that you’re a
that product. [A
must] be willing
to go above
and beyond and
willing to go out
and promote the
“Sponsorship is about promotion of
the products you represent and
making sure the customer
receives the best support
possible in order to get
the most enjoyment
out of the products
Jennifer Orebaugh photo
Ben Minor photo
Horizon Hobby is the only one that has a sponsored
female pilot: Caroline. In addition to Soaring, Horizon
Hobby sponsors pilots who fly helicopters, electrics,
Giant Scale, run RC trucks and buggies, and participate
in racing, and Soaring.
Hobbico also sponsors helicopter pilots. Additionally,
the company sponsors pilots who compete in
International Miniature Aerobatic Club (IMAC) events,
and fly Pattern, Pylon, and Soaring.
“We focus mainly on sponsoring pilots for freestyle
fixed-wing 3-D. We have sponsored some IMAC F3A
pilots in the past,” Ben Fisher said about 3D Hobby
To be a sponsored pilot can mean many things.
Those who are sponsored can purchase products from
a company at various discounted rates, and some get
products for free. Some sponsored pilots have the
opportunity to help with product development and/or
Few are considered full-time pilots and receive
paychecks from the sponsoring company. Ben Minor is a
veterinarian and AJ works as a software developer for Northrop
Grumman Aerospace Systems. Joe is a college student.
“Sponsorship is not about getting free products or products
at a reduced cost,” Ben Minor said. “Sponsorship is about
promotion of the products you represent and making sure the
customer receives the best support possible in order to get the
most enjoyment out of the products purchased.”
The discounts and being able to try out new products is
nice, but for AJ, traveling and meeting people are his favorite
perks of the sponsorship. “The best part is probably getting the
opportunity to go and represent the brand. You go to a race or
a larger national one and you get a lot of good questions. As my
wife would say, I like to shoot the breeze a
lot and that’s a good opportunity to
shoot the breeze.
“Gosh, I’ve met so many
neat people from around
the world doing this.
Like, wow! I look at my
Facebook [friends list]. I
would never have met all these folks if not for RC.”
“I get to meet a lot of new people and build relationships
with them,” Seth said is why he likes being a sponsored pilot.
“My favorite aspect about being a sponsored pilot is just the
feeling of being on a team,” Joe stated. “This especially shows
at events when we all stand on the flightline together and
talk, fly, etc. Usually, sponsored pilots are some of the most
enthusiastic modelers in the hobby, and it is great being able to
hang out with them.”
Caroline is thankful for the opportunities that being a
sponsored pilot have offered her. “I do enjoy getting to events
that bring a lot of Soaring pilots and spending time with them.
I learn a lot from everyone at the events.
“It’s also very special to be able to help a pilot out who is
having a bad day on the field, and hopefully see their day get a
3D Hobby Shop
42 Model Aviation M AY 2014