LiteratureTo the OP: Sponsorship is a job, so it's important to weigh the work you do with the rewards you receive. Many people shouldn't try turning their passions into their jobs; I guarantee that every person at every level of the ski industry has days where their work is frustrating and difficult or perhaps dangerous.
This is key. Some companies might send out gear with few expectations but generally speaking there are few things in life that are actually free. If you're getting 'free' stuff then it's usually expected that you'll pay for it one way or another - it's just that you are paying for it with time/content/exposure/commitment/referrals/gear testing etc instead of money. If you're passionate about skiing this can be an incredibly helpful and rewarding thing. It helps with gear costs but also means you can play a part in an industry and community that is important to you. This can result in meeting awesome people and gaining exciting opportunities you otherwise might not.
You do have to weigh up the pros and cons though. If all you want to do is hot lap with your friends and not worry about a providing consistent stream of photos/edits then the duties of sponsorship may not be worth it to you. Especially for photography and filming, it can be a lot of time and effort for not a huge amount a skiing.
Also being sponsored by a company is 100% not worth it if you don't really like their gear. If you love skiing and do it a lot then having to use shitty gear sucks. You're much better off finding good deals on gear you like.
mr-mcsteezeEven if it was a small company who is just gonna give me some clothes and some money to go to some really nice parks for a few days with a filmer and a few friends, i would jump on that chance without a second though
Realistically most sponsorships don't involve much of a pay cheque, even with big companies (unless you're a top tier pro). Relatively speaking there's just not that much money in the industry.