Delving into the sponsorship realm might be overwhelming and confusing. Athletes think that they need to have incredible results or they need to be famous to get sponsored. The answer is that you can get sponsored without having incredible results and without being famous; however, you should be able to provide a company a return on their investment.
For example, a company might spend 100$ on advertising inside a magazine and in return they might receive 200$ of business. As an athlete, you need to try present the company an opportunity where an investment of 100$ into you will also bring a return on their investment.
And this is nothing to be scared of. The reason is that companies advertise EVERYWHERE and they throw MONEY at everything and try to measure what works and what doesn’t. For example a company will spend 1000$ to place an advertisement inside a bus or even a newspaper. This type of advertisement will give them certain amount of views and customers. All you have to prove is that sponsoring you will bring them a certain amount of views and also a certain amount of customers - or at least some good branding and exposure.
In order to do that, you must prove to the business that you have a certain following. One way of doing that is showing Twitter followers, Youtube subscribers, Facebook Page likes, Blog subscribers, Instagram followers and even supporters on a crowdfunding campaign. However, do not be caught up on the number of followers/likes, you should show engagement because sometimes it is better to have a small but an active crowd rather than a large and stale crowd.
Once you proved you have an audience and you can bring exposure, views, customers and branding for a company, you will be able to negotiate a price for a sponsorship. Here, you should think about your experience dealing with sponsors. If this is your first sponsor don’t expect a million dollars, but do not sell yourself short either. Also, remember that a sponsor attracts another sponsor for same reason that success attracts success. You can read more about this in our “How to Find a sponsor” blog.
Two things to keep in mind. The first is that even with a minimal amount of followers you can bring value to a company besides exposure and an increase in business. Besides trying to increase the bottom line, companies sponsor athletes in order to pair their company name with your qualities of an athlete such as hard work and determination. Secondly, it is never too late to get started. Get active on social media - create your contact, increase your subscribers, followers and likes. Get exposure and approach companies - even discount of merchandise counts as a sponsorship and can help you land your next sponsor. You can even create a MAKEACHAMP campaign and as your campaign is going viral online you can increase your follower base in all social media networks.