Have you ever thought to yourself: „Jeez, I train BJJ all the time and am actually quite good at it… Perhaps I could get a sponsorship? That would be so cool!“
Well, yeah, it would be cool alright – but the thing is, getting a sponsor in BJJ is a bit more complicated than just shooting them a message on Instagram. Here are a couple of things that’ll help you land it.
DO YOU WANT FREE MERCHANDISE OR TO GET PAID?
First of all, you’ve got to figure out what you want out of sponsorships. Do you want to get free merchandise or to get paid?
If it’s the merchandise you’re after, then you’re going to have an easier time. Companies are much more easy-going when it comes to giving out Gis and rashguards. This sort of a sponsorship could be achieved by just about any belt level; plus, you don’t even have to be (too) successful to get it!
However, if it’s the money you’re after, then realize that – unless you’re a top tier competitor – there isn’t a high probability you’ll get it. Sure, it’s still possible, but you better step it up a notch in regards to winning just about any competition you can.
BUILD A POWERFUL ONLINE PRESENCE
But even if you’re a great, successful competitor, this still isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get a sponsor. Instead, you should focus on building a strong social media presence and following; perhaps even more so than on becoming the „best“.
What companies want is for people to hear about them. If you’re the best Jiujiteiro in the whole wide world, but people don’t know about you, they won’t care.
It’s probably best to develop your Instagram profile. Upload interesting material, regularly. Interact with your followers and grow their base.
With a great online presence, you’ll be much more likely to land a sponsor. Especially – it has to be emphasized – one that would give out merchandise… And let’s be honest: everyone could use more Gis!
WHAT DOES THE SPONSOR WANT?
Now comes the part when you’re going to start sending out your sponsorship inquiries. But before you even start typing out that email, make sure that you know what the company does.
This isn’t too difficult to find out. Just do your research – what does the company do? What seems to be their current focus… Do they have new products or services that are coming up? What’s their background?
Once you have as complete of a picture about the company/brand possible, it’s time to ask yourself: what can I offer to the company?
This is the most important step. If you can convey a plausible reason so as to why you’re the person the prospective sponsor needs – why and how you can help them reach success – you are half way there.
WRITE IN A PERSUASIVE, CONCISE AND RESPECTABLE MANNER
Lastly, when you’re contacting the sponsor you’re after, make sure that it’s a persuasive email (send an email, messages get lost too easily on Instagram). Point out why it’s you exactly who they’re looking for, how you can help, and what they’re going to lose if they pass on the opportunity.
Then, make sure it’s concise. No one has the time to read emails that are a mile long. So, keep it as informative as possible, in the least amount of words as possible.
And finally, send an email that’s respectable and professional. Use proper grammar and follow the general etiquette for content. This will give you a great advantage against those who just send an email for the heck of it.