No matter how many times this topic has been covered, it is still a question I get asked daily – “How do I go about getting sponsored?”
Firstly, you must be realistic! If you are just an average gym goer who does not compete or work in the sports and fitness industry what are you looking to be sponsored for? You often see the phrase on a person’s facebook or twitter bio “sponsored athlete” or “sponsored fitness model”. I can’t say I have ever seen a bio that contains the phrase “sponsored average gym goer”.
No matter how obvious it sounds, I have to point this out as I have been asked by countless numbers of people how they can go about obtaining sponsorship and they have a couple of followers on twitter, no blog or website, do a day job unrelated to fitness and go to the gym 4-5 times a week to keep fit. Lets say you play Sunday league football for a local team, would you expect to get signed up by Nike? Or if you are thinking about taking up basketball once a week, do you expect a brand to start providing you with free products? Now you may laugh at these statements but it seems in the fitness and bodybuilding world there are people out there who expect this to be the case! Only yesterday someone who said they plan to start going to the gym in the New Year asked me how they can obtain sponsorship to help with supplements throughout their transformation! Now of course my response to them, in the kindest possible way, was that they need to have something to offer the company in return for the products. But still, I did advise that they track their transformation with progress pictures and a blog, so if it is successful and they develop a following along the way, it may open up doors to them in the future.
The fact is that to be an ambassador for a brand, you need to offer something to the brand, it is a two way street! Of course you need to have the look, but I could go to my local gym and find at least 2 people in there at any time who would look good in a photographic advertisement for a supplement company. You need more than just the look, you need to have used this look to put yourself in a position that many others aspire to reach and you need to be seen as a role model to others. There has to be something appealing to a brand that sets you apart from the other 1000’s of good-looking guys or girls with a six-pack. Why do the world’s top athletes receive huge sponsorship deals? They receive them because they are in the public eye constantly and we as consumers and fans wish to use the same products they do and hence the brands benefit from the association. It costs the brand money to be associated with the athlete, but they expect to make more back in return by means of the business that they gain due this association. The fitness industry is no different, the regular gym guy, aspiring bodybuilder or someone just starting out on their fitness journey, want to use the same products that they believe have worked for the people who have got to the top. For that reason and after years of hard work, sacrifice and commitment, those people at the top have earned the endorsement opportunities that they receive.
When you are in a position where a brand you respect may benefit from being associated with you then, if they have not approached you first, you need to approach them in the correct way. Sell yourself to the brand what can you offer them? Why will it be beneficial for them to be associated with you? Compare it to a job interview, you would not just tell the person conducting the interview why this job would be good for you – “I like the amount of money it would pay me and the hours fit nicely around my social life, therefore, I think I am the best person for this job!” Instead you sell yourself to them and explain why you are the best person for the position. Achieving sponsorship is exactly the same.
Provide them with facts, what is your competitive history? What publications have you appeared in? But even more importantly for them is your following. Do you have people following you who are likely to want to use the same products as you? You may have been on the cover of a magazine or competed in a physique show, but if people don’t know who you are there is still little benefit to the company. Provide them with links to your blog, your website, social networking sites such as twitter, facebook and youtube. These provide the company with a great insight into who you are, that you are respected for what you do and are in a good position to promote their brand.
With love from the Trench kitchen,