Here is a good strategy on how to get sponsored for all those of you
who are looking. This is what has been seen to work for other people.
Before you even THINK of anything in the sponsorship world, you
have to have a plan. Companies aren't just going to see you out riding
one day and hook you up with skis because you can rip it up the park or
huck big unless you win a major competition and don't already have
What are your goals with sponsorship? Why do you feel you NEED a sponsor? What do you think you can do for a sponsor?
See, sponsorship is a two-way street. Many companies, rely on their
team members to provide valuable feedback on their products, and that's
where you come in. What makes you more sponsorable than anyone else?
It's always good to have goals, like competing and winning in
competitions for instance. Without goals, it will be very hard for a
sponsor to understand what it is you're looking to accomplish. You need
to show that you know what it takes to succeed. A preliminary local
event schedule is a great start.
You must also question yourself and ask why you do you want a
sponsor? If you're just looking to impress your buddies by saying
you're sponsored, forget it. Companies don't sponsor skiers to boost
egos. If you're just looking for a deal on a pair of skis, get a job at
a shop. This will be easier. If you're looking for a partner that will
help you achieve your skiing goals by taking away some of the hassle
associated with the financial and logistical mess that skiers can find
themselves in, and you want to make a difference in the products a
company offers, keep reading, you're on the right track.
Sponsorship is not a free ride. It's a job.
You must also understand the concept of sponsorship. It should be a
commitment. When you are sponsored, you are representing a company and
all its products. When you are in public, you are generally expected to
present yourself professionally and do everything possible to make your
sponsor's products look amazing. This can be mean sometimes, just
stopping to talk to curious skiers slopeside. You have to represent
first and foremost. To get a company interested in you, a resume of
competition results and accomplishments is always a good idea.
The thing that separates one skier from another is exposure. Have
you been in films? Have you set up photo shoots with photographers?
Have you submitted your photos for posting successfully? A successful
skier not only shreds the parks and big lines, but also does so for
film. You have to get out there and make yourself known BEFORE
companies start throwing stuff at you.
Now, the actual nuts and bolts of GETTING sponsored is another
story. Before you do anything, contact the company you're considering
and ask who is in charge of sponsorship. Get the correct spelling of
their name and their position within the company. This is NOT the time
to speak to them directly. Usually the people who run the teams have
other super-important stuff to do at the company and only have limited
time each day to spend on team issues. Talking to them on the phone
will waste their time and yours.
The next step is to sell yourself. Get all your comp results
together (or just the highlights if you've been competing for a while)
along with any press clippings, TV exposure, video footage and action
shots of you and put together a written proposal. Without something in
writing delivered to a sponsor's door, your quest is hopeless. If you
just fire off a three-line email, it'll be trashed with all the other
junk. Ya, that's cold, but it's reality. Sponsorship is a big
commitment, and you have to show a team manager that you can make a
commitment. This proposal is usually the only chance you have to make a
In your proposal, talk about what you have done in the past and
what you intend to do in the upcoming year. You must show that your
goals are attainable by supporting them with your past results, as well
as mapping out training and/or event schedules. If you sincerely think
you can do it, show what training you intend to do. To achieve this
goal, find a plan and present it, then be prepared to back it up.
Most important every step of the way though, is professionalism.
Sponsors don't only look at your results. They look at you as another
ambassador for their products. If you act like a jerk in public,
mouthing off or kicking puppies, you will not likely get sponsored.
People need to respect you, and being a jerk on a message board or out
on the trails somewhere will likely not bode well. Sponsors would
rather support the nice guy who finished third than the idiot who won.
Also, make sure every piece of written communication between you
and a potential team manager is spelled 100% correctly. Read it over
several times and have someone else check it! If a manager sees that
you can't even take the time to spell correctly, how are they going to
have confidence in you arriving to events on time, being prepared and
representing them properly? The easiest way to get a request ignored is
to write a letter asking for "sponsorship".
The key to getting sponsorship is marketing. What have you done
that makes you a more vital candidate than someone else? Approach it
like a job interview. There are hundreds of people looking for the
sponsorship hookup. What makes you better than them? Sell yourself.
Also, don't get bummed if you don't get the hookup first year.
Sponsorship is something you work toward, and it usually takes time to
build your rep.
Skier 1/2 Pipe 2010 Cult
Big Boulder Park Cult
The Over the Hill Gang