Mr.BishopThe first sponsor you are going to get will either be a local shop, or a local rep.
Sponsorships aren't prizes to be won because you got good. Plain and simple they are a business transaction where a company feels that you will help sell more of their product.
If you are already popular on the internet, then you have a shot at attracting a company like Saga, Virtika, Line or whatever - but you have to be REALLY popular to attract them on a national/international level. This means either being super popular on the internet, being in ski movies or winning major contests.
However, local reps in your area have their own flow programs they can utilize to boost sales simply in their region. So if you're very active at your mountain, talk to a lot of people, kill it in your park maybe win some contests - that rep can decide to hook you up with flow product to get you started. Shops sometimes do the same type of thing, where they will sponsor a local rider and then work with the same reps to get flow product for that rider.
Volunteering at a demo day to help a rep can be an excellent way to get to know one of the guys. Helping out at a shop can do a great job too. You won't win sponsorship as a prize, and simply emailing an edit into a company is going to get you lost in the 10,000 other people who want the exact same thing.
Its much easier to work your way up the totem pole if you do this.
Remember - think of it as a business. You need to actually help someone increase their sales of product in order to be valuable on their team.
This literally couldn't have been any more on point. (Props Bishop!)
I stress that you keep in mind, anyone willing to "sponsor" an athlete is looking at it as a business opportunity where the athlete is being used as a marketing asset to sell product. So when presenting yourself to a company (in this case, sending your promo) BE SURE to include what you will do IN RETURN for whatever level of sponsorship. (photo/video content, competition exposure, ski movie exposure, local word of mouth hype, help at regional demos etc etc.)
This is what a lot of people tend to forget. You could be the worst skier in the world, but if you represent the brand in a positive light and directly influence sales, you are worth every penny of investment the company will spend on you. On the other side, you could be the best skier of all time, but you do nothing to promote the brand, this does not help sell product. There is all sorts of ways you can look at it. But keep in mind, the whole point of getting sponsored is to bring value to the company that supports you.
Someone Who Gets LOTS of "Sponsor me" Emails.