We think that athletes should be more active and show themselves. It is good for sport, sponsors and for YOU (athlete). We have talked to lots of companies, associations and athletes. Here is why showing yourself matters.
If you like to train “hidden” and only display your sponsor’s logo on your t-shirt, then no one is interested in supporting you. This way you don’t reach potential customers of that company. And this is a common scenario. Athletes write to companies asking for sponsorship, but do not have anything interesting to offer in return. If you train “hidden” then you have no word to complain about why so little help comes from your sport club, national association or from highest organizational level – country (national olympic committee). These organizations’ financial resources are closely connected with the popularity of sports and athletes. Also, people are more inspired to come and see you compete (or read an article about you) when they have heard of you before.
You have to know one thing – Internet today saves time and gives you an opportunity to advertise anything you want for free! Why not use it to advertise yourself as an athlete?
Internet offers much more advertising possibilities than some logo on a t-shirt. You can show yourself exactly when you want to – and especially when you have a training season. Showing how you train and keeping everyone updated provides you with a constant advertising possibility in contrast to the one time you were featured in TV news or on a newspaper cover mid season. Lots of sponsors have experienced the frustration of having their sponsored athlete on news and the camera angle or position makes it impossible to see/read the sponsor’s logo on the t-shirt. It is real problem and that is why sponsors want you to be more active using other channels of advertising.
Here is an example of poor camera angle and title during an interview (to be fair, he had only 1 sponsor). Nevertheless, this interview has over 200 000 views on Youtube and the sponsor got 10sec of screen time out of the potential 90sec):
Now you can see two sponsors, but if you don’t know their logos, you will not recognize them. Because one can not have big logos on a competition uniform:
Here is a surprise for you – sponsors care about your advertising capabilities as much as your results (50% advertising + 50% results). This means that results do not matter as much as they did 15 years ago – thanks to Internet.
Now, let’s make a clear example using athletes “A” and “B”: “A” is a national champion and “B” got the 10th place on nationals, but has a Youtube channel (makes training videos) and maintains a blog (occasionally posts on Facebook/Instagram too). Now, they both write to the same company. Put yourself in the shoes of the CEO of that business. Who would you rather choose to support? “A” offers:
- logo on a t-shirt
- logo on a warm-up dress
- and promises to wear these during an interview (if he has an opportunity to give one)
- same as “A”
- + logos at the end of Youtube videos
- + logo in the blog
- + mentions in blog (writes about his new sponsor and about the deal that he is proud to have got)
- + everything else that comes with using social media
If you choose “A”, you will get a better athlete, but remarkably less advertising. This is where many prefer advertisement over results. And let’s be honest, whether you are ranked 1st or 10th in your country, international companies are not interested in supporting you anyway (except if you are nr 1 in a large country that has many millions of people). And local businesses are looking for an athlete, who can reach more potential customers like athlete “B”.
To sum it up, showing yourself as an athlete matters because you can help your sport club get better sponsors, YOU can get more sponsors and overall sport benefits from you. Because you are showcasing your athlete career, inspiring others and helping companies reach more customers.
This is what we recommend – practice to become a better athlete and offer as much as you can! Then you can have an athletic career supported by great sponsors.