As an athlete, your exposure gives you a unique appeal to various sponsors in multiple sectors.

It is vital to understand sponsors’ motivations and what they can offer you before engaging with them.

Use Athlete365’s Personal Brand Toolkit to complement your existing skillset in your search for sponsorship.


Understand why companies sponsor

Sponsoring athletes is a great way for organisations to demonstrate the many positive characteristics associated with athletes at the highest level. You can help organisations to change or maintain their image with consumers. When it comes to sponsorship of you as the athlete, organisations have many reasons to engage in the relationship – so do not undersell yourself.

Hear from sponsorship expert Chris Paget on what brands are looking for in athletes.


Prepare by building an audience

Unless you are a household name like Usain Bolt or Serena Williams, you need to create a following beyond the people that may see you compete. Athletes are currently enjoying incredible success using social media to positively showcase their story, personality, character, grit and dedication. Having thousands of followers is a ready-made audience that will attract sponsors.

Hear from Mexican diver Rommel Pacheco on how to grow your social media following.


Decide what kind of sponsorship you want

Sponsorship deals range from getting a discount on products to receiving free products, race entries, travel expenses, all the way to getting paid. Think of a sponsorship arrangement like a relationship. In any relationship, you need to understand the investment one has in each other, the cost and benefits, and essentially the objectives of both parties.


Figure out who to contact

Look at what an organisation values (what they stand for, what their mission is, what the vision of the corporation is). This will help you understand where they may benefit from an association with you as an athlete and, just as importantly, will help you decide if this sector or business is something you feel comfortable endorsing. Have a look at the organisation’s corporate website to determine how they are structured, and to obtain the email and title of the person you want to connect with.


Make contact

Once you have an audience, a goal, a company and their contact, you can begin formulating the actual proposal. Keep it short and to the point. Tell them who you are, the size and demographics of your audience, and what you are seeking. Aim for between 50 and 100 words. The people you’re contacting don’t want a biography; they want to know what you can do for them and how much it is going to cost.

Learn even more about sponsors, social media, building your brand and more by visiting the Athlete365 Personal Brand Toolkit.