Sponsorship for Riders
Want to know how riders get sponsorship? whats expected of the riders? Why companies sponsor and what do they want from or expect from their sponsored riders?
We first need to look at our sport Equestrianism : not exactly the cheapest sport in the world and I quite often think I should have took tennis or cycling up instead although not sure these would have been exciting enough for me! In an expensive sport it helps if companies provide sponsorship this can be done in the form of money including discounts off products or in kind i.e tack, rugs, clothing and generally any equipment that you may use either daily or at competition.
For a company it is a minefield on which rider to sponsor, can you imagine the amount of emails companies receive requesting sponsorship , they get in-undated with riders so the question is why they should pick you! Now you may not be at the top level of your chosen discipline but perhaps with a little support and hard work your dream could be made to come true! so you would benefit from from support yes?!
So lets look at the sponsorship from a companies point of view because if we can understand this then we can make sure that as a rider we look like an attractive prospect! Now in my job you can imagine I speak to a lot of companies and the subject of sponsored riders is quite often a topic we discuss – how do we pick a rider, do we go for a big level rider at the top which could get us more coverage?? My answer to this is: tell me what you want from your rider? and these are the answers:
I respond in stating so its not all about results of the rider and the answer is no although obviously winning can give more exposure. This means that there is opening for sponsorship to any rider if they can provide a company with the above.
One thing to remember is that as a sponsored rider your are technically a representative of that company so if you are rude and unapproachable then why would a company want you to be part of their team as this will ultimately not promote them in a good light either! You have to be able to socialise and connect with both the company and your fellow equestrians as we all know sales come from great advertising and the buyer believing that they need that product!! This is where it is important that you believe in what you are promoting i.e its no good if you don’t use the products yourself or rate them as that will soon be seen as false advertising and your clients, owners and friends will soon wonder and question why you don’t use your sponsors products!
Ok I here you say well I can do all that; I can wear a numnah and a Jacket and their clothing but this alone is not enough; long gone are the days where you can just wear the stuff or use the tack its not enough you need to actively promote this company and as well as this you will need some reasonable results or a team of horses which will give them more exposure. Sponsors become a valuable member of your team and don’t ever forget that as they can drop riders just as easily if they feel that you are not moving in same direction as them or not keeping your part of the bargain! The blogging is an important part as it gives their followers something different to read and learn from and its a great opportunity for your to promote your sponsors and gain more exposure for both you and them lets face it it essentially provides you with a following, and gives you a platform to talk about your progress!
Set yourself apart look at the professional riders and see what they are doing yes some will have a PR team but you can do just as much if you put your mind to it!
There will always be an element of companies looking for a certain type of person, and if you fit that bill you’re in luck, but there are things you can do such as increasing your visibility and online presence to make you and your horses an attractive commodity to potential sponsors.
Remember there are thousands of riders out there seeking sponsorship, so you need to do everything you can to ensure you stand out from the crowd.
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