Blog post by IFBB Figure Professional Ellena Reidie.
I started this blog intending to share some some tips on how to secure a sponsorship within the fitness industry. While I was talking to various business owners and other sponsored athletes, it became apparent that it isn’t generally what people are NOT doing while seeking sponsorship, but what they are doing WRONG which is leading to failure.
I have a variety of sponsors, and most were secured prior to my pro status. From tanning products, supplements, clothing (thanks Activewear) and even chicken! Note: Pro status does not in itself guarantee sponsorships! That being said, you don’t need to be a pro or even a current national/Australian title holder to earn yourself a sponsor (if you do it right!).
Regardless of the type of product or sponsorship you are seeking, it’s important you don’t piss off the person on the other end – the fitness industry is huge, the bodybuilding/figure/sports modelling community in Australia is very small. Everyone knows everyone, people talk and impressions last!
So when applying for a sponsorship, here are a few tips on what NOT to do;
Don’t forward your sponsorship application emails:
A bad move, especially if you didn’t personalize the email or delete the fwd in the subject line. You don’t want to look desperate, and you don’t want to look like an idiot either. Do your research and personalize the email – this makes the business owner feel like they are your number one choice – whether they are or not!
Don’t be cocky:
Just because according to you, you’re the highest ranked whatever or have won titles here and there and everywhere, it doesn’t mean people like you. It also doesn’t mean that you’re a nice person, marketable or knowledgeable. People skills are high on the sponsoring business’ wish list and if you make people cringe, then it’s not a good sign.
Ok eventually you will have to negotiate what you want, but never demand it, especially in the first email or meeting. This just comes across as rude. Think about what is fair for your sponsor to want from you and what is fair to want from them. Keep in mind that a sponsorship is not a donation – you’re expected to work for what you get!
Ok I am quite possibly one of the worst spellers in the world and a few people like to bring it to my attention, however everyone makes mistakes. But when you can’t spell the company’s business name and if you drop the ” your products are da bomb brah” then trust me when I say you will be lucky to hear a “no thank you” from them, if you do manage to get a reply. Everyone knows everyone so this will most likely be brought up amongst others in the industry and even on Facebook for shits and giggles.
Asking for money:
There isn’t that much money in bodybuilding industry. If there was then magazines would be paying us to be on the cover, we would get paid for interviews and we would have free anything. Start off with expecting/requesting supplements, clothing, services etc. Some companies will pay you for your time to do taste testings, work at booths etc. in a promotional capacity – it’s always good to ask businesses around FitX or Filex if they need help! This is a great foot in the door and allows your potential sponsor to see your value.
Expecting something for nothing:
Sponsorship is a two way street. Expecting the world and not giving anything in return will not get you anywhere in the industry or in life. Some sponsors may want a trial first, that may mean going to promos, writing blogs, marketing through social media etc. If you’re not prepared to do any of the above, why should they be prepared to sponsor you?
Ok I’m not saying you can’t get a sponsorship being a sports model, But it is more difficult in my opinion.
A company who specializes in supplements to build muscle will not want a skinny sports model with any muscle representing them. Neither will a clothing company who specializes in clothing for muscular and fit women. Find your niche, if you are on the skinny sports model side, look for more mainstream clothing and supplement companies.
Being excessively out of shape:
I know it’s not the easiest thing to do but staying semi lean is a great way to represent your personal ‘brand’. If you’re the type to blow out and look like you have never stepped foot in a gym then it will difficult to hold a sponsorship. Why do you think Scotty G stays a little leaner post comp now?
So if you’re seeking sponsorship, put yourself in the company’s shoes, why should they sponsor you? What can you do for them?
Really look at the company inside and out, do your research and be choosy in who you contact.
If you’d like to connect further with Ellena you can visit her website and facebook fanpages here:
No comments yet.