29 Feb So, You Want To Be Sponsored?
By: Brian Carroll & TeamPRS
Nowadays there are many opportunities to become sponsored across the map if you are into lifting weights and competing in the iron game. This is a very cool thing for most, especially those new to the sport. I know it was my dream to be sponsored but I really didn’t know how to market myself as well as what being sponsored entailed.
For the sake of this article,I’ll stick with powerlifting since I know it pretty well and have also been sponsored by many if not all the different outfits and companies.
There is a lot to being sponsored and what certain brands look for but I’m going to list a few things that I look for when sponsoring someone on PRS, their training (giving them free or discounted training) or just in general if I were to give someone advice to give the best shot at being picked up by a company.
1. First and most importantly, use their products and support the company for at least a decent period of time prior to asking for sponsorship. This should be obvious, but not always so obvious to some. I’ll never understand this. Every time I post that I’m looking for someone, or better yet someone hits me up without a post, they ask me what it takes or some information on 10/20/Life. They have never been a customer, use a different training system or have never even read the book, which all of ‘this’ is based on. Even better is when they say they support or use your methods but then go on to describe a totally different system, method and bastardize everything you work so hard to promote. This is the most basic piece of advice ever: we do check and do our research on you! Don’t look foolish.
2. Represent yourself as if you are actually an employee working a company you are currently with, and reach out as if you are applying for a job and express & explain your potential value! What can you offer this company and how? Be prepared to explain it! The worst thing and one of the biggest turnoffs I’ve encountered is when you see a sponsor bash his current company on social media or whatever outlet they have, then come to you and ask for some assistance. Or even come to you bashing their current sponsor. The best way to get yourself eliminated from a short list is to spew garbage about anything or anyone publically. What makes me think you won’t do the same about ME? You will eventually.
3. Promote the brand before you ask or apply for a sponsorship for an extended period of time. If you truly believe that you want to represent a business or company, then you should already be promoting it, referring others and obviously are a current supporter and customer. This dovetails with point 1 but it’s a huge motivator to bring someone aboard that already is promoting you and a believer in your system. You don’t have to tag them every day, but the squeaky wheel gets the lube more often, right. Don’t be annoying, but be visible!
4. It goes without saying – but promoting competitive brands while seeking out help or planning to seek out assistance is going to hurt you more than you think. This is not to say you shouldn’t ever promote other brands. My point is, again, we will research your social media posts, blogs and such. So, if you are touting competitive brands and the like more than my particular brand, it’s likely that if you and another candidate are equal as far as value (which happens) that the person with more promotional posts/mentions will beat you out. And why wouldn’t they? The more you post about a company you are shooting for assistance from, the more likely they are to see it and the converse is the same too, so keep this in mind.
5. Concerning social media – don’t be too much of an asshole and proof read your posts. Freedom of speech right? And I have freedom of choice to not pick you up. But not freedom of potential problems in the future with employers for you either. Social media can be a double edged sword – can be very useful or critically hurt you. Nobody wants someone who always picks fights with (what will or could be) potential customers over petty nothingness and at the same time doesn’t take 2 seconds to proofread their posts when they go to do a post or promotion. Remember – nothing really goes away anymore with the internet. Screenshots and google searches are for always and don’t just go away. Hell, even FB has an editing feature on comments and status’ that always shows what you initially wrote. Nothing really goes away anymore! Use social media for a positive reflection of you & your interests, and how you can promote for the brand and help it grow.
This list is not the end all be all, but what comes to mind when I look for sponsors, especially in the last year as I’ve learned that not everything is as it appears with people but some things are totally obvious. Remember, it’s a privilege to be a rep of a company and an honor, nobody is entitled to receive free shit including coverage and exposure. Keep this in mind when you seek it out!