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When you think of rider sponsorship, you usually think of top riders competing at the highest levels of their sport. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. If you can offer a company something, why shouldn’t they consider you for sponsorship?
I follow a lot of equine companies on social media and many of them hold sponsorship competitions throughout the year. If I like the company and the products, I nearly always enter these competitions because I feel like I have a lot to offer a potential sponsor and the worst what can happen is that they say no!
However, I see so many people who enter these competitions who don’t mention anything they could do for the company. This really bothers me as they come across as not wanting to do anything, but they want free stuff. I’m sure (or at least I hope) that this isn’t the case and that these people simply haven’t thought about sponsorship as a mutually beneficial agreement, but as an opportunity they can win.
Are you interested in sponsorship but are unsure as to what you could offer? Or do you not know what you would want from a sponsor? Read on for my advice on seeking sponsorship.
What can I offer a company?
Different companies are looking for very different things. Some want to see riders competing with their products and being associated with their brand. Others want to reach a wide audience of potential customers with regular updates and photos. So before you start thinking about approaching companies about sponsorship, sit down and think about what you could offer a potential sponsor.
Are you competing regularly? Are you well known and respected in the industry? Are you able to compete in branded clothing/saddle pad? Would you be able to spend time at a show ground handing out information about your sponsor or talking to the public? Do you run a livery yard? Do you hold competitions? Do you have somewhere you could display brand marketing? If you answered yes to any of these, then these are things you should tell a potential sponsor!
However, as with all types of marketing, sponsorship is moving to become more digitally based. This means that if you have a lot of equestrian followers on social media or write a popular horsey blog, you have a great platform to advertise and promote your sponsor. This type of sponsorship is becoming more popular all the time. Tell a potential sponsor how many followers you have and what makes you different to everyone else on social media.
What do you want from a potential sponsor?
Once you have established what you could offer a sponsor, you need to think about what you would want from a sponsor. Most of the time, people seek sponsorship to save money or have more money for reaching their competition goals. However, you need to bare in mind that very few sponsors offer cash. Their sponsorship is usually in the form of free and/or discounted products.
But sponsorship can offer more than just financial help. Depending on the sponsor, you could have access to free expert advice, discounted clinics and build your own reputation. Many companies have a mini profile of all their sponsored riders on their website. They also often do special social media posts and occasionally competitions to boost their sponsored rider’s reputation.
Hopefully you now have a better idea of what you could do for a sponsor and what you would like in return. Let this new found information shape your sponsorship competition entries and any letters/emails you send to potential companies.
Visit my Sponsor a Rider page to see the key points I tell potential sponsors.