Handling Sponsorship Like A Pro!

Participating in athletic events is costly. Not to mention eating healthy, traveling to competitions and paying for coaching. It is sad that many athletes miss out on sporting events because of empty bank accounts and not because of their sporting abilities. Well, this does not have to be you! A sponsor ~ no pun intended ~ can sort you out.

Why do sponsors want you?

Believe it or not, you represent the lifestyle that appeals to the sponsor’s customers and audience. You may represent strength, youthfulness, power, energy, performance, swag, being attractive or just someone living the “dream” in their eyes.

You may question the sanity of the management of a company that gives “handouts” to athletes. You will be surprised to know sponsorship is part of the company’s marketing efforts. As the athlete you need to prove your worth and maybe just maybe you could tap into the funds businesses set aside for marketing purposes.

What is in it for you?

Sponsorship allows you to focus and participate in major competitions and events without fearing for your wallet. It also allows you to train comfortably for results and reduce stress levels associated with costs related to attending events, taking time off work, etc.

Don’t forget you will have access to sporting equipment, athletic wear and spaces that you will need to train for events. Your health also benefits as you may now have access to better medical services specialized in sports injuries all aimed to keep you at the top of your game.

Scoring one sponsor can attract more sponsors to finance your sport. This is especially true if you are winning and on top of your game.

You may have to start small by getting small endorsements in the beginning. Slowly build your brand and soon enough the small endorsements begin to attract more sponsors. With more sponsors on board, you will be able to participate in more high-profile competitions increase your chances of winning and consequently be more desirable for even more sponsors.

Chances are that you may find yourself even more motivated and your performance generally improving. Finding sponsors who believe in your sports prowess motivates you to improve your personal best resulting in you meeting your dreams and having a sense of purpose and focus.

How To Bag a Sponsor

Bagging a sponsor is easier if you make your sports brand very visible. How you ask? Start by highlighting your accomplishments, skills and personality.

Networking is the name of the game. When targeting a sponsor, look at their sponsorship as a marketing investment and act accordingly. That means at all times you need to represent and support whatever the company is endorsing.

Consistency will almost always lead to a long-term relationship with a sponsor. This means that you will have to have strong involvement in your sport and a consistent flow of action, be it video or photos. Your social media pages need to be active with consistent flow of action. Keep your sponsor regularly updated with what projects your involved in. Tag them if you must. If the brand you represent hosts events it is important to try and attend, but if not, at least help promote the event.

Remember when finances in your sponsoring firm becomes lean, marketing is one of the first places to face budget cut.  As such you need to make yourself a valuable asset to the company to insure longevity.

It may seem like a lot of effort is required but don’t forget getting sponsored can be like getting a job. You got to be patient, persistent and creative.

Image courtesy: soccerladuma.co.za

By Irene Koskei

MSA Finance Expert

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