is a value added opportunity? From another perspective, do you think those marketing smokers and grills might find it valuable to approach others marketing bbq sauces or spice rubs? They might find that the bbq sauce and spice rub marketers are eager to cooperate.
For those that promote bbq web sites, it's kind of like exchanging links. A cooperative effort helps get both products seen by more people and, over a longer period of time, it should benefit both sides.
I am thinking out of the box at this point, and may be way off base, but what about a bbq sanctioning body teaming up with a chili sanctioning association? Do you think both organizations have some common goals? I can think of several non-barbecue examples right off the top of my head and so can you if you give it some consideration. When someone like Toby Keith 'endorses' or becomes a spokesperson for Ford Trucks, do you think it helps his record sales?
Now if I can just get Harley Davidson interested in my bbq spice rub (LOL).