So… You want to get sponsored but aren't sure what exactly it is you need to do. We are living in a new world where it's not just about your riding ability or results. If you want the free bikes, clothes, and accessories then you have got to put in the work. That doesn't just mean training and riding your bike. Nowadays riders are even being judged by their social-media presence, so do you have a following? Are you marketable? Do the fans like you?
Everyone wants to be the rider that the brands want to endorse. Who wouldn't want to get paid and get mass amounts of gear, clothing and racing parts? How do you do it? It's not surprising that there's no exact formula on how to obtain these things but we put together a list of helpful tips that may aid you in your search for sponsorship.
Gain An Audience
What makes you stand out from the rest? The first thing sponsors are looking for these days is your audience, because at the end of the day they are using you as a vessel to get their products out to the public. You can get first place, but if no one knows who you are, or is invested in your career, why would they want to invest in the products you are promoting? By making an effort to connect with your fans you are dramatically increasing your audience and your chances of receiving sponsorship.
What better place to connect with fans than on the platforms given to us today; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. are the best places to get to know and grow your audience. These are also great places to get paid to promote your sponsors. It's a new aspect that is now part of becoming a paid racer, but think of it as a great opportunity to connect with fans. You can let them in on more of your life that they don't always get to see like training, friends, family, hobbies, and much more. Let them get to know the real you! That is how you promote yourself and your brands.
Be a person who not only has a following but represents qualities that brands would like to endorse. Being marketable comes with putting the time in and showing your fans that you are committed to being a good representation of your industry. Give back, work hard and get involved.
Keep in mind that when you gain a sponsorship you are no longer just representing yourself. Sponsors know this, which is why they think long and hard before they let just anyone put their logo on their gear or bike. They want you to be able to market their products of course, but they also want someone that they trust to do it in a professional way.
Connect With Brands
It's okay to be the one who reaches out to sponsors. You don't want to just get sponsored by anyone. It helps when you are already passionate about the brand, their products or services. Don't be afraid to send them your résumé, what you offer and why you would like to collaborate together. Brands love to see that you already know them, respect them and most importantly want them to be a part of your racing career.
Sponsorships don't happen overnight, but they are something you can actively be working towards. GET TO WORK and GET YOURSELF OUT THERE. Your fans cannot wait to know you better!