Sponsors. Once You Got Em, Keep Em!
The end of January here in the Midwest means several things, 1) it’s still cold as heck, my yard is still white and the lakes are still hard 2) I’ve tinkered and reorganized my tackle ten times by now and 3) the spring fishing trade show/seminar schedule is going to kick off.
Luckily the last of the items I listed above will help keep me busy over the next two months, which will help speed up the countdown to spring and me making my first cast of 2013!
As a Bass tournament angler, throughout the year, I spend a good amount of time doing promotional work for my sponsors and other activities related to them, to try to allow me more time to fish, I try to get a lot of this work done during the months of November and March when it’s winter herein Minnesota.
There are many articles, blogs and podcasts out there that give tournament anglers some very helpful tips on how to prepare presentations, resumes and proposals when searching out and trying to acquire sponsors. But now once you get that sponsor, it is important to work your butt off, to keep that company as a sponsor for many years!
Keeping a company as sponsor doesn’t just save you the time and effort of trying to find a company to replace that sponsor, but company’s like to see that an angler doesn’t just bounce around from one company to another, they want to see someone who gets in with a company and works their way up the ranks and stays committed to helping that company succeed.
Each relationship an angler has with a sponsor will vary on the level involvement that company is requesting of that angler, so the first thing to remember is to have a clear understanding of what each of your sponsors is looking to see out of you each and every year. My first tip is, create a binder that has all of sponsors listed and the deliverables you need to perform throughout the year. This way you can quickly identify, perform and check off the items you’ve completed.
As I alluded to above, a good chunk of my promotional appearances will take place from the end of January through the end of March. I’ll be working sponsors booths at boat shows, helping sell tackle and demonstrate products at fishing shows and working in-store events, such as the Spring Great Outdoor Days at Cabelas.
These are the events that company’s love to have representatives at, because it puts a voice from their company on the front line, talking with and explaining their products directly to the consumer. At some of these events, I’ll also be conducting seminars to event attendees, this again is a great way to directly promote your sponsors and more importantly help pass your knowledge on to others. Second tip, PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES, you can never have enough in you of action at an event.
A good chunk of the exposure anglers provide their sponsors is through media; this could be articles in a magazine, blog or website, or a video that is promoted via YouTube or another online source. Taking the information you have gained over many years on the water, can be turned into a great article or video. Several tips I have here include: have high quality photos to accompany your article, this will help bring your words to life and more enjoyable for the reader. If you are having difficulty getting started on an article, or jumping around on how to organize it, create an outline and follow it as you write the article, this will help you put together a complete article.
Now that you have done all of this great work for you sponsors, you need to let them know about it. Many companies will require their sponsored anglers to submit quarterly reports throughout the year, others may not, but my opinion is, that this is mandatory. As I keep track of all the events, articles, social media activities and videos that I do to promote a given sponsor, I keep track so at the end of the quarter, I can quickly pull together all of the information and summarize it for that company.
By getting this to your sponsor, you’ll be updating them on what you have been doing and staying in front of them throughout the year, helping you when your contract is up for renewal.
I wish all of you the best of luck in your fishing endeavors in 2013, both on the water and off the water, promoting yourself and your sponsors.