One of the most common questions we get asked, whether in person at a sports show or through our social media, is “how can I get a sponsorship.” Another question is, “how can I join your pro staff?”
Invariably, the answer we give to either of the two questions will be the same for both of them, yet that answer is not the focus of this article. Rather, we believe it’s important for someone with a passion for fishing and a sincere desire to excel in the sport professionally to first fully understand exactly what a sponsorship is. With this knowledge, the path to a professional sponsorship will have fewer obstacles and you will be better prepared to approach a potential sponsor.
At its root level, a sponsorship is agreement by the person being sponsored to help grow the business of the company providing the sponsorship, and an agreement by the company to assist those efforts. A successful sponsorship is always mutually, and equally, beneficial, but the sole purpose of the sponsorship is to grow the company’s business.
Another important thing to know is that the sponsorship is a binding commitment by both parties. The commitment by the company to provide support to the person being sponsored can include the provision of products at a discounted price or even no charge for their use, promotional materials such as advertising that highlights the achievements of that person, and other efforts that are designed to highlight that person. At the same time, the commitment by the person being sponsored is the positive promotion of the company to the widest audience possible including scheduled events such as trade shows and consumer shows. It needs to be understood at this point, that the person being sponsored is acting as an agent of the company, and thus is responsible for not only upholding the character of the company, but also for documenting and charting their efforts so they can be validated. After all, the sponsorship is a business arrangement.
Knowing that a sponsorship is first and foremost a marketing device intended to provide the company with positive exposure to a potentially new audience, it always helps someone seeking a sponsorship to have good business and marketing skills. A positive attitude, a friendly and approachable personality, and the professionalism to effectively market both themselves and the company are the first things a company, including Quantum, looks for when considering a potential sponsorship, but there are many more requirements of a sponsorship and they are all are evaluated as a business decision, on both sides.
So, the next time you see one of our pro staff at a show or a tournament, take notice of how they interact with the folks around them. They love meeting their fans and talking about fishing (and fishing with our products). But you need to also know that they are there as their own business too, with their own personal and professional goals. And through a sponsorship agreement, we are working with them to not only grow our business, but theirs as well.