There is nothing like it: the moment when you’re offered a sponsorship from your favorite company. Imagine the opportunity to have a company you support actually endorsing your unique way of riding while you promote them. With a bit of work and a lot of persistence, you can do this. The following is a basic rundown of what you can do as an individual to get yourself into a position to be sponsored.
This article is written by Malakai Kingston. Malakai is an editor for Silverfish Longboarding, and was generous enough to share these articles.
Definition Of Sponsored vs. Pro
Kanights / ESPN Images
Before we get into it, I just want to go on record and clearly define the difference between Pro Riders and Sponsored Riders.
"Sponsored Riders" can expect to get gear and event attendance support. They might get some costs covered and be reimbursed for things they spend money on to do the activities the company is paying for.
A "Pro" will be receiving money directly from the company, be it for boards, ads or just straight out payment. Often, a Pro may have a side job that also supports them to supplement their income.
The basic distinction here is the sponsored rider gets gear and event costs covered and the Pro just gets paid huge, fat sacks of cash. Once you’re sponsored, then you can worry about how to become "pro".
Why Would You Want to Get Sponsored?
Bo Bridges / AST Dew Tour
You want to get sponsored because you love skating and want to be as involved as possible in your passion. If you want sponsorship to be the free gear, the extra cash for events, the hot chicks, the rad photo sessions that are all about you, the groms asking you to sign their grubbed hands just to be ignored by you cause yer a cool sponsored skater… if that’s why you are reading this, then just skip this article! Better yet drop this mag in a dustbin ‘cause you are reading the wrong mag bro! You can go stomp on yer deck with your girl pants on and blame your un-sponsorship on your deck. Yea, it’s the decks fault. If you are reading this ‘cause you love the sport and want to push yourself even harder, thanks for joining us.
The goal is simple, to secure Sponsorship with a company of your selection. Think long and hard as to whom you have in mind as far as who you would like to skate for. Not only does it matter a great deal but following the instructions you’re about to read will be way easier if you have an idea of what companies you want to approach. Read the steps to Getting Sponsored
layout three very different techniques for contacting and relating yourself to the companies you are looking for sponsorship from. These will lend themselves as more useful for specific scenarios and personality types. Believe it or not, personality matters just as much if not more than raw skill when it comes to endearing yourself to a company when you are looking to get sponsored!
Read this rundown of things you’ll run into as a sponsored skater
. Most of it's common sense. Check out the following ideas and think about applying them into other situations. These suggestions can be useful to even the un-sponsored but really apply to people that are actually direct representatives for companies.
This is mostly a "fair warning" article about how to STAY sponsored
. If you choose to take it to heart, you may find it pays off one day and help you avoid a sticky situation. Sadly, this section isn’t as inspired or as interesting as most of this article has been thus far, the following are just pieces of advice from people in the trenches, who have seen many things and lived to tell about it. One of the most positive and important pieces of advice will ever hear is to always give back more than you are given.
A lot of skaters dream of getting sponsored for skateboarding. The pride, the attention, the free gear, and the stamp of approval - these can all feel great. I have piles of info available on getting sponsored for skateboarding, but I wanted to give another perspective. The following is from the mother of two sponsored skaters who got where they are without self-promotion. Read more