A guide to achieving (and maintaining) sponsorships

We can't help everybody out there, we wish we could but it's just not possible with our current resource. So for right now anyone out there looking to win sponsorships and keep them, whether represented by Sponsorite or not, might find success by following these 6 rules we have put together...

Rule 1: Invest in yourself…. MORE! As an athlete you are constantly investing in yourself when optimising your training, dietary and lifestyle habits to become the best physical version of yourself that you can be and this is vital. However there is so much more to invest in outside of your physical attributes, including your mind and your profile. For your mind simply set yourself small tasks each day, week, month to learn something new, not just related to your chosen sport… literally anything that contributes towards expanding your mind it will help in the long run regardless of your success in your chosen sport. With regards to your profile, social media is your most powerful tool, ensure you spend time increasing your audience (try to achieve 5k-10k+ followers), take note of those like Eryxgear who offer advice on what they look for in athletes they work with, monitor what other athletes do, or even don’t do, in order to successfully grow their profile. Remember the more people your message can reach the greater the opportunity of success for someone who invests in you.
Rule 2: Know your worth – this will come with time, and maybe a little trial and error, but it’s important you understand that if you set your expectations and demands too high you could scare potential sponsors away. Simultaneously underestimate your value to an investor and you might find yourself stuck in a deflating and “underpaid” agreement for a contractual lengthy term. Ask around your friends and colleagues in gyms, or business owners, maybe prepare some pre-set packages with fixed actions and listed (but negotiable) pricing… people always feel better about spending money when they feel like they’ve got a deal.

Rule 3: Prepare your approach – Benjamin Franklin once said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” and this couldn’t be more true when trying to achieve sponsors. Whether you intend to speak in person, call, send letters, emails or DM’s to potential sponsors you must prepare your approach, ensuring you consider and outline a clear message that covers what you want, why you want it, why they should choose you and, maybe most importantly, what you can offer in return. By taking the time to prepare this and memorise it in advance you can never be caught off guard if someone approaches you on the fly to discuss a potential sponsorship too.

Rule 4: Understand your audience – sometimes fixed pricing and packages don’t work for everybody; you have to be prepared to take the time to understand what might benefit the investor best. The main objective is always to achieve a return on investment but that return can look different; Do they want increased website traffic? Do they require a wider social media audience? If so, do they need it locally or nationwide? Also take time to look into what your potential sponsor offers and consider in advance if you have contacts amongst your existing friends, family and followers who might need the services that your sponsors offer and be sure to let them know that by connecting them you can create valuable opportunities.

Rule 5: Engage, engage… ENGAGE! – Set time out of each day to follow new local businesses on social media that you might like to work with in the future. Then follow their content, like, comment on and share it regularly. If you’re active, and people see that you are active, they’ll immediately see value, they understand that if you are all over their newsfeed then you are likely all over many more too, and if they invest in you, their brand could be too.

Rule 6: Overdeliver – Never, and we really mean NEVER, just do the minimum required to keep a sponsor happy, even if exact requirements are clearly listed and outlined day one in the agreement that you share, you should always try to go above and beyond. This will hugely contribute towards building a solid relationship with your sponsor, not to mention it will massively increase the likelihood of additional investments from them in the future.