Statement – 7tune Needs Your Help


You all love 7tune right? You come here for hot news, pimp rides, solid reviews, great shots and a good read. We know this well, always have and that is why, year after year, we continued to drive ourselves to provide you with the best JDM-istic experience from Japan.

We have been around on the intranets longer than most of the other “established” blogs and offer an amazing product but there is something missing and that something has been bothering me lately. Why? Because I believe 7tune has everything the right backer will need to get their message across.

You see, the only way we could get out to these events, track days, press releases and PR cars; the only way we could get “content” worthy of your reading, was to pay out of our own pockets. Personally, the money that has gone into all this – money for equipment and travel expenses has added up over time – tolls for the expressways, fuel for the Press cars and maintenance for my own, lunches and the like and it may surprise some to know I haven’t taken a single cent for any of it. Not a dime or a nickel. On the surface of it, I have basically done a complete years work for free.

That’s crazy you may say. But think of it from this perspective. I decided I would do it anyway for the love of it and because I wanted to. I decided that the site was worth it, that the product was worth it and so are all of you who read it. I decided to be the best damn journo I could be and pass that on to all of you. And you have shown an admirable amount of admiration and feedback in return. I read every email just like Santa and I can see through my google analytics pages whether you’ve been naughty or nice! It has definitely been an interesting year and there is no reason for it not to continue…

Thing is, I have also now decided that for me to continue, I and then in turn you, deserve better than that.

Now that I have found out, thanks to the last 12 months of often exhaustive effort, how much you all appreciate the content and the product we provide here, I found myself realizing the deep necessity for the site to be heavily backed for the progress to continue and grow to the levels I envisage.

Like a tree that refuses to bear fruit, it is hard to keep up with anything in life without something coming back the other way. Specifically speaking, we need money to keep this going. More specifically, we are open to creating a relationship with a company or companies that are willing to support us financially in exchange for content, advertising space and promotion support. This is where our loyal readership can help, I am certain.

What else am I certain of? 7tune.com and its ability to grow into one of the biggest news and information sites for JDM activities on the web. When it comes to JDM, what other sites spring to mind apart from the obvious? You’re struggling to think of them aren’t you? That’s because there aren’t many at all – least of all with people that live here, with their fingers on the pulse and connections to the very core of the industry. Autoblog and Jalopnik are respected giants in the game and even they look to us for content to fuel their movements.

The case for 7tune being financially supported is a compelling one.

We are very satisfied with the mutual working relationship we currently have with our existing sponsors. This has only strengthened our resolve to offer an even more superior product and to think for the growth of the site on a much larger scale.

7tune, I’m sure you’ll agree, is an important place for us to come to. It provides something highly unique with a level of care and attention to detail that is hard to find elsewhere. I used to know a guy that works for one of the bigger places that sometimes posts articles from Japan. You would be shocked if you knew what he thought of you, the readers, because in his pious and bigoted opinion, the readers were “…uneducated 12 years old kids,” that “..wouldn’t know an exhaust from an inter-cooler.”

How comfortable are you in knowing that there are people in this industry that are getting paid and yet, take this attitude toward their readership? Not very, I am sure but listen in – this is not how we view our readers. We care about their opinions and foster intellectual communication. We certainly don’t take them for granted because we are getting a fat pay check and a fancy sticker to pass around. We here at 7tune have a very important job to do and it is now more important than ever that we find someone who is willing to work with us on a much larger scale.

Sure, it’s nice to know that you are considered an authority on the intranets when it comes to things that are happening in the automotive, tuning and racing scenes in Japan. I feel as privileged as I ever did. The fact that our content is redistributed among the biggest sites on the net, proves our content is worth reading and worthy of respect. It is sometimes hard to remember that I need to offer the very best of myself, despite not being paid to do so. But this is the dedication that I have for the site and it is the respect I have for the readers that keeps me focused and committed.

Am I selling my virtues? Maybe – but why not – I’m sure you’ll agree my content is an integral part of what makes the site worth coming back to and paradoxically, it’s a great release for me to be able to entertain and inform you. “Win-Win” wouldn’t you agree? So, it is then easy enough to come to the realization that the level of my service justifies an expense on a corporate level.

At the end of the day this is about you just as much as it is me, because if 7tune is to continue serving up the best information and entertainment it can provide, it needs financial support to continue getting the job done. In short, we are now looking to form a partnership with a main sponsor for the site. Actually, make that sponsors; we are on the hunt now for companies or groups that see how much value they will get from being with us. The platform is there, as are the numbers and we are open for discussion.

It is prudent that the argument for this to be presented here and in this form because I believe this to be the most effective way to get the message to all of you who, I am sure, can then pass it on to whoever needs to see it – in the event that it isn’t something directly related to you, of course.

So we need your help to make that happen. If you’re sitting at your desk and think your company would like to work out a deal with us, forward me an email and let’s talk. If you don’t, try to think of someone that does and send them the link to this page.

Alternatively, if you have or know the contact details of someone who is or may be interested in working with us, please forward me the details and I will make the contact.

Anyways, enough from me – you know the value of 7tune as much as we do.

And we want to remain as committed as we ever were, so lend us your support if you are able.

If any interested parties are in need of any numbers to help them make a decision once talks are underway, I would be more than happy to provide whatever is needed.

We anticipate a positive level of response and thank you again for your interest in 7tune.

Adam Zillin

18 thoughts on “Statement – 7tune Needs Your Help”

  1. I’m not sure if there’s anyone I know that can help, but I will definitely keep this in mind. I’ve been out of my local scene (Florida) for a couple of years now, since I’ve incurred some debt. Is there anything on a more direct reader-level that we might be able to do to help?

  2. Wow, you did a great job Adam, considering that you have been alone in this for a while now. I don’t think I can reach to someone who can provide sponsorship, but I will keep my antennas up and scanning. I think that you should try to find sponsors even at the core of the 7tune activity, Japanese car companies and big tuning and parts producing companies. Then you should try the drinks companies, Pepsi, Coke, Nos Energy, Monster Energy and other snack producers and even fast food chains. And last but not least electronic companies, car stereos producers, gadgets producers, media groups etc. Anything that would attract young and active people, car nuts, or not. The important thing is to get money, I’ve seen car websites that even have charity ads on their main pages.

  3. Will you accept scheduled monthly donations through paypal for those individuals (such as myself) who want to support 7 privately? Maybe some kind of “supporter decal” could be issued to these people to wear proudly on their cars.

    I’ll keep brainstorming. Individual donations may be very small, but at least you know they are coming in every month, and will take the edge off of gasoline and sandwich expenses. Let me know what you think.

    Sincerely,
    Joe Ruggiero
    Boston, MA

  4. Looking for sponsors shouldn’t be too hard, it’s getting them to write the check that’s the tough part haha…In either case, I’ll gladly throw 7Tune’s name around the circle more often at meets and shows.

    I’m with Joe R. on this, though it might or might not be much, member donations do help. I remember suggesting the same thing a while back too, on many other forums and weblogs I visit there’s always some form of donation in conjunction with ads that helps to fund the site.

    Joe: I’m surprised to see another Beantown resident here, :thumbs up:

  5. Hi Adam, I work in corporate marketing and perhaps I can give you a view on how you could make a website or “online social media” successful.

    Obviously, there are many fans of 7tune. And I would therefore suggest you to find a way to “officially” gather all these people – either thru Facebook or Twitter or using this very website. Then, you should gather the profile for all these people (yes, some people might be reluntant in telling you who they are, but I’m sure the majority of fans are more than willing to support you). Once you have a comprehensive view on 7tune fans/subscribers/visitors – i.e. you get the big picture – then you can present that information to potential partners.

    I wouldn’t suggest you go for “sponsors” directly. Instead, partner with a few retailers/distributors (either online or physical ones) who sell JDM parts or related products/services. Once these “partners” realised how many web traffics, or even real customers, are generated using 7tune as the introductory platform, they might be willing to turn themselves into real sponsors who support you financially.

    This is a common success story I often hear in my work… hope it gives you some insights. Cheers!

  6. Oh, Adam, you might wanna take Facebook’s story as a reference.

    FB started by offering a FREE social networking account to users. Once they have amassed perhaps mllions and millions of very active and supportive users. Google and other online-advertising organisations came to FB offering substantial sponsorships! Now you see how profitable and successful FB is.

  7. I think it might help get with recognition to get more 7tune merchandise out there as well. I’ve been wanting a 7tune shirt for a while (can’t afford one at the moment) and eventually found an article on here about a “pre-order” which sounds like there will eventually be regular production of the shirts, but there is no info about when that might occur. I can tell that Eat Sleep Race is probably helping to pay the bills, but I’ve found the lack of a 7tune merch store confusing. With the link at the top being next to the 7tune logo, it’s easy to assume that 7tune merch will be available on the ESR site, even though it doesn’t seem to be. That could probably be solved as easily as changing the background of one of the two. Perhaps, if there was an additional link somewhere on the home page to an online 7tune store, where things like t-shirts and stickers could be purchased, we could spread the word about 7tune more easily.

    Also, if you haven’t already, add Google Analytics to the site. That would give you a much better picture of where your readership is coming from, and where marketing and sponsorship efforts would best serve you. It doesn’t take a lot of work, it’s not visible, and the research basically collects itself. The only thing you’d have to do is learn how to use Analytics.

    I admire you for doing so much of this on your own, Adam. This site has been an inspiration for me to be starting my own local Florida/East Coast U.S.-based car blog fairly soon. I’m going to be putting one of my camcorders up on Craigslist for trade for a digital SLR soon as well, to be able to capture some eye candy. If you could use coverage of a U.S. event around here, let me know. I’d be happy to help (bryce.womeldurf(at)gmail). I know with your main focus being on Japan, with this being the Ultimate JDM Experience, perhaps consider covering JDM-focused events in other parts of the world as well, be it through me or someone else, while still keeping the main articles about what’s going on in Japan. From there, sponsorship, and maybe a presence (like a booth) at events like World Time Attack Challenge, Formula D, Hot Import Nights, or keep things smaller and more to do with small grass roots JDM meets from around the world. Just some ideas I’ve had.

    -Bryce Womeldurf

  8. Im with joe. If there was a product made ie stickers shirts hoodies id defintly wear them proudly. 7tune is one of two sites I regularly get my jdm fix from. The variety and quality of the content released is staggering. I hope that in the near future there is some way for me to privatly support 7tune and all you do for us Adam. Best of luck with finding a sponsership.

  9. ive always wondered why you didnt have the likes of google advertising going on the site even if it only brought in minimal dollars its better then none ???

  10. One thing I would love to see is more about you guys and what you are getting up to in japan. Documenting jdm life. It makes the site more personal but it’ll also make it different. A lot of people folllow jdm culture but next to no websites dive into what it’s actually like to live it.

  11. I sell shirts on spreadshirt.com and make decent passive money; but since 7tune has a lot more traffic you will definitately get support. Just take your logo.ai file(vector), upload it, set your commission and publish it here.

    You set the products (hoodies/shirts/mugs/bags) and they ship it.

    I would definitely buy one and I’m sure I’m not alone.

    If you don’t have your logo in vector I would gladly convert it for you.

    Goodluck, Hope you can keep the site up.

  12. I appreciate 7tune because it ISNT one of those huge mainstream sites and frequently gets interesting stories and info before other larger sites pick up on them, if ever. That being said the work that goes into this site does need to be rewarded and appreciated by its readership and I’m sure others are just as willing as myself to contribute however we can to continue to make the site a success. Say the word!

  13. i’ve been reading 7tune for a while now n i love all your articles especially the recent feature on the R31 Skyline, haven’t seen that one before. it somehow reminded me of the local Proton Saga or the older Mitsu Lancer here in Malaysia.

    i know that a local investment firm here that does motorsports too. They are FX Open. They even have their own drift team. Try looking for them here : http://fxopen.com.my/

    i’m sure they would love the numbers of readers you have here at 7tune.

    good luck. 😉

  14. Adam, I also would be willing to do whatever I can to help. I love coming to this site to find news and other information. Hell I’m even wearing the ESR shirt I won in your giveaway right now haha. I tell anybody I come across, if they are into cars, they need to be on 7tune. I look forward to the merch idea as well. I’m excited to see how the site will expand and progress forward. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that we appreciate what you do with this site. The great thing about this car culture is that we are such a tight-knit community, and we’re all here to help.

    Justin
    Branchville, NJ

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