Without question, crowdfunding for athletes and teams is becoming increasingly popular. A campaign is simply the quickest and most efficient way to raise funds for your goals. In a world where getting money from sponsors is nearly impossible and there is an increased demand on the athlete to travel globally, getting funds quickly is instrumental. However, crowdfunding for athletes is so much more than simply collecting funds online. Below weve listed some of the unexpected benefits you get from running a crowdfunding campaign for your sport on MAKEACHAMP.
1. Increased Online exposure
Besides the cash that you get from your campaign, exposure is probably the biggest benefit. Nearly all amateur sports and athletes struggle to get exposure. As a result, we also struggle to get funds from sponsors. Sports such as judo, triathlon, muay thai, brazilian jiu-jitsu and many others are not on TV or in the news in most countries. Therefore everyone participating in such sports struggle to get money from sponsors.
MAKEACHAMP has hosted thousands of athlete and team campaigns, and weve measured the online exposure of these athletes and teams before, during and after their campaigns. We found that there is a significant increase in online presence and traffic during the campaign. In fact, many of our olympic athletes have more exposure during their campaigns than during the Olympics.
The main reason for the increased exposure is that during the campaign (especially at the beginning), the social circle of the athletes and team join in sharing the campaign. The result is a massive spike in traffic and online presence. This is something that all amateur sports need more of. Here is Stfanie Tremblay telling her story :
2. Market yourself as an athlete
Unfortunately many athletes have a hard time marketing themselves online. They put in a lot of hours of hard work and sacrifice to achieve their goals but their humble attitude prevents them from telling people about it online. They are too modest to share their struggle and success with others. Unfortunately this prevents them from getting the exposure needed to get sponsored.
When you run a campaign, your network joins you in sharing your campaign and as a result your story gets read by thousands of people. A campaign tells people about your story, goals, success and sacrifices. MAKEACHAMPs campaign page offers you a variety of ways to tell your story. This is what makes a campaign powerful - it helps the athlete market themselves.
As the campaign goes viral online, people begin to discover the athletes story and learn about the hard work and sacrifice that goes into what they do. If you are having a hard time marketing yourself online as an athlete, create a campaign -- it will do the marketing for you!
3. Getting sponsored
Beyond the exposure, marketing, and funds, the other major perk of running a crowdfunding campaign is the amount of sponsorships you get. During my last campaign, I was sponsored by Right Blue Labs (the makers of LogitApp - a tracking tool for athletes and coaches) and also FIT Personal Training (torontos personal training).
In fact, following the thousands of campaigns we had on MAKEACHAMP, we noticed a pattern of athletes announcing their new sponsorship soon after their campaigns. One of the reasons for the gain in sponsorship is that you are in touch with a lot of people on social media that are willing to sponsor you. However, you dont know about it because you have not reached out to them. You have friends on Twitter/Facebook that have companies that would be more than willing to sponsor you. A campaign helps you reach these friends without you doing it personally. If you are having a hard time getting sponsored, create a campaign, youll be amazed at the offers you get.
When it comes to sponsorship, a crowdfunding campaign has a snowball effect. The reason is that once you are sponsored, you are more likely to get sponsored by others. The initial sponsors help you build credibility which is essential when dealing with sponsors. A campaign will help you reach deep into your social network and get sponsored by the people that already know you and are much more willing to sponsor you. Then you will be able to leverage these sponsorships to get others. A crowdfunding campaign is that magical thing that can put you on the right track to get the sponsorship you dream of.
4. Collecting emails
Another plus of a crowdfunding campaign which is unique to MAKEACHAMPs platform, is that you collect a database of emails of supporters. Every single time a person either follows your MAKEACHAMP profile or contributes to your campaign, their email is stored in your unique MAKEACHAMP contributor database. Following that, when you use your MAKEACHAMP profile blog, an email update is sent to all your supporters. This is an incredible way to not only start your community of supporters, but to maintain it and also grow it. Your initial campaigns exposure is used to create that community. The shear exposure of your campaign and the contributions you receive will help you establish that original group of supporters. Your future posts are then used to update these supporters in regards to your journey. It will help keep them in the loop and help them keep rooting for you. The future updates will also help you grow your community of followers. Once you share your journey, people will want to stay in the loop - theyll want to join you.
Here is an example of an email update that your supporters will get following your update.
5. Making connections
If you're still not convinced about creating a campaign, this last reason is a favourite of mine. Your crowdfunding campaign is an opportunity to ignite old friendships and create new ones. This has had an incredible impact on my athletic career. When you create a campaign, you are giving people the opportunity to support you, and in some cases you will have to give them a reward for their contribution. This is a simple act that helps facilitate a relationship. I cant tell you how many old relationships have been re-ignited because of my campaigns. Old family relatives and friends that I havent seen in years have become very close to me simply because of my campaign. Even an old neighbour that I can barely remember, contributed to my campaign and weve been really great friends for many years since. For me, these connections are absolutely priceless. The old friends and the new friends that my campaign has helped facilitate are worth way more than any contribution. These relationships helped motivate me to overcome all the challenges my sport brought me.
6. Reach the next level of your sport
I found that many athletes have improved their performance following a crowdfunding campaign - this is true for me too. After talking to many athletes, weve concluded that the motivation the athlete gets after their campaign, helps push them forward in their athletic pursuit. There are many reasons that your level of commitment and motivation increases following a campaign. One of them is that you realize that you are no longer alone on the athlete journey. Many athletes told us that when they are alone training or at competitions they feel like their supporters are with them. Here is a short video of one our athletes explaining what it feels like :
The other reason that a campaign pushes you to improve your performance is that you realize people have given you their money to help you achieve your goals. They worked hard for their money and they believe in you to the point that they are willing to help fund your goals. This is an incredible self-esteem boost. Following my campaigns, Ive noticed an increased level of dedication and professionalism in the way that I pursue my sport.
Crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds, but it is so much more than that. It helps you get the exposure you need to get sponsors, to market yourself, to grow your community of followers, to connect with new and old friends and more importantly to take your sport to the next level. Don't believe me? Go try it for yourself. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. Create a campaign now, it's free.