Sponsorship 101 for Athletes
First, ask yourself… 1. Do you compete in your sport or even better…dominate your events? 2. Do you shred your local scene? 3. Do you have the ability to help a company market and sell their products or services? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ll be stoked to know that may in fact be ‘sponsorable’. While you might be sponsorable, actually getting sponsored is up to a ton of factors. Every company is different in who they are looking for, the levels of sponsorship they have available and what types of sponsorship they offer. After years of working with companies and hundreds of surveys, here is what we can tell you companies look for: 1. Dedication 2. Skills and Results 3. Professionalism 4. Personality 5. Complete Profile 6. Wow Factor 7. Photos 8. Videos 9. Loyalty 10. Sponsorship History Seeing if you have what it takes is easy, just create an account, complete your profile and apply to the companies you are eligible for. If you’re not eligible for sponsorship, become a ‘Brand Insider’…it’s the easiest way to get on the companies’ radar. Even if you don’t get any sponsorships right away, an account gets you access to all of the companies, communities and other members on the Network. Read on for more details about sponsorship. What is sponsorship? OR What does it mean to be sponsored? Sponsorship means different things to different people and also means different things in different industries. Our network acts as a venue to connect athletes with brands that are offering sponsorship. The brands determine what type of sponsorship and what level of sponsorship they are willing to offer. (Discounts, flow product, money, etc.) What you get, and what you are responsible for in return, should be clearly defined in the sponsorship offer and contract process prior to you entering into a sponsorship agreement. What do you get for being sponsored? Each sponsorship deal is determined by the brand offering the sponsorship and your marketability as an athlete, which can be evaluated from everything based on talent, results and exposure. The terms of the deals and the requirements will be stated in the sponsorship offer from the brand. Sponsorship can range from discounts to flowed product, travel fees, money etc. For most up and coming athletes, brands will provide a range of discounts on products in order to get you involved with their program and follow your progress as you pursue your career. In other words, if you’re at the top of your game and you want Bentley’s and a new crib…go hire an agent. But if you’re on the rise and looking to get some hook ups and build relationships with brands and team managers in the industry…you’re in the right spot. How do I get sponsored? The basics… 1) Determine if you’re sponsorable. How marketable are you and why would a brand want you to represent their products? – Got a lot of friends? – Talent or skills? – Huge fan of their brand or product? 2) Get noticed. Create a clean profile with all your accomplishments and highlight your skills and your personality. This is most effectively done by adding a lot of photos and videos, competition results and customize your profile to represent your personality. 3) Be Active. Make friends, connect with brands, network with people and get your name out there. Use the tools on the network and get involved in the online community. What are brands/ companies looking for in an athlete that applies for sponsorship? Every brand looks for something different in their athletes – skills, personality, sponsors you currently have or have had in the past, where you’re competing… there are a ton of reasons why a brand might want to sponsor you and unfortunately there is no special formula. We thought the best way to answer this question was to get it straight from the brands – check out the responses when we asked them ‘What do you look for in an athlete?’ – Click Here to read the article How long does it take for a company to respond to my application? Every company is different – but most will respond within about a month. Why won’t companies respond to my application? If you’ve followed the checklist and done everything you can to get noticed. The best advice we can give is be persistent. Use the messaging tools to get the brands attention. Some of the brands on the network are huge and have a staff that handles their sponsorship programs. Some are one or two people operations and do it all themselves. In some cases, brands receive hundreds or thousands of applications so standing out is important and being patient as they work through the process. Getting sponsored can be like getting a job. You got to be patient, persistent and creative. How do I get sponsored by a company that’s not on the network? Just because a brand doesn’t have a profile on the network doesn’t mean you can’t get sponsored using our tools. In fact, that’s how this network started. We wanted to create a place for athletes to have an online profile or more commonly known as a resume. You can still do this. Create a profile on the network and then send a company an email with a link to your profile. It’s all in one place and way cleaner than sending a bunch of pics/vids and a bunch of blah blah blah. The companies will be able to see your profile, who you’re currently sponsored by and how many people they will have visibility to based on your friend count…all very helpful things even if they don’t have an account on the network.