Finding sponsorship to bring an athletic career to a higher competitive level is a competition in itself, so here are 10 tips for getting sponsors as an athlete. It can be a difficult task for both amateurs and professionals. Whether you are just getting started, or you need to ramp up your sponsorship, here are 10 tips for getting a sponsor as an athlete.
- The sponsorship letter. The first thing you need to do is create a letter about yourself and your accomplishments as an athlete. This in a sense is your resume and cover letter. It should list awards and also say what sets you apart from other athletes to make you marketable.
- Start with who you know. The best place to start when looking for a sponsor is with the people you know. Family, employers, neighbors, and groups within your community. Even some of the most famous athletes started with smaller sponsors from their own home towns before they made connections with the big names.
- Online Social Networks. Social Networking sites are not just for teenagers anymore. There are some sites such as SponsorHouse where the goal is for athletes and sponsors to meet. This is a place where someone who loves a sport and wants to find a way to be involved can find athletes who need help getting their careers off the ground.
- Know what sponsors want. An important point to remember is that a corporate sponsor is not necessarily sponsoring you because they like you. The want to get their name out there and have it associated with a winner. When asking for sponsorship remember to tell them what you can do for them as a public figure in the sport.
- Research. Before you approach a specific sponsor make sure you do your homework. Find out all there is to know about the company, including their values and how they perceive themselves in the business world. This will help you to build a case for a successful relationship.
- Getting in the door. How do you know who to talk to about sponsorship? The best person to start with is the receptionist. He or she will know the name of the person you need to speak to. Remember that in a large company you will want someone in the marketing or public relations department, but in a smaller company it could be anyone from the sales department all the way up to the president of the company.
- Public Speaking. As much as most people hate it, public speaking is necessary. The better public speaker you are the better you will be at promoting your sponsor. Being an accomplished public speaker is a great way to sell yourself to a potential sponsor.
- Websites. One of the easiest ways to promote yourself is to have your own website. This is a place where potential sponsors can get information about you. Make sure it looks professional and includes your bio, accomplishments and upcoming events.
- The Interview. An interview for a potential sponsorship is just like an interview for a job. Make sure you can talk about yourself as a person and as an athlete. You should be able to qualify your accomplishments, and also make sure you can talk fluently about where you want to go in your career.
- Get involved in your community. The best way to get your name out there is to be involved in your community. This is a good way to hone your public speaking skills while you make yourself known to local businesses. Finding a sponsor is all about how you market yourself.
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