So you’re a top notch skater. You’ve got kickflips over stairs, you can hit any handrail, and you even make Andrew Reynolds look like a beginner; but you still don’t have a sponsor. Don’t be another one of the best undiscovered skateboarders; get your name out and get sponsored. There’s tons of ways to go about doing this, but some are more effective than others. I’ve chosen the top three that I believe can get anyone sponsored if they work for it.
1. Competition Skateboarding
The best way to get publicity is to sign up for a local skate jam. The best skaters in your area will all be in one spot, and you can show you’re the best. Most of the times, anyone that would be able to sponsor you in your community will be present at these competitions. If you do win a trick contest, people are going to talk about it. If you look good, people will talk about it. So impress as many people as you can. You never know who could be watching
The key at competitions is to go big. Don’t be scared to fall. Even if you don’t land as many tricks as the other guys, judges or scouts that see you trying big tricks will notice that and take it into consideration. If everyone on their team is doing the same trick, their team is boring. Your trick catalogue will make them interested in sponsoring you.
The other key to winning is style. Make your tricks look good. Anyone can land a trick, but it’s the people that land their tricks and ride away clean that get noticed. When people see someone land a trick but use their hands on the ground for balance, it is much less stunning. You want to impress, or more so SHOCK, the big names in the audience. People need to be watching you at all times. The best way to get their attention is to land big tricks that are clean and stylish.
2. Sponsor Communities
Nowadays, there are tons of skate communities that you can get involved in to increase your chances of getting sponsored. Some are online, some are at your school or local skate shop, and others are through magazines or mail orders. The guy over at the sport bro has one too.
All of them, however, have one thing in common. They get your name out. If you are an active member in a skateboarding forum, and have links to your Myspace with videos of you shredding on there, people are going to check you out. If you happen to catch the eye of a lucky viewer, they might just ask you to join their team.
Among all of these sources for publicity, one stands above the rest. Sponsorhouse.com is, in their words,
“… the largest online sponsorship community, providing an avenue for athletes and teams to connect with sponsors while providing companies and retailers with powerful sponsorship and sports marketing solutions.”
This website is a blessing to all skaters and BMXers trying to get to the next level. On sponsorhouse.com you get your own athlete profile, to which you can upload action shots, videos, and personal descriptions of your style and love of the sport. 100’s of sponsors are also linked to the site, and they browse the athlete profile database daily.
So you are basically directly connected with sponsors as soon as you sign up. And the best part is… it’s FREE!
The key to success on Sponsor House is to make your profile stand out. Browse the profiles of skaters that you think stand out, and mimic the things they do well. For example, if one skater has no pictures and 2 videos, their profile will be boring and empty. Whereas if you see a profile with tons of pictures, including ones of just the athlete himself, you feel like you get to know him as a skater a little bit better. And that is great for sponsors. So in short, just be as unique as possible. If your profile sticks out, tons of sponsors will come your way.
3. Sponsor Me Video
The last and final method of getting sponsored is the classic “Sponsor Me” video. This is accomplished by simply creating a film with footage of your skateboarding, and sending it to all the companies/stores you are hoping to get sponsored by. Sometimes this can be the most powerful technique of all, other times it can just be a waste of time. Much like the other methods, it is just a means of gaining publicity, but if you do it right it can make your name blow up faster than both of the methods listed above.
The video does not only have to include you, which can be a really good thing. This way you can put in all the work with your friends, and make a video together. To make your footage seem complete, have each skater’s part be 5-8 minutes long. If your parts are too short it will look like weak effort was put forth. But if the parts drag on with the same tricks repeated, the people watching will get bored. So find the happy medium between the two.
Again, the most important part of your video is being unique. Edit your video and make it better than the competition. Add music and have funny bloopers. Make sure you are showing your sponsors what kind person you are, as well as how good of a skater you are. Remember, when you get sponsored, you are joining a skate team. Be sure to have a video that will show sponsors you’re going to be fun to have on the team.
With these 3 methods, you’re bound to get your name out there. Some people choose one way, others use all three. Either way, using all the methods wouldn’t hurt, it’s just more publicity for you. The main thing to remember is to get your name out and be known. Have everyone at the skate park watch you skate so they recognize you when you show up. You’ll create a name for yourself, and people will start tossin your name around. Eventually, the right person will hear, and you’ll get sponsored.