Planning EventsThis should be an article all its own and I don’t have the space to tell you everything about it so check out that article in the Winter 2007 Issue of Concrete Wave by Marion Karr called "How to Plan A Great Skate Contest". If you can’t find a back issue e-mail the firstname.lastname@example.org and he will let you know how to get a hold of it. Don’t get all bent if the article is about setting up a slalom event. Just replace "Slalom" with whatever discipline you’re into.
Getting the Word OutYou are now sponsored. Congrats! Now let people know! Start a personal blog chronicling your activities as a sponsored skater. Fill your social networking pages with information about the company and pictures of the boards and events. Use your signatures on community sites to show your affiliation and, help people online. Get yourself on podcasts and talk about the company and what it is doing. Give your friends and family stickers and shirts. Make them represent for you, too! Start a newsletter for the company and ad links and other current information about your company and what other riders are doing. When someone has an event, show up and rep for your company if you can offer them swag and prizes for the event. Get as involved as possible in your local scene and, when you travel, hook up with other riders. On the plane you can talk to little grey-haired ladies about the board you managed to get on the plane. Grannies have grandkids, and grandkids skate!
Helping Others get SponsoredDon’t treat sponsorship like a coveted trophy, a privilege kept all to yourself. All this attitude will do is distance other riders. Instead, bring them into the fold. You can’t get everybody sponsored, but you can make people feel involved by throwing them swag and spare gear you get. If you got a spare unused board, give it out! If a kid needs wheels, swap them for him. If you can’t get them sponsored, let them feel what benefits you do get. If you ride with up and coming skaters that have the skills, personality, and maturity, groom them for sponsorship. Teach them what you have learned, not just skills and style, but how to represent well and be to a company.
Never, ever, hold sponsorship over someone like a carrot on a stick to a donkey. That is just the worst type of treatment. When the rider is ready, approach whoever handles sponsoring and vouch for them. Help the skater get a sponsorship package together and, if the team manager is open to it, set up a face-to-face with the rider. When it all comes down, it’s the rider himself that will attain sponsorship but do what you can to make the attempt successful.
Using your ProForms"ProForms" are the forms that companies give to riders that allows them to buy gear from the company at reduced rates. The important thing to remember is that this is one of the biggest bonuses of being sponsored. Being able to get free gear is cool, but being able to hook people up with awesome deals is even better! If someone is interested in buying a board from your company see what your company’s position is on letting you hook people up. Generally they will be cool with it, as long as you don’t become "a skate shop". If they are then help as many people as you can get boards at a great rate, people will be stoked with you and your company for the hook up. Do not EVER resell any equipment you get from the company, either free gear or from ProForm sales. Not only is this really bad form, but could seriously jeopardize your position with the company. A good rule of thumb is "1=1". If you got a deck free, give it away. If you paid 100$ for a deck from your company, sell it for 100$. If you are that hard up for money, see if they need help in the shop sweeping up. Use those ProForms! Get people on boards!
Malakai Kingston is an editor for Silverfish Longboarding, and was generous enough to share this article with us, so we could share it with you. Check out Silverfish for more from Malakai, and for in-depth longboarding wisdom.