010 Brett Connell – Sponsorship

010 Brett Connell -

In Episode Ten of the Comp Ready series of The Smoking Hot Confessions Podcast, I chat with Brett Connell from Flamin’ Mongrels BBQ on one of the hottest topics in competition BBQ: Sponsorship. As a Grand Champion winning team, they are also very well-sponsored and so Team Captain Bretto was the perfect person to tell me all his secrets on where to find and how to secure sponsorship.

Thanks and appreciation go to Coastline Barbeques and Heating for sponsoring the first series of the Smoking Hot Confessions podcast. Check out their website for more!

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  • Chicken wings are Brett’s weeknight go-to
    • It’s quick and easy
  • He doesn’t like trying to do breast for competitions
  • On Aussie BBQ Heroes
    • Had a great time and got to meet some really great people
    • What you see on TV is not necessarily what happened as it is heavily produced and edited
    • It was great that the show put smokers on mainstream tv
    • The boys use their exposure in the show in their sponsorship proposals
  • Brett first got into BBQ by mistake
    • His brother brought home a smoker, a gas cabinet smoker from the US
    • They could not get any connections to go from propane to LPG
    • His first competition experience was a spectator following That BBQ Joint down to BBQ Wars in Port Macquarie, like a BBQ groupie
  • Brett says going to a BBQ comp is like going camping with 150 friends and gives you a chance to do things in places that you otherwise can’t
  • The Mongrels won GC for the Brahmann Battle in Rockhampton in 2016
  • Brett’s Coke can bbq:
    • Bought two Charbroil offsets on special at Anaconda for $44 each
    • Traded it in for their Radar Hill
  • You don’t need expensive gear to smoke BBQ. Comp circuits are a bit different
  • What makes the Mongel’s BBQ unique is their ability to cook GC winning food on cheap and homemade BBQs
  • Brett loves that BBQ is so family-oriented
  • Sponsorship is when a brand wants to partnership with a BBQ team to promote their brand
    • Why should people want sponsorship?
      • Keeps costs down
    • The relationship needs to be win-win for the agreement to work
    • The state of sponsorship in Australia is not nearly as big a game as it is in America, but it is still quite strong
      • Brands and companies want to become involved
      • At this point in time it’s not possible to make a full-time job out of competition BBQ
      • You’d need to be making money out of BBQ with catering, or vending as well as BBQ competitions
      • There is a mix of product and cash sponsorship available
    • Teams should be looking for:
      • Pit
      • Meat
      • Fuel
      • Rub
      • Alcohol
    • The odds of first-timers getting sponsorship
      • Odds are good
      • Look for local suppliers, like a butcher. Approach them and explain how sponsoring you will help them sell their meat
      • Aim for people whose products you already leave
    • Teams need to consider long term relationships with their sponsors
      • Make sure they’re related to BBQ and that they a good fit with your vision and your values
      • The Mongrels are back yard cooks, not chefs and their sponsors reflect this by their accessibility to the average person: Super Butcher for meat, Heat Beads for charcoal (available at Woolworths), Moonshine BBQ for their rubs
    • To attract sponsors:
      • Brands are interested in what you can do for them
      • You’ll need to go further than just putting a logo on a poster at a comp
      • Try using the products first and then telling them how much you use them and how much you love using them, especially if you’ve already got a result using their product
      • You’ve got to have an audience outside of the BBQ competitions – Facebook, Instagram, blogs
      • Always give the sponsors more than they could ask for
      • Sponsors love content that they can use in their channels: photos, videos etc
    • How to measure what you can offer
      • Brett says go high – ask for a lot but offer a lot
      • Try and avoid putting an absolute dollar value on something – you probably don’t know what $1000 worth of marketing looks like
    • The best way to approach a sponsor
      • Be prepared
      • Have a presentation of some kind
        • Needs to include info about low’n’slow
        • Info about your team
        • Be clear on what you can offer and what you want
        • Become a customer first and make sure you love their product
        • The average butcher is probably not too interested in numbers specifically so you might have to explain why things like ‘Reach’ are important
        • Try tagging them in posts for a little while before you approach them
      • You need to calculate your commitments to the sponsor
        • Work out the costs to you
        • 100 hours of work for $400 worth of meat would not be a good deal
  • On wrapping:
    • If you’re cooking at home and have the time, don’t wrap
    • If you’re cooking to time at a comp, you’ll need to wrap
    • Why wrap? To speed along The Stall
    • You’ll get a better bark if you don’t wrap
    • Your meat won’t necessarily be juicier for wrapping
  • Be careful of Pit Raids – never leave your Eskies unattended!
  • How did Brett solve the issue of his BBQ addiction with his family?
    • There needs to a Return on Investment for the families too
    • He does deals with his wife
  • Brett’s Top Three tips:
    • Study as many turn-in boxes as you can
    • Sign up for a competition that is near you now so you can get real live advice from other competitors
    • Don’t spend a lot of money early: get a Weber, build a UDS etc and get your cooking techniques down pat first


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