Do you want to know how to get corporate sponsors?
Everyone would love to have sponsors. Seriously. Having a company give you free tackle and equipment is something that absolutely nobody would turn down, right?
So if you’re interested in uncovering the secrets to making that happen, read on!
Let’s start right from the beginning and clear up some very common myths and misconceptions. Far too many people truly understand what it means to be sponsored, especially when it comes to what’s required of the person being sponsored.
Getting sponsors is about much more than just being able to catch fish and win tournaments.
Catching fish consistently obviously helps, as does winning some tournaments, but companies are looking for more than just a good angler. They want a “personality” that can get people’s attention, someone that people can relate to, and who can help them to market their products.
Let’s face it. If you’re a great angler but a terrible spokesperson, no company on earth will sponsor you. Period.
A critical part of the big picture is how you interact with others, both in person and in other forms of communication, such as on social media (Facebook, etc.) and even using your own website. Everything you do on your Facebook page and your website should be professional and positive.
To get started, create a Facebook page specifically for your fishing exploits and pursuits. Keep it free of hot-button topics such as politics. Keep the language clean and do your best to present yourself as intelligent and competent. Remember, it’s about fishing, or whatever sport you might be interested in, and presenting you to companies as someone they can trust to help them market their products.
If you don’t have a website of your own, it’s strongly recommended that you get one. Websites today can be built relatively inexpensively and will go a long way toward creating that professional persona for yourself. Just make sure the site is clean and professional-looking. A bad website can be damaging to your professional appearance and reputation.
Use your website to post photos of your catches, but more than that, use it to promote yourself. Create an identity that people can relate to. Make them feel like they know you and that you’re approachable. This is the stuff companies look for in good representatives for their product.
If you’re hoping to nail down a sponsorship agreement of some kind with a company, start out by promoting them before you ever even communicate with them or approach them about becoming your sponsor.
You won’t believe the number of times I’ve had people contact me over the years, asking me to sponsor them with my small tackle company, and asking me for free stuff, when they had never bought even a single one of my items. And I still get those same kinds of emails from people today!
Seriously. They really expect me to hand them free products when they have never made a purchase and have never even seen my products, other than at my website. Can you say “freebie seekers”?
Let me tell you that when I get these kinds of emails from people, they all end up in the same place; My trash folder.
So look at your equipment, your tackle, etc. Pick out a few items that you use faithfully, over and over again. Look for those items that you feel like you just can’t do without and refuse to buy in a brand name other than that one. Those are the perfect candidates for sponsors.
So, now you start the process of proving your worth by telling people about this particular brand name. Show people, tell people, maybe even give people some of it! Promote it as though you are already sponsored by that company. Just don’t be overzealous or obnoxious about it. You want to represent the product, not hit people over the head with it.
Add their logo to your website. If you wear a tournament jersey while fishing, have their logo added to it. Put their stickers and decals on your boat and your tow vehicle. Promote their company without expecting anything in return right away.
A professional-looking website with some pictures of you sporting their company logo will go a long way toward showing them that you mean business. So make sure their logo is highly visible on your site and be sure it links to their website, sending interested parties directly to them.
Write something about their products. If you have a favorite brand of fishing line, crankbait, reel, etc., write an article about how that particular piece of equipment helps you catch fish more confidently. Tell people what you like about it. Feature the product in photos in that article. Share info about that product on your Facebook page.
And if you have your own website (which you should), be sure to place their product name and logo prominently on your site so visitors can see it there. Link that logo to their website, to give them the benefit of some traffic and exposure. This is what it’s all about… helping them market their products!
All of this helps to establish your credibility as an angler who is willing to go the extra mile for your sponsor. It’s all about being willing to work for what you get. It’s easy to tell a potential sponsor that you’ll help them promote their products. But actually making it happen requires commitment on your part. If you’re not willing to put in the extra work, don’t pursue the sponsorship!
So if you’re seeking “sponsorships” for the sake of getting free stuff, stop right now. You’re wasting your time and the time of potential sponsors. It won’t take long for people to see through you and realize that sponsoring you is not going to benefit them in any way at all. And once that reputation gets spread around the industry, you’re done, You’ll never find a single company to sponsor you. Ever.
And one last thing. If you’re pursuing a sponsorship from a specific company or manufacturer, become intimately familiar with their products, especially those products that you use or that you find useful and worthy of promoting. No company will ever sponsor you if you don’t know anything about them and their products.
So here’s a quick summary of everything I’ve shared with you when it comes to understanding how to get corporate sponsors. Learn this and remember it. And work at it. Get it right, and you’ll be doing yourself and any potential sponsors a huge favor.
- Expect to do work for your sponsors – being sponsored doesn’t just mean free stuff.
- Promote the products of a potential sponsor before you approach them
- Work hard for your sponsors. Make sure they’re getting their money’s worth from you
- Make yourself marketable. Be professional and presentable
- Be friendly and approachable. Sponsors won’t be interested if you’re arrogant, cocky or can’t talk to people
- Get to know everything you can about a potential sponsor’s product line.
So that’s it… a pretty thorough rundown of what you need to do if you’re serious about finding and securing corporate sponsors for your sports career, whether you’re a fisherman, a golfer, a bodybuilder, a gymnast, a cyclist, a runner or any other type of solo athlete.
So if you want to get a corporate sponsor, get an understanding of these guidelines and remember them, and then put them into practice. You’ll be way ahead of the majority of the other people looking to find a company to sponsor them.
One last thing; If you found this article and these suggestions helpful or informative, please be sure to share this with others. And feel free to leave comments or feedback below. If you’re interested in having a professional website built for yourself, at a very affordable price, please Contact Me. I can help you get started!
And be sure to let me know when you land your next sponsor!
Until then, Fish On!