Be a part of the family
SITTING IN A TREE
INDEPENDENT GRAVEL + Y.O.U.
First, a taste of what we’ve accomplished without sponsors
In two years, Border Wars has rocketed from zero riders to selling out at 350+. How? A magical combination of word of mouth and peanuts we found on the ground, plus an almost comical level of effort from two organizers who’d be rich by now, if only they’d been born with a passion for venture capital instead.
The key is over-delivery. Every element of Border Wars is tuned to 150% of expectations, from route planning and logistics to the after-party and swag. Our riders get a lot for their modest entry fee, especially compared to the Big Events that charge over five times as much. You know the ones. Are they five times as good as ours? Hell no. Come on.
We can pull off 150% because we’re 250% here to make this event legendary. In 2023, on a soggy February day, our riders parked on a small private patch of property owned by a friend of the event. Our shrewd solution worked beautifully until the clay turned to mud and almost every car got stuck. Over several hours, fueled by stubbornness, adrenaline and ice-cold beer, our organizers personally pulled every vehicle out. And despite a hiccup that could easily have tainted the experience, we earned 95% positive feedback on our post-ride survey (with a nearly-70% response rate, which, in case you haven’t heard, is very high).
Look at us, bragging about the level of satisfaction we’ve achieved without a single sponsor dollar. But Border Wars is growing. We’re ready to double our field limits this year, and by 2025, we plan to be one of the biggest gravel events on the East Coast with 2,000+ riders—all without gouging participants. We know we can pull it off, and we will, no matter what. But the road will be smoother with partners, resources, and a paved damn parking lot.
LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU.
You hear those Big Events talk about sponsorship as though exposure for your brand is the whole point of having an event at all. As a sponsor, it’s appealing to be numero uno. But we’ve noticed that although the sponsor pedestal may rise high above the riders, it can be tough to make your voice heard with so many others crowding in.
An event like ours—one that doesn’t charge riders $300 a pop—needs our sponsors to shine. We need our sponsors, period. We shout it from the rooftops through integrations, activations, social mentions, and a grassroots influence campaign that feels real because it is. As cyclists ourselves, we get to know your offerings and promote them authentically, because featuring brands that provide real value is one more service we can offer our riders.
The bottom line is that our sponsorships offer more effective placement than a large corporate event, which sounds contradictory, because we’re going to level with you: Border Wars does not exist to make you money. It doesn’t even exist to make us money (check our record—we’ve donated all profits to local cycling). This one’s for the riders.
Your target audience can feel the difference. So when they see your name associated with Independent Gravel, they get what your sponsorship means: You’re supporting a cycling future beyond corporate control. You’re bolstering the kind of event that couldn’t exist otherwise. You’re paying for something that’s truly for them.
It’s almost a Catch-22, because there’s literally no better exposure for your brand than sponsoring an event that isn’t about exposure for your brand.
You get it. So here’s why we need you.
As Border Wars grows, it’ll continue to be operated independently at an affordable cost to participants. We offer sponsorships to make gravel racing possible, not the other way around, and that’ll never change. The passionate participation that drives us is plenty to get routes planned, signs posted and chili simmered—but that passion is not yet accepted as currency for the outside goods and services that will elevate Border Wars to the next level.
Your brand can benefit from being associated with the growing world of independent gravel cycling, and the sport can benefit from your support. Simple. We’ve assembled some base packages as a starting point, but we’re open to tailoring your sponsorship to align with your goals, whether that’s best done through exposure, product integration, or exclusive marketing opportunities. It’s all part of our effort to ensure our sponsors feel they’re getting the same 150% we give our riders, because the last thing we want to deal with is pissed off sponsors. Also, because of gratitude. Gratitude, for sure. Thank you, is what we meant to say.
- Swag (We do a lot of swag)
- Expo space
- Event activations Pre, during, post event)
- Product sampling
- Event program advertising
- Course and finish line banner space
- Backdrop of award podium
- Finish line truss header
- Social media engagement
- Event website
- Event posters
- Tech guide
- Monthly Independent Gravel newsletter
(Currently with a 3,000-rider email list)
- Racer and volunteer t-shirts
- PA announcements
- Event recap video
- Goody bag giveaways
Are you picturing it? More sponsors, more riders, more media, advertising, photography, video, food, beer, fun. More of everything!