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How to keep a sponsor happy

In windsurfing riders are an important marketing image for the brands. It’s proving that the products are working during the competition, and the image of their riders also reflects the brands image. Each brand has top riders or riders in the top 10, so it’s a hard job for them to stand out.

Sponsorship is done mainly to give image to a product and transform this into sales. Companies that sponsor athletes use sponsorship as a form of marketing to sell their goods. The athletes they choose to sponsor usually represent their target market.

In some cases, that may be elite athletes. In other cases, it may be someone that is exceptionally attractive. All companies are looking for someone that represents their desired image who can help them sell products.

So, why should a brand sponsor a rider?

Do you compete in your sport or even better…dominate your events?
Do you shred your local scene?
Do you have the ability to help a company market and sell their products or services? How marketable are you and why would a brand want you to represent their products? Are you a big fan from their product?
Talent, Skills and Results. Professionalism.
Personality. Got lots of friends?
Wow Factor. What makes you different to get noticed to others?
Photos and videos, are they different to what every-one is posting? Is it a yearly event, or can you create fast short clips every day?
Loyalty. Is it really worth changing sponsorship for some extra budget easy to find elsewhere?

Sponsorship means different things to different people and also means different things in different industries. The brands determine what type of sponsorship and what level of sponsorship they are willing to offer, according to your marketability as an athlete, which can be evaluated from everything based on talent, results and exposure. Does your image help sell the products?


Ricardo Campello displaying the Point-7 Salt Pro sail in the best of surroundings, the PWA world cup in Gran Canaria

For a rider is very important that the community notices the profile of the rider. From the accomplishments, highlight of the skills and personality.  Making friends, connecting with brands, network with people and get your name out there. Getting sponsored can be like getting a job. You got to be patient, persistent and creative.

When talking with a company, look at their sponsorship as a marketing investment and act accordingly. That means at all times riders are to represent and support the company that is endorsing. At the same time “marketing” is one of the first places to face budget cuts, which is why you must make yourself a valuable asset to the company to insure longevity.

Longevity within a company will come with dedication to the brand, a strong showing of involvement within one’s industry, and a consistent flow of action, whether it is video or photos. Companies that are endorsing athletes love to be in close contact, and it is important to keep them regularly updated with what projects your involved in. Often riders are wondering why the brands are not so much into contact with them, or why brands are not sharing their media. It should be the other way around. The riders should be keeping the brands updated.

If the brand you represent hosts events it is important to try and attend, but if not, at least help promote the event.

Blogging has blown up and is now considered a standard for any serious athletes. It’s important to have a place to post your current adventures and show off your stuff. Pics, video, and product updates are common, and sponsors love to see regular activity. The social media such as FB and Instagram, are important, but a dedicated channel can be often a winner too. The success comes because of regular updates and consistently impressive content.

Don’t underestimate word of mouth. It is important to achieve success but not show it off. One major fault of many athletes is ‘knowing’ how good they are. Don’t worry about how good you are, just focus on where you want to see yourself with the path you are given. People will hear about what you are doing simply through word of mouth or through interest in your character. Being a role model in one’s industry is key and never forgetting your roots will insure longevity and respect in your sport. There is no need to tell people what you do, just let them find out on their own. Arrogance is almost always a recipe for failure.

BASILE JAQUIN FRA 968

Having a long-term sponsor is important to have good relationship between the athlete and the sponsor. To start the most important is not to have directly cash money. The good way is to find a good small deal who can help the sponsoree and don’t cost too much to the sponsor. After one or 2 years, if the relationship is good, let’s try to grow up the deal.

When a sponsor gives money to an athlete, he needs to have feedback of that investment.

If the athlete only takes the money and does nothing for the brand, he is not a good investment for a sponsor. A sponsor wants to have the maximum of publicity and visibility to grow his image.

But nowadays put stickers or make post on social network is not enough. Now an athlete needs to do more, like for example involve the sponsor on the sport (if it’s an extra sponsor of his sport) or make something for potential client to test the product of the sponsor to make a real publicity.

After all of these things, the best is to work together with different sponsors.

For example, if the athlete is sponsored by a transport brand, he can involve this transport brand on the transport of the gear of his sport sponsor brand. Now these two sponsors need him because he created agreements for the sponsors to make extra business.

LENA ERDIL TUR-33

That the athlete:

– Adds value to the brand by sharing his/her values as sponsored athlete
– Creates media content that will help promote the brand/ products – ideally free of charge for the company.
– Inspires the brand for new products, development and design
– Representing the brand in the best way possible on a 1 to 1 with possible costumers
– Good relationship with the company – regular updates and contact
– General advertisement

 

Ricardo Campello V-111

There are lots of ways and the best way is to do the best in the water, even if you don’t do so well in events, of course if there is a good result is always better, give good coverage everywhere, specially nowadays on social medias, produce cool videos and contents and give feedback on the equipment.

It’s also nice for a sponsor sometimes to make a rider happy, delivering gear on time, supporting them in each way they can and not being negative in all the aspects, so it is a mutual situation!

The best is that both are connected on the same symphony and that they support each other to help the brand and the rider grow!!


Photo: Fukajaz

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