“How do I get sponsored?” It’s one of the most common questions in the sport of scootering. We hear it all over the place. Whether you are a Pro rider and are being asked by a fellow rider at a park. Or if you’re on your favorite forum and see the question popping up in threads. It seems like a huge majority of riders today are focused on one thing and one thing only, How to get sponsored.
But what happens once you finally get that sponsorship? I think there are mainly two kinds of people who try to get sponsored. The most dominant would be the rider who is looking to get free stuff, and not have to pay for a certain part or product anymore. The other is a rider who truly appreciates the product that the certain company makes, and wants to get free stuff, but more importantly, wants to represent that company to the best of his or her ability.
What I think most people fail to realize about sponsorships is that it is a two way relationship between the sponsored rider and the sponsoring company. A sponsoring company that cares about its riders will take care of them. When they need something, that company will do their best to get it to them. The company will support their rider as best they can. Now in return, the sponsored rider has to also do his part. Which is what most sponsored riders seem to forget. A lot of riders that got a sponsorship figure, “Hey, I’m sponsored now…I get to ask for free stuff whenever I want” And they basically figure they’re living the life. What they don’t understand is that while their sponsoring company is doing their job, that they too have a job to do. That job is represent that company. This can be done in a large variety of ways. If you use a forum, you can put your sponsoring companies logo/link in your signature. At skateparks you can take the time to represent your company by talking to beginner riders about the sport, and your sponsoring companies products. Most importantly, at competitions you ride your sponsoring companies products, and represent your company by wearing their T shirt.
The problem I see with most sponsored riders today, is that because our sport is growing so fast, and more and more companies are popping up, riders think it’s ok to gather up as many sponsors as possible…get free parts, and leave it at that, with little to no dedication or respect towards those companies. There have been numerous reports and incidents of sponsored riders selling their sponsor products to other riders behind their sponsors back. Which ends up showing a complete lack of respect to the company, and leaves that rider with a bad reputation and grim future when it comes to being picked up later by other companies.
There have also been a lot of reports of companies who have treated their own sponsored riders wrong. Companies will promise a rider a lot, and that rider will do it’s best to represent the company, and in return…gets little to nothing back. What I am trying to say here, to not just my fellow riders, but also to anyone that owns a company and is reading this, and has sponsored riders. Is that a sponsorship between a rider and a company, is always two sided. It is a relationship between the company and rider. If you can’t connect with your riders, and they are simply “there”…you are going to have problems. Change this by reaching out to your riders and getting to know them, and the same can be said with sponsored riders. Are you on a Team/Sponsored and know little to nothing about who sponsored you, or who makes the parts you ride? Well you have a mouth don’t you? You can email can’t you? Get to know your Sponsor! Ask questions, make suggestions, start a relationship or better yet a friendship.
With the sport growing the way it is, and companies constantly looking for new riders to represent and endorse them. People really need to open their eyes as to what being sponsored really means. There are companies out there right now like MaddGear, where as everyone at SD4 saw, are like a small family. This doesn’t have to be limited to just them. But in order for things to work out how they should, a lot of people need to step up and reach a new level of professionalism and maturity. So next time you ask the infamous question “How do I get sponsored?” Ask yourself another question right after. Do you even know what being sponsored means?
Written by Steven Tongson