I’m Sponsored, Now What?
You put together your best photos, videos and stats. You built your profile and resume. You applied for sponsorship with the companies you’re into. You told companies how you’d promote them.
Then… you got sponsored. The company liked what they saw, they liked what you said. So… now what? Now you have to deliver on all the things you said you would and start building a relationship with your new sponsor. There is nothing sponsors hate more than a sponsored athlete or team that only gets in touch with them during sponsorship season.
Ultimately, a companies goal is to sell product. They’re sponsoring you because either directly or indirectly they believe you can help them sell more product. You are now a part of their team, so you need to do all you can to help them meet their goals. Here is a rough guideline…
First things first, read your contract
Surprisingly, most people don’t read the very contracts they signed with their sponsors. This is step #1 – read your contract! In it, there are details about what is expected of you, contact information and any additional requirements for ordering product or sending updates. Read it and make sure you deliver on what it asks of you – after all, you did agree on it!
Learn about the company and their products
You are now a representative of the company that sponsored you, which means that you should know a little something about the company and the products they make. You don’t have to be a walking encyclopedia… you just need to know the important stuff. If someone asks you what makes your sponsors products better then their competitors, you should have an answer.
Promote, Promote, Promote
You got sponsored because a company thought you would be a good representative – because you rip or have a great personality, or have a look that matches their brand. Whatever the reason, they look to you to help them promote their company, product and vision. How do you do that? Here are some tips…
- Use your profile and the Network to talk about your sponsors
- Post Updates – sponsors like to hear what you’ve been up to. Talk about their product, write reviews, post photos
- Send Results Updates – just go to the results tab on your profile, add some results then send out an update
- Post on message boards and leave a link to your profile as your signature
- Promote your profile by sending it to your friends and if they like what they see they will send it to all of their friends
In Real Life
- Talk to everyone; You never know who you will meet. Make sure to be nice to them.
- Get media coverage in newspapers, magazines, radio, video spots.. anything you can!
- Get involved in the local community; a little goes a long way.
- Go to competitions and events. Better yet, organize your own events
- Get your local shop to carry your sponsors products if they don’t already
Help Make their Product Better
Product R&D is a big reason alot of companies sponsor athletes – they figure the best feedback on how to make a product better should come from the people that use and hammer on it! Ask your team manager how he/she would like to get product reports or feedback.
Help Build their Team
Referrals are one of the best ways for a company to build their team of sponsored athletes. Your new sponsor thought you would be a good representative. Chances are, you have some friends that are like you and would also be a good fit. Refer them to apply! If it works out, both your sponsor and your friend will be stoked. The watch company Nixon uses referrals alone to build out their pro teams – you can’t get on unless one of their current sponsored athletes referred you!