Getting sponsored in electric skateboarding is similar to traditional skateboarding in the sense that it requires hard work and dedication. However, electric skateboarders also need to demonstrate their knowledge of the technology and show how they safely use their boards. Showing off your skills in videos and photos, as well as networking with other electric skateboarders, can also help increase your chances of getting sponsored. Additionally, using social media to build up your following and draw attention to your profile can be beneficial.
The moment you receive a sponsorship offer from your favorite skate company is unmatched. Imagine having a skateboard brand you support genuinely endorse your distinct riding style while you advertise for them. You can accomplish this with some effort and perseverance. The basic steps you can take as an individual to put yourself in a position to be sponsored are listed below.
Definition of Sponsored vs. Pro
Before we continue, it's important to distinguish between sponsored skaters and professional skaters.
Sponsored skaters can anticipate receiving gear and assistance with event attendance.
They might receive financial assistance with some expenses and reimbursement for items purchased to carry out the tasks the business is paying for. A "pro" will receive payment directly from the business, whether for boards, advertisements, or plain old cash. A professional may frequently work a second job to help them supplement their income. The fundamental difference here is that the sponsored rider receives equipment and event costs paid for, whereas the pro simply receives large, fat paychecks. Here is some advice about sponsoring - you may worry about how to become a "pro" after you've been sponsored.
Why Would You Want to Get Sponsored?
Because you love skateboarding and want to be as involved in your hobby as possible, you want to obtain sponsorship.
If you want sponsorship to mean free gear, extra money for events, hot girls, rad photo sessions that are all about you, and the kids wanting you to sign their scratched hands just so you can ignore them "because you're a cool sponsored skater,"if that's the reason you're reading this, stop right there. Better still, leave this website because you're reading the wrong one. You can stomp on your deck while wearing your female panties and blame your deck for your lack of sponsorship - yes, the deck is to blame. However, we appreciate you joining us if you read this because you enjoy the sport and want to work even more on your career.
The objective is to obtain sponsorship with a firm of your choosing. Therefore, carefully consider who you want to skate for in terms of who you have in mind.
Not only does it matter a lot, but knowing which businesses you want to contact will make it much simpler to follow the directions you're about to read.
The advantages vary from firm to company. However, you can typically anticipate receiving equipment for nothing or almost nothing. It might be considerably simpler to go to events you wish to attend with a sponsorship. It can also serve as a fantastic springboard for organizing your own events.
Later, you'll learn the complete scope of what the organization is prepared to provide for you, but for the time being, let's simply concentrate on the first aspect.
Consider it - is there a company whose mission statement instantly makes you excited, a brand whose values instantly strike you as appealing and familiar?Maybe that company makes your favorite board, and you use it constantly. The choice is certainly made easier by this. You can obtain sponsorship from organizations other than only board brands, though. Why choose one type of board when you may choose any board? Local businesses occasionally make excellent candidates. Being sponsored by a neighborhood store ensures that you always have a place to work on your decks, a regular stream of groms to stoke out, and a venue where riders can get together.
You also have alternatives from businesses that make beverages, headphones, shoes, safety gear, and skate hardware.
Get sponsored by your favorite neighborhood eatery if you have one. Think globally, but keep it local.
It won't hurt to give it a shot. Set your sights if you're feeling it.
You will eventually need to get in touch with someone at the business you have selected.
How will you carry this out? Finding information and conducting research is now easier than ever, thanks to the internet. Look at their website. Never be afraid to pick up the phone and contact a business to find out who you should speak to about sponsorship. If your neighborhood store sells the brand you intend to approach, find out who the skate company's partners are and ask if they can provide you with their contact details or a business card. Attend the events the brand sponsors, and collect business cards or contact information from the representatives there.
Always keep a record of who you spoke with and what job they held.
If the representative provides you with any advice, write it down on the business cards and save them all together.
You never know when a person you meet could be able to put you in touch with someone who can get you sponsored in the future.
How to Put Together a Sponsorship Package
Although this step is not required, it can be helpful, and it never hurts to have everything in one place.
The days of VHS demo cassettes are long gone; today, a rider's effect can be measured by a much wider range of metrics than one tape ever could. The variety of platforms from which a rider might influence others through internet publications, web portals, and social networking sites is astounding. The goal here is to bring it all together. You should include pictures of yourself skating, links to videos of you skating, links to all of your social networking sites, links to community websites, and details about your degree of involvement in your sponsorship package.
Include links to newspapers or online news sources for each event you have attended or are planning. In addition, include any mentions you've ever had in the media in any way, shape, or form.
A burnt CD of your skating is a useful possession. You can typically find a location to load it just as quickly.
Also, a small business card graphic with all your contact info is helpful; use it to tag your emails or print some out and keep them with you.
Share them with any skaters you meet on the street that you want to have fun with. Additionally, you want to include a brief biography or bio in this package.
Writing Your Bio
Some people find it unsettling to write a bio. It's challenging to identify oneself accurately.
Find out what your loved ones have to say about you by asking them.
Along with your primary interests, mention your favorite skating locations, skating styles, and, obviously, any notable competition accomplishments.
List each event you went to. Try to provide a little insight into your life for the reader of your bio.
It can be challenging to put everything into one cohesive sponsorship package. But what happens if you don't have any high-quality images or videos of yourself skating?
Try your best to get your pals together; ask if anyone has a good camera or smartphone you can borrow, and then go shooting. Find the best possible shot of doing what you enjoy during your sessions. If you don't have a cam or buddies, you can recruit. Local camera and video stores frequently have contacts for people willing to film you skating for a few dollars or perhaps even for free if you give them photo credits. There are a ton of keen, aspiring professional photographers and videographers in the area that would be willing to add some exciting skate photos to their portfolios. These individuals attend local institutions and technical schools.
Putting flyers up and simply asking a photographer or filmmaker around the campus to take your picture or movie is generally enough.
Always remember that when dealing with anyone taking photos or films of you, you are their subject for the duration of the session, and you are on their time unless they are paid.
So be respectful. Always arrive on time, and prepare the scenes and shooting sites.
If they are not experienced with shooting action sports, give them some guidance.
Otherwise, just close your mouth and comply if they want you to fall into that ditch and perform a finger flip on the far wall for the 42nd time.
Perhaps that will be the session's winning shot.
The Methods: Three Ways to Score
The following strategies outline three distinctly different ways to connect with and establish relationships with the businesses you are searching for sponsorship from.
These will prove more beneficial for particular situations and personality types.
Believe it or not, when it comes to endearing yourself to a corporation when you want to get sponsored, personality matters just as much as - if not more than - raw skill.
The Sniper Technique
This technique is best used when you are looking at one, and only one, company for endorsement as a sponsored rider.
In this case, you need to have as much groundwork laid as possible before you even consider contacting them.
A very methodical and logistically inclined personality is highly tuned toward this method.
Have a very strong sponsorship package ready, and before you even send it to them, start sending them email updates about how the riding is going, what you think of their products, etc. Link to them from your social networking sites, and act as a (non-sanctioned) resource when people ask about their products on forum communities. If you get sick photos and videos, send them links. Keep them informed and involved in what you are doing, and show just as much interest in what the company is doing. When you get someone to pick up one of their boards, let the companies know you hooked it up.
Ask about board development and new gear they will be releasing, and learn all about their technologies.
If they sponsor events in your area, attend.
Get well informed about who works for the company and whom you need to contact to really promote yourself with them.
Make a list of contacts and who does what.
Always keep in touch with them about what is going on. But if you feel like it's too much, back off a little bit.
When you feel ready and when you're as close as you can get to the company, pull the trigger.
Send them a formal letter along with your sponsorship package.
In your bio, make the content very concentric on the company you are contacting.
Let them know what you have done in the past, and let them know what you would do for them in the future.
Include as many concepts you can think of that would allow you to help promote the company.
Present yourself as an asset to their business and as a full-bore skater who would do anything for a sponsorship opportunity.
The Shotgun Technique
This technique is more aimed at a semi-accomplished person, someone with a lot of presence who either is somewhat well known or is heavily involved in a local, national, or international scene.
If you are generally good with people and can present yourself well, then this is the method for you. Again, a strong sponsorship package is a good start, as is knowing whom you want to contact and at which companies. This technique is for when you are possibly looking at a number of different companies for sponsorship, so your sponsor package should be more geared toward overall skating experience and knowledge. Make a note of all events attended and experiences where you interfaced with the public as a representative of skating. A multi-disciplinarian will have an easier time putting together the amount of information into a bio that this method requires.
If applicable, add any involvement you've had with product design and testing on any level.
Let them know you're an informed rider already prepared to provide services they can't get from any other rider.
More ammo for use with this technique: any association with online event promotion, a video submission site, a YouTube channel, a community site, or a very active social networking page.
There is no way to quantify the value of these aspects of your sponsorship package, but with the changing nature of the way advertising is done, a grassroots rider with a healthy online following is an amazing asset to a company.
Many companies will see the value.
Get it all together, and send it out to as many companies as you can think of. See what comes back to you.
The big benefit of this method of sponsorship is that if one company denies you, you just move on. The downside is that you have less of a personal relationship established.
The Brute Force Technique
This technique is dangerous, very dangerous. It should be attempted by one and only one personality type.
Here are a few questions for you to ask yourself: Have you ever been told you are annoying? Have you ever been punched in the face and not known why? Do you change circles of friends often?If you answered yes to any of these three questions, please skip the next paragraphs, as this technique is not for you; you simply don't have what it takes to pull it off. If you're still reading, here are some enforcing personality traits you will need: charged, friendly, energetic, animated, easily entertained, very for- giving, persistent, magnetic, and funny. Funny helps a great deal. Throw away the sponsor package; don't worry about qualifying yourself or writing a bio or any of that nonsense.
Just pick a company and harass the hell out of them. Call them every time you see anyone riding one of their boards.
Send them pictures or videos from every session you have, making sure they get logo spots. Talk about them non-stop to anyone that may even be slightly interested.
Better yet, make everyone skate.
Post online about your experiences with the company every chance you get.
If someone might even possibly be interested in one of their boards, tell them everything they could ever need to know. Go into shops and tell the owner he should carry their boards. Do this until they start to carry them. Do this at every skate shop in your area, including places you go on vacation. Get copies of the company's catalog and pass them out at sessions - stickers, too. Let the company know about all of this. Make sure they know how absolutely stoked you are. If they have any events, anywhere, of any size, be there. Show up to every event, bring your board, make a showing and let the company know you did. Post on their social networking site every day and make other people add them as friends. Get as many numbers and emails as you can for the company, and become best friends with everyone. If your call goes to voicemail, leave a 15-minute-long message.
Show up to the factory with a huge smile; bring other people to the factory to also smile.
If you ever have any reason to talk to them, do it. Call them anytime. If there is an event you think they should be involved in, make sure they are.
If there is a product you think they should make, send them drawings on napkins or 16-bit MS Paint pictures about your great idea. Plaster everything you own with stickers of the company. Make a stencil and tag your dog with their logo in a vegetable-based dye. Make sure you send them a picture of your dog, with their logo, on a board. You get the idea. Be highly visible, constantly active, and dynamic. At this point, you are beyond a stoked skater; you are a veritable force of nature.
If you have done all of this and have not gotten punched in the face or received a restraining order, then congrats.
You're as good as sponsored, and chances are you have a bright future within the company.