Have you ever thought about getting free products from sponsors? Or maybe thought why is “that” athlete getting all these products for free? We don’t know the details about why “that” athlete is getting these free products, but we know how YOU can! Are you willing to work for that?
Step 1 – set up a goal
First you have to be an athlete with one goal in mind – e.g. to become a professional athlete1. This is one the most important aspect about you as an athlete and when you don’t have this goal, you most certainly have less change with sponsors. Because it shows in your training, attitude and in social media (e.g. when most of your pictures are not related to your training or competitions). Sponsors want make connections with athletes, who work towards their goals, who take sports seriously and commit 100% to it. Sometimes sponsors support athlete just because he is hard working, has the right attitude and knows what he wants. It makes you the “safe investment”, because they know, you will try your best and if you don’t get here, it is okay also.
Maybe this isn’t the right way to convince you in the importance of having a goal, but we can use math to prove, that wanting to become a professional athlete can help you to get closer to becoming a professional athlete. Here is discrete mathematics2 outcome (“pro” athlete/not “pro” athlete) with 2 variables – potential and goal (as to become a professional athlete). It shows, that you have 25% (1/4) more chance to get sponsors, when you are working towards of becoming a professional athlete (because professional athletes have sponsors).
(A)athlete with potential + (B)athlete with goal in mind = can become a professional athlete
(A’)athlete without potential + (B)athlete with goal in mind = can become a professional athlete
(A)athlete with potential + (B’)athlete without goal in mind = can become a professional athlete
(A’)athlete without potential + (B’)athlete without goal in mind = not becoming a professional athlete
So now you must really think, if you want to become a professional athlete or not. Becoming a professional athlete takes a lot of dedication and motivation to keep going. If you are feeling lack of motivation, you can always find inspiration on the Internet. Here is our favorite motivational speech. It is from Eric Thomas and this guy will surely give you the boost you need to keep going!
Step 2 – introduce yourself
Why is so important to show yourself online? Well, because large part of advertising goes through the Internet and it is only logical for you to show yourself also there. If you are very, very well-known athlete, then you probably can have any sponsor without having any social media account. But then again, you wouldn’t read this post here if you were.
It is possible for you to get free merchandise from sponsors even if you are not a professional athlete. You have to show sponsors, that you deserve their support and that in one day, you can become a professional athlete. A big part of showing sponsors that you really want to become, lets say a world champion is making yourself visible online. That means posting training videos or pictures to social media and letting people know, how determined you are. For that, there are many opportunities for you to use – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogger – but Sportlio combines all of them into one beautifully designed product with necessary tools for you to show every aspect about your sports career. It even has a “become a sponsor” button that lets sponsors contact directly with you.
It is really easy to create profile in Sportlio. First you are asked to fallow 3 steps and then you can add sponsors, results and posts. There are 4 types of posts you can make – text, Youtube video, picture and article.
Sportlio team sends your profile statistics to your email at the beginning of every month3. There is no other website that does that. This is important, because it shows how many people have you attracted to visit your profile and therefore promoted your sponsors. That number is better indicator than followers or fans number. You could have 500 followers that put 10 likes to your posts, but none of them actually visits your profile page. This is the main flaw with Facebook fan pages. People see your posts on their timeline, some will scroll over, some will react to it, but very few of these people (if any) go and visit your profile, where you have listed your sponsors and some results. You can’t put your sponsors to every post you make, because it makes them all the same and boring, even maybe annoying or a little bit of obtrusive with sponsor products. One way is to use hashtag, but this also isn’t the best solution because of its limitation.
One benefit when people visit your profile in Sportlio is that it shows them your previous posts (if they have missed them). They also can quickly peek at your results graph and see, if you have made progress this year or what place you got from your last competition.
Or they can “become a true fan” of your profile and get notification to email whenever you add something new to your profile (result, post). This is one of the coolest feature that Sportlio has for sports fans that have very little time. You can be a fan of multiple athletes and get one email notification per day with all the information about athlete profile update. Yes, this takes away some of your profile visits, but number of fans in your profile also shows, how many actual fans you have. These fans need to create a fan account in order to become a fan of your profile.
Step 3 – contact sponsors
Now, that you have created yourself a profile and started making yourself more visible for people, you are ready to contact sponsors. Let them know, that you want to become a professional athlete and that you are persistent on achieving that goal. You might not get sponsors at first try, but if you keep building your fanbase and interest in people, you shall find sponsors that want to support you. It might not be free products at first (not even mentioning money), but a 50% discount is a good place where to start. As you progress and get better results, so should your sponsors offer you better conditions. We have seen that, when athlete results get better, his fanbase gets bigger and sponsors offer him better conditions.
One big mistake that athletes make, when contacting sponsors, is not mentioning what they are willing to offer back. Athlete-sponsor relationship is give-and-take, not about you only taking. If you know that, you will find sponsors, who are willing to meet you and negotiate about sponsoring you. Otherwise you might not even get email response back from sponsor.
Here are most common offerings from athlete to sponsor:
- logo on t-shirt
- logo on a warp-up dress
- adding #”sponsorname” to posts
- logo in Sportlio profile where they are in a specially designed place and are part of your profile4 (Sportlio user)
- product or service usage/review posts
We are sure, you are able to think of better offerings for sponsor. Maybe there is something that is very location or product based and could appeal to sponsor more valuable. If this is possible, you should definitely use it. Also be sure to include report of your social media usage.
Tip 1 – write down how big is your social media range (number of fans or followers). This is a good indicator and conversation starter with sponsors. You can include this number at the end of your email to sponsors.
Tip 2 – ask what you think you are worth.
Tip 3 – start writing to local companies and move up from there
So here you go! This is how YOU can find sponsors. We hope this helps you or at least gives some inspiration to start searching for sponsorship deals. Good luck!
1Professional athlete is a athlete who makes his/her living by competing in sporting competitions
2Discrete mathematics uses logic and can be used in sentences. The disjunction method shows, that only athlete without a potential and without a goal of becoming a professional athlete is NOT becoming a professional athlete. Here you can read more about disjunction in discrete mathematics – http://www.mathgoodies.com/lessons/vol9/disjunction.html
3Statistics is sent to athletes, who are active in their profile and make an effort, to show themselves
4Making sponsor logos part of profile was one of our team first ideas. Designing them as a part of the webpage makes logos easy to add and they won’t distract user. They feel natural to athlete profile (because we assume that athletes have sponsors) and AdBlock won’t block these