A lot of kids come to me and ask me how to get sponsors so I thought I’d write a little article about my views on sponsorship.
The title of this article is meant to be a joke, but I’ve been asked by many kids about getting “free stuff”. First of all, sponsors aren’t looking to give you free merchandise, they’re looking to see what you can do for them. By this I mean that you need to do as much or more for your sponsors than they do for you. When a company approaches me regarding sponsorship I like to think my job is to be an outside salesperson for that company. My job is to sell sell sell their products! Maybe I’m weird or something, but last year my dad received several letters from companies that Said they had received emails from people stating what a great representative I was for their company, I actually wasn’t sponsored by them but I used and really liked their products. Imagine that? Telling the truth about a company that isn’t giving you the product for free. Maybe I am weird…….
I like to approach a company like this, I will send my resume and a photo to whomever is in charge of their team. Sometimes I get a response and sometimes I don’t. Don’t give up! I’m sure that person gets a hundred emails a day asking for “free stuff”. One company that I shoot for actually watched me for a year before they decided to add me to their factory team. The team manager told me he was watching to see how I acted in public as well as how I acted on social media. That may sound creepy but the company that is going to put their name on your jersey wants to make sure that you aren’t some sort of foul-mouthed hooligan drama-queen whiner. I do believe that your public image matters. We all have melt downs , but try to keep them private.
Ok, so you’ve negotiated a deal with a company and they’ve sent you some free stuff, what’s next? Something I like to do with the people I represent is to have them send catalogs, brochures, anything that I can hand to people at matches or when I’m out and about and we stop by a gun shop ( we do that a lot! ) I can give the owner a catalog or other info about whatever company I’m handing information about. Sometimes I have samples to hand out too! Also, do your homework. Know the produce that you represent. That is very important! There’s nothing worse than having someone ask you about a product you use and you give them a blank stare . If you’re telling someone how great something is you better know what you’re talking about.
The bottom line is to remember that you work for them and they are paying you for your services. Their pay is tangible and your service is intangible. Remember that free stuff is never actually free. In our industry someone always has to pay someone to make their products. And also remember that the person you’re asking to help you with “free stuff” probably doesn’t get any “free stuff” themselves.
Be a good kid and great representative!
I hope to see some of you in Nashville in 2 weeks!!!