Over the last few years I had a number of Athletes asking me how to go about getting sponsorship. At the same time I heard a number of them saying “F*ck them, that’s not enough to put their logo on my gear. X said I should get way more”
Now, before we go any further, here is a word of advice that would help everyone in life:
“Don’t take advice from someone that accomplished f*ck all in their life. It generally means they are bad at what they do… Find someone else to listen… to look up to”. Unless X is rolling in cash from sponsorship, chances are they are talking out of their ass.
Anyway, if you’re a fighter, footballer, or any other type of athlete, chances are you are looking for sponsorship or have looked in the past.
But what should you get as sponsorship? According to Wikipedia “Sponsoring something (or someone) is the act of supporting an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products or services. Sponsors and sponsored parties should set out clear terms and conditions with all other partners involved, to define their expectations regarding all aspects of the sponsorship deal. “
So why is it so hard for businesses to hand out cash? Simple answer, Facebook and Google is cheaper than you.
What? That’s not true! I’ve 10,000 followers on my Instagram account and I can get their business huge exposure!
Well, you can’t. You head down to Adidas (just an example, it can be McDonald’s if it makes you happier). Adidas hands you their best range of gear:
- Sparring Gloves €110
- Training Gloves €110
- Shinguards €100
- Headguard €85
- Two pairs of shorts at €45 each is €90
- Tshirts, anklets, handwraps, lets say another €100
That’s €595 in a single bundle.
You go home, take a photo and put it up on Instagram telling your friends how great Adidas is. NINE out of TEN fighters never post anything again until they get told to. This is really bad form and that’s why the second time around they are told there’s no sponsorship available or they get less than half of what they got the first time.
But what does 10,000 followers get you as a business? Not much. Out of those 10,000 people, probably 10% (1,000) are interested in Martial Arts. Out of those 10%, probably half (500) would look at Adidas and out of those 500, maybe 1% (5) would buy anything.
This is where Facebook comes in. You take the €595 worth of gear, put it on the floor, take a photo and put it up on your Facebook page. Then you go and boost the photo by €595 and add a link to your shop (You get to keep your gear and everyone goes directly on to your shop unlike Instagram posts). This will get you around TWO MILLION hits on that photo. But here is the best part, almost all of them are interested in Martial Arts. How? You get to pick who sees the ad! You also get to pick the city you want to target, or county or the entire country. You can even pick what age group you want and who you don’t want to see your ad.
Statistically, if 1% (20,000 people!) of those Two Million people buy a product, you more than make your €595 back. You will not make it back from the 10,000 followers on Instagram.
But I’ve seen John give my friend €100 as sponsorship when he had his first Boxing fight, why did he do that?
Well, your friend could be stuck badly and some businesses don’t mind helping out. Some businesses have a set budget for advertising and if they haven’t spent it all, they give some of it out to Athletes. Some businesses sponsor Athletes as favours to other people. Some have friends managing a McDonalds branch and they can put in a good word. Sometimes you genuinely like the guy and you wanna help him out even if he gets you ZERO sales.
Yeah but X gets free gear and he gets paid to use it!
Well, yeah, I can name a lot of Athletes in that situation. The most obvious is Conor McGregor. Beats by Dre send him free packages and then they pay him to use the headphones. The reason is, if Conor puts a photo on his social media of him wearing a pink set of Beats headphones, the following morning a huge amount of his fans will be on Google searching where to buy the same headphones. That’s exactly why he is paid, to generate sales. Do your followers walk in to Lifestyle Sports and buy the same pair of runners because you have them? Gonna assume the answer is no…
I’ve been dealing with this for the last few years. Almost all our sponsorship’s have been favours. Every morning I pick up the phone and read between 5 and 10 e-mails from individuals looking for sponsorship. Most of them start with ‘I only need…’ unfortunately, we all need stuff. What do you have to offer in return?
Before you listen to the so called ‘vloggers’ and turn down a pair of Nike runners from Champion Sports, ask yourself what are you actually worth. What can you actually do for those runners. Is Lifestyle Sports offering you two pairs so you pick them over Champion Sports? Probably not.
Take what you’re given and be grateful as the market is flooded with ‘champions’. Everyone is Footballer of the year, best Runner in Dublin, Irish Karate Champion and hundreds more. The way you compete in your sport, you compete for that pair of runners. Someone else wants them more than you do and will take them no questions asked.
How are you so sure?
Well, for €6 you are reading this blog. You are one of the 17,738 people that seen my Facebook ad. Can you get 17,738 of your friends to see my Facebook post for the price of a roll and a drink? Probably not…
Next time you walk in to a business and ask them for money, think about the above. Don’t demand sh*t, be smart about it. Be professional.
Image Source: eventbrite.co.uk