The more I read and discover about sponsorship-as it pertains to the fishing industry-the more information I see online, in books, and in magazines. Most of it is on the subject of helping you prepare for more sponsors. That's good, because I've written two e-books on that exact subject! However, it's imperative to keep one thing in mind when it comes to sponsorship. It's not about YOU! It's about your potential sponsors. What do the sponsors want? What benefits would they receive if they were to venture into a relationship with you, be it sponsorship, marketing, and/or advertising? How would they profit from the deal besides a decal on your boat?
Have you really devised a plan that will help your sponsors accomplish what they want? Do you know what they want? Are they interested in more sales of their products now or in the very near future? Or are they attempting to gain more of a presence in a particular area by simply exposing their companies' names?
Are you aware that there exists a difference between exposure and direct response advertising?
If your sponsor is interested in both, can you accomodate him?
The reason I ask these questions is because consumers have grown accustomed to exposure advertising as the main means of promoting and marketing. Why? Because that's how the pros do it! We see logos on their trucks, on their boats, and on their shirts. Have you ever stopped to think that the reason why those logos are there in the first place is because those anglers provide what the sponsors want. In this case, it's exposure to the masses. And advertisers make it their business to know that by sponsoring a pro angler they guarantee exposure for their business in multiple venues: on television, in magazines and newspapers, on the Internet, at outdoor expos, etc. And the exposure is not just locally, but potentially internationally. If what they want is monstrous exposure, the pro angler can provide it. That said, 99% of us weekend warriors aren't pros…yet. Next time instead of approaching potential sponsors with your career list of accomplishments and personal highlights, ask this question: "What can I do to bring you more business and customers?" Then listen. Determine if you can help them achieve what they want, and if you can, you'll get the sponsorships you want! It's a win-win situation.
Keep in mind…it's not about you – it's about them.
Author – How To Get Sponsored For Fishing Tournaments Volumes 1 & 2 (http://www.fishforfree.com & http://www.fishforfree2.com )
Publisher – The Sponsorship Newsletter (http://www.fishingsponsorship.com)