Dark Horse Pros, an online crowdfunding platform for action and extreme athletes, has partnered with Melissa Paris, her fans, and sponsors to fund the remaining $30,000 needed for her 2015 MotoAmerica season through a 30-day crowdfunding campaign.

Athletes will always need funding. And when sponsorship is not enough, professional athletes are seeking out non-traditional funding models — namely, crowdfunding — that leverage both fans and sponsors.

In December, 2014, Shea Holbrook raised $32,222 on Dark Horse Pros’ crowdfunding platform (DarkHorsePros.com) to be able to compete in IHRA’s Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. In February, 2015, Dark Horse Pros landed two large campaigns, raising separately $13,084 and $8,600.

“A successful crowdfunding campaign is incredibly rewarding for you and your supporters,” says Shea Holbrook. “I gained exposure, an opportunity to cultivate new partners, market current partners, work directly with my supporters, and provide an emotional and empowering human experience.”

Melissa Paris head shot

Melissa Paris’ best finish thus far this season is a 12th in MotoAmerica Supersport race one last month at Road Atlanta.

After seeing those successes and having a last-minute fallout of sponsorship money, Melissa Paris, now sponsored by Dark Horse Pros, is turning to her fans and other sponsors to bridge the funding gap so she can continue racing in the 2015 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship.

In a discussion about what today’s fans want, Christina Miller, GM of NBA Digital and SVP of strategy, marketing, and programming for Turner Sports, said, “Everything about sports is participation, and fan participation is critical. It’s about engagement, giving the fan control, power, and accessibility.”

And that’s exactly how crowdfunding works. Running a crowdfunding campaign takes effort. No doubt about it. But crowdfunding offers athletes branding, credibility, and a new way to reach out to fans and sponsors.

“In the past, I have been a little bit leery of using crowdfunding to go racing,” Paris said. “I have some really great sponsors behind me, and it’s very important to me that our program remains professional.

“This year, however, an unexpected budget problem came up, right on the heels of my friend, Shea Holbrook, running a successful campaign with Dark Horse Pros. Seeing how this company really caters to action-sports athletes and helps them to connect their fans and sponsors made me feel confident that they were the perfect platform for me to run a campaign like this.

“We have some really great rewards to offer for our backers,” Paris added, “and I’m excited for the chance to connect with racing fans in a new way.”

For a contribution of $2,500 each, 10 of Melissa Paris’ fans will have the privilege of riding with Melissa and her husband, four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes, at their home on their private flat track and mini-motocross track.

For $250 each, five contributors will get to be Melissa’s Umbrella Girl/Boy at a MotoAmerica event, complete with a photo op to remember their experience.

Other rewards range from $5 for a Social Media Shoutout to $590 for a Vegas Off Road Experience 5 Lap Tour for 2 (thanks to VORE’s sponsorship) to $30,000 for a Platinum Level Endorsement, giving both individuals and businesses the opportunity to participate.

More information about Melissa Paris’ Dark Horse Pros crowdfunding campaign and the available rewards can be found here.

Melissa Paris M4 Suzuki action

Melissa Paris and the M4 MPH Suzuki team will be back in action this weekend, May 15-17, at VIRginia International Raceway.

Dark Horse Pros, an online crowdfunding platform for action and extreme athletes, has partnered with Melissa Paris, her fans, and sponsors to fund the remaining $30,000 needed for her 2015 MotoAmerica season through a 30-day crowdfunding campaign.

Athletes will always need funding. And when sponsorship is not enough, professional athletes are seeking out non-traditional funding models — namely, crowdfunding — that leverage both fans and sponsors.

In December, 2014, Shea Holbrook raised $32,222 on Dark Horse Pros’ crowdfunding platform (DarkHorsePros.com) to be able to compete in IHRA’s Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. In February, 2015, Dark Horse Pros landed two large campaigns, raising separately $13,084 and $8,600.

“A successful crowdfunding campaign is incredibly rewarding for you and your supporters,” says Shea Holbrook. “I gained exposure, an opportunity to cultivate new partners, market current partners, work directly with my supporters, and provide an emotional and empowering human experience.”

Melissa Paris head shot

Melissa Paris’ best finish thus far this season is a 12th in MotoAmerica Supersport race one last month at Road Atlanta.

After seeing those successes and having a last-minute fallout of sponsorship money, Melissa Paris, now sponsored by Dark Horse Pros, is turning to her fans and other sponsors to bridge the funding gap so she can continue racing in the 2015 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship.

In a discussion about what today’s fans want, Christina Miller, GM of NBA Digital and SVP of strategy, marketing, and programming for Turner Sports, said, “Everything about sports is participation, and fan participation is critical. It’s about engagement, giving the fan control, power, and accessibility.”

And that’s exactly how crowdfunding works. Running a crowdfunding campaign takes effort. No doubt about it. But crowdfunding offers athletes branding, credibility, and a new way to reach out to fans and sponsors.

“In the past, I have been a little bit leery of using crowdfunding to go racing,” Paris said. “I have some really great sponsors behind me, and it’s very important to me that our program remains professional.

“This year, however, an unexpected budget problem came up, right on the heels of my friend, Shea Holbrook, running a successful campaign with Dark Horse Pros. Seeing how this company really caters to action-sports athletes and helps them to connect their fans and sponsors made me feel confident that they were the perfect platform for me to run a campaign like this.

“We have some really great rewards to offer for our backers,” Paris added, “and I’m excited for the chance to connect with racing fans in a new way.”

For a contribution of $2,500 each, 10 of Melissa Paris’ fans will have the privilege of riding with Melissa and her husband, four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes, at their home on their private flat track and mini-motocross track.

For $250 each, five contributors will get to be Melissa’s Umbrella Girl/Boy at a MotoAmerica event, complete with a photo op to remember their experience.

Other rewards range from $5 for a Social Media Shoutout to $590 for a Vegas Off Road Experience 5 Lap Tour for 2 (thanks to VORE’s sponsorship) to $30,000 for a Platinum Level Endorsement, giving both individuals and businesses the opportunity to participate.

More information about Melissa Paris’ Dark Horse Pros crowdfunding campaign and the available rewards can be found here.

Melissa Paris M4 Suzuki action

Melissa Paris and the M4 MPH Suzuki team will be back in action this weekend, May 15-17, at VIRginia International Raceway.