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Who should sponsor a Tesla partnered EVent?

Discussion in 'TMC Connect' started by dsm363, Apr 19, 2013.

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  1. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #1 dsm363, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
    The details are still fuzzy but I understand TESLIVE is looking for advice on who to contact to help sponsor the event.

    Anyone have marketing contacts at big companies like Google, PG&E..etc who might want to be associated with such an event? Or maybe aftermarket companies?

    If anyone knows of corporations that might want to be associated with Tesla and their push to move EV adoption forward in high-tech/innovative way then post here. It appears TESLIVE is looking for some connections. I don't have those kind of connections but maybe someone here does.
     
  2. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #2 ChadS, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
    I know from experience that getting sponsors for EV events is tough. (Oh man, do I know it. Trying to do everything on a $0 budget gets wearisome). The obvious choices - the companies selling the cars and equipment - are not dropping dollars like in a lot of other industries. Some random thoughts:

    - most automakers don't want to make the cars (and in fact they hope slow sales will help them argue against rules that make them build the cars) and so won't spend on marketing; the few that do want to make the cars are generally struggling and don't have the money for marketing. Tesla is just starting to not struggle, but they are also not yet in great need of more demand, and would rather put their limited time and money towards getting S production and service stable and getting started on the X. I would guess they should be interested in something like this in the future, but they may well not be there yet. I actually think Nissan has a lot to gain here - they have made a huge investment in EVs, there is very little cross-shopping between the Leaf and the S, most new buyers are highly influenced by recommendations from existing owners, many people can't afford the S, many first-EV families want a second, and at this point the faster the market grows the better for all of the participants. I think it would be wise for Nissan to sponsor this type of event as the good-will from Tesla owners talking to prospective buyers would help sell Leafs. But I doubt the marketers at Nissan see it that way; they are focused on commodity differentiation and brand management as they've always done with gas cars (even as they recognize that the Leaf is by far their best conquest vehicle AND has their highest satisfaction ratings - take a hint guys, selling this thing is different!)

    - EVSE makers are generally a great fit and interested in promoting the market, but they are all really struggling now, and a Tesla event is probably the worst fit for them as Tesla makes their own inexpensive L2 and free DC chargers

    - Utilities are starting to realize that EVs are in their best interests; but they are generally huge companies with a lot of rules and regulations and they are not used to doing this sort of marketing - I think they will get there eventually, but not really fast. If anybody has a contact at a big utility in CA this would be worth trying, but I doubt they would move fast enough

    - You would think big environmental and health organizations would be all over the EV movement as it's one of the most effective ways to counter air pollution, groundwater pollution and GHG emissions - but when you talk about non-profit support for people buying expensive cars, most of them just look at you cross-eyed and say that's not what they do. Some day they will realize it is in their own best interest (some are making visible progress), but that will take them a while too as it's so different than the approaches they've generally taken in the past

    - CA has AQMDs that do have money to spend on air-quality issues...but they are divided in to strict territories (kind of odd given the qualities of air pollution) so you'd only have one to approach, and they are obviously more interested in events that sell new EVs, rather than events for existing owners; I don't think Teslive would fit in with their mission

    So rather than the direct industry players, perhaps the aftermarket makes more sense. The problem there is that the cars are new enough that there aren't big industries set up around that; in fact there just aren't that many aftermarket products. A lot of the stuff that is out there (wheels, wraps, hitches, etc) is heavy on installation, so it tends to be more of a local service org than a large national marketer. I think that companies selling aftermarket items on these forums - like Al & Eds, or Torklift - would love to participate and have a booth, but I doubt it makes sense for them to be a major sponsor (not that I know enough about the balance sheets of the companies or of Teslive expenses to really say). Same for the really small guys pitching stuff here - OVMS, mesh tops, J1772 adapters, consoles, etc. There are a couple of things that are from larger established companies that don't need a lot of installation - like Lloyd's or WeatherTech. I'm not sure margins and market size are enough to interest them, but if anybody has contacts it would be great to ask.

    So as dsm notes, perhaps a large company that simply wants the brand association is the best way to go. Most people guess that environmentalism drives EV buyers, but frankly from surveys I've seen that's a minor driver (there are probably more environmentalists involved in the "movement"; but I don't think many individual environmentalists are buying cars). I think the biggest single driver overall - and especially for Tesla buyers - is the technology. And the Bay area is full of large technology companies. The ones doing consumer marketing are probably the most interesting - Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. I think Google has many ways to emphasize connections between the two brands, has shown some serious support for EVs (Plug In America's first grant back in ~2007 was a generous one from Google; I think they have the largest corporate charging network, and they will one of the first site hosts for Plug In America's "Plug In At Work" campaign), AND there is already a relationship between the company CEOs. I don't know anybody in Google marketing; but if I was trying to find support for Teslive, I'd sure try to get in there.
     
  3. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Another thought - battery suppliers. I know there are threads on this, but I have not been reading them (these forums are awesome, but I do kind of miss the days when I could keep up with everything going on). Is it Panasonic? Or Sanyo? Or is it a secret?

    If it's a secret, that might be problematic. But if the suppliers can talk about it, and they also have a consumer brand name...they seem like logical sponsors.
     
  4. TampaLiam

    TampaLiam Secret Agent

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    Scaring up sponsors is somewhat of a specialty of mine. Be it craft beer companies or a public charger install company. The lack of disclosures on this event, at this point, are certainly working against attendance of both sponsors/vendors and club members.
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Mercedes, Panasonic, Toyota. Klieiner Perkins. Who else has skin in Tesla's game?
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    NRG / EVGo would be a logical choice. NRG's CEO drives a Roadster and, I believe, a Model S.
     
  7. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #7 ChadS, Apr 25, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
    Another thought: Edison Electric Institute? I already mentioned utilities, but EEI is a national research org for private utilities, and perhaps as a group they are a little ahead of where most individual utilities are. TESLIVE probably doesn't really fit in their mission, but they have a campaign (or spin-off org, I'm sure of the exact structure) called The Electric Generation (discussed on the forums HERE) that is promoting electricity as fuel. Perhaps The Electric Generation would consider TESLIVE a fit. (I don't know if they would; just thinking out loud).
     
  8. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    I have a contact at Torklift that emailed me about this event. If you want to talk to them, PM me.
     
  9. Mark Petersen

    Mark Petersen Model S EU P71

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    One type sponsor that pop into mind are Companys that sell solar panels or Wind turbines
     
  10. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Along those lines, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is HQ'd in Palo Alto and spends a lot of money on research about the electrification of transportation.
     
  11. TampaLiam

    TampaLiam Secret Agent

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    I also know of some companies that would want to be a part.

    - My sister is leading AAA's EV programs at HQ - they have some unannounced EV support programs in development now.
    - A company based in FL is a nationwide partner of Chargepoint and Clipper Creek. They resell, install, service, promote, and assist in getting grants for public charging stations.
     
  12. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    Any insight on what a sponsor gets? 'Coming Soon' is all that's up right now.
     
  13. mulder1231

    mulder1231 Active Member

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    Plug in America may be interested in sponsoring. Even though they are a non-profit, they are always looking for volunteers and the TMC crowd would fit the bill.

    Contacts here: Our Team | Plug In America
     
  14. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    As a longtime member who has done projects for them I can say it's probably the other way around.
     
  15. Babylonfive

    Babylonfive Power12

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    What about:
    - Tire companies
    - one or more manufacturers of car cleaning/washing/polishing/wax, ex: 3M, Maguiars, RainX
    - a car magazine?
    - Edmunds?
    - AT&T (cell)
     
  16. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Can one of the organizers contact Griot's Garage? Great car care line and they do seem to like to participate in auto events.
     
  17. vcor

    vcor Member

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    Solar City? Seems like a natural fit.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Not a chance. Tire manufacturers must be customer neutral. Most tire companies get the majority of their sales from car manufacturers. If they appear to be favouring one car manufacturer over another they won't be asked to supply tires anymore.
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQl1kYptN0MFKqRdic5kHM46r_vuSttv_6T_eNZP_xIDIKHQhDz.jpg
    img_0635.jpg
     
  20. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Tasty blue.
     

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