Could anyone help me... i need some advice and help on finding a fishing sponsor. Also could someone tell me any place they know of that might be willing to sponsor me. Any info. about sponsorships will be greatly appreciated
This is an involved topic. There is some good info already on this site if you search for sponsor and related words.
There are some good articles on the FLWoutdoors.com site too in their magazine archives.
If you search on the Internet, you can find a ton of interesting articles on getting sponsorship. Tim Tucker has a magazine that he puts out that is partially aimed at this type of info also.
Like anything else, read everything you can find on the Internet. This is a VERY competitive issue. You can get information with specific questions on this site too, but a general coverage of the topic would duplicate much of the info already available.
i was trying to get a sponsor or two a month ago. i started by making a resume. in my resume, i listed my past tournament results, 2003 tournament schedule, volunteer work i have done, how i planned to represent the company, my interests, and so on. after completing my resume, i realized that other than a few top 3 finishes in some local tournaments and the fact that i am willing to work hard, that i really have nothing to offer (yet). these guys i am sending my resume to dont know me. why would they pick me. these companies are getting up 500 or more resumes a week. i have decided to hold off on getting sponsorship. i dont want to rush anything. after thinking about it, i feel it would be wiser if i just concentrate on fishing right now. this is something you might want to think about as well. spend the next year or two working hard, fish a lot, fish tournaments, do volunteer work, get to know some people, get to know tournaments directors and others who are sponsored, go to as many shows as you can. i was at the bass pro shops classic only 2 days but in those 2 days combined i had 16 hours. i used that time to meet as many people as possible. i offered to help on sunday with the breaking down process to a couple of guys, but they all said they didnt need help. which was fine, i know these guys know me now. meet as many people as you can. do as much as you can. fish as much as you can, get your name and face out there. if you want to approach companies for sponsorship now, by all means, but like i said, after thinking about it, i have decided to wait, build up my resume and get my name out there as much as i can. that way, when i do start sending out resumes again at least i will have more to offer. remember this also, it doesnt matter how good a fisherman you are, you have to be a good salesman. and listen to dan and john. they have given me alot of advice and all of it is good. they know ther stuff and dont mind helping.
Sponsorship is a wonderful part of tournament angling. It is also the most difficult part to maintain. My first sponsor was about 15 years ago and it really hasn't gotten any easier. The only thing that has gotten easier is accepting "NO" for an answer.
The best advise I can offer you is, start off small and work your way up. Your first sponsor will demand lots of time with very little benifits to you at the begining, this will change as time progresses. Your second sponsor will demand the same and it will continue this way forever.
I know for myself, the hours dedicated to represent these sponsors are almost a full time job. Remember, they have something you want, they are in control, what can you give them (This is important, many anglers feel because the won a small tourney or a club tourney they are wanted by all in the industry, this is far from the truth)and how much money will it cost you to be asociated with the sponsor. These topics are not openly discussed as many people want what sponsored anglers have and will do anything to get what the established angler has.
Another thing, every sponsor wants to be treated the same, the hours of your commitment and equal billing on your boat and shirt. One sponsor may give you a discount on 5 bags of worms and another may give you a serious discount on a boat, one package is worth thousands and the other is worth a few bucks. Be perfectly clear and honest with the sponsors, they may not like the answer but they will respect you later. This I can tell you from past expierence.
As a owner of a Tournament organization, things are exactly the same. I want for the anglers and the potential sponsors tell me what they expect for what they are willing to give. I agree or disagree, plain and simple. If the program doesn't benifit all involved, we don't get involved. These are hard decisions to make as they affect many.
Madman thank you for the kind words and I can see your efforts will pay off.
Dan is a wealth of knowledge one that I utilize anytime I read or hear his words. I hope to pay him back someday for the advice he has given me.
There are many others here that have been in this game longer than I....Dan, Doug, Mac, cameraguy, boatnfish, Mark M, etc. there are just too many to mention. But even here thats just a slice of the "core" of bassfishing in SE Michigan.....People that have been involved in this sport since the beginning of BASS and the MCBF are a valuable tool. And the one that has been involved with fishing longer than anyone I personally know, Bob Brunner.
This sport is an awesome thing. Fishing in and of itself is a great thing to do, but when you combine it with the great people I have met from it, it is something I wanted to do for a living. Now the money isnt all that good (compared to my past Design Engineer/Designer paychecks), but the rewards are immense (and MOSTLY NOT MONETARY REWARDS).
I know that the Phillips family can admit to that, they are a living example of people that absolutey have an undying love and passion for this sport and the type of people it attracts. He may ruffle a few feathers, misspell a few words, even talk in circles at times and I know when his feet stop moving he leaves dents in the ground the size of his shoes(
) but you can see the desire in the mans eyes as the wheels tick sometime faster than his lips can flap.....(and we all know Bernadette is the brains of the organization!)
Good luck and tight lines....anyone caught one yet this year (outside of a trout pond or the tank at BPS?)
i havent caught one yet. i have been out 4 times already, just from shore. the area i am fishing should hold some early fish but no takers yet. there is another spot on kent lake i want to try tonite. its a little bay, water depth is about 4 to 5 feet, lots of docks and shoreline cover ( bushes and small rock ) its the only bay (as of last sunday) that was ice free and the river channel runs just outside of it. hoping it will attract an early plankton bloom and some baitfish. water temps are still in the low low 40's but i have caught fish in colder water, so a fishing i will go.
hopefully the launch will thaw soon, i have a feeling my boat will be going in for repair after i get it out the first time this year, seems to be a pattern each year.
when you do start sending out resumes, if you do get some NO's, write a letter back thanking the person for an opportunity to submit your info and thank them for taking the time to review it. i just sent a letter to a company that denied me due to the fact that they are full with anglers right now and there is no money in the budget to take on anymore. im thinkin this is just a nice way of sayin sorry kid, your gonna have to do better than that. but its all good. anyway, in my letter of thanks i also asked the guy for some constructive critisism (spelling?) or advice on my resume, whether or not i supplied with enough information, or what other types of things i could get involved in that would make it more appealing. he wrote me back with some great information and thanked me for thanking him. he wrote that 90% of people that get denied are never heard from again. i also talked to a representative from shimano who said keep sending info. not every month or anything, but send a resume once a year and let them know what you have been up to. the more they see your name, the better chance you have of being remembered. i try to taLk to as many people that have expereince in this subjct as i can. i want to get everyones opinions. sometimes i may get annoying as some people just dont like to talk but oh well, the more i can learn, the better off i will be.
heres a good one, this is how hard it is to get sponsored. my father owns a steel company and i have worked for him since day 1, he wont even help me out, trying to get time off to fish is like pulling teeth, but you know what they say, if you cant screw your own family over, who can you screw. i joke, but it was a wakeup call when he denied me support. keep tryin tho, and like i said, get involved with anything and everything. this is the advice that has been given to me.
by the way, where you from and what lakes do you fish. lets hook up and fish sometime, i gots a boat and im not afraid to use it
Madman,..your attitude and your persavearance will get you hooked up in no time...keep up the good work Bud!
Some things are worth waiting for and a good sponsor (or even your FIRST sponsor) is just that.....well worth the work and the wait!! Keep the faith my man,...you've got what it takes....and keep pluggin' away even if you feel like quitting (and that'll happen soon enough if you stay with this for any length of time....the quiter's quit,..and the winner's keep goin' even when the chips are down!) You're going to see it all pay off eventually.....the guy who wrote you back won't forget yyour name,...I bet he went back into your file and moved it right up to the front of the "who's next" list!! LOL That was the kind of effort that WILL pay off......you went from the majority 90% to the top 10% with something as simple as a "thank you" note....it's the little things that score BIG because most people don't do it!!! Excellent job dude!!
Here is an email sent to me from Mini on Dec. 14, 2001
This has already been printed, but here we go again. I dread this as my fingers don't move as fast as my head does.
YOU THINK YOU KNOW, BUT YOU HAVE NO IDEA.......
Some peole look at a "sponsored" tournament angler like they have it made. "Free" boat, "free" equipment, maybe even some expenses covered. Well what alot of people do not realize that nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that nothing in life comes "free".
Acquiring and maintaining relationships with sponsors is not an easy task. There are reports to fill out, phone calls to be made, appearances to do, resumes to be updated, etc. A lot goes on "behind the scenes" that the average tournament angler knows nothing about. I know, until my affiliation with Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Auburn Hills, I felt the same way. But after averaging nearly 250 hours per year on Outdoor World's behalf, I know better now.
Most guys figure "I can do that, I can catch more fish than him". Or "I finished higher than he did, why won't they sponsor me?", etc. Well how many of those same anglers are willing to be at every boat show, fishing show, store appearance that a sponsor could ask? How many have the ability to stand in front of 300 people and tell them how to rig a tube or explain the texas rigged worm? It is not as easy as it seems. I can tell you a lot of times I feel silly "telling" people that I know have years more experience than myself "how to" do things to help them catch more fish.
I am contractually bound to spending time on behalf of my sponsors, as is true with any sponsored angler. Not just a day or a weekend selling products, but a set amount of time on site, and promoting and using their products at ALL public events. Luckily I love doing it )and if you don't love it, I don't suggest it). If you look at ALL successful "Pro" anglers on the tours, there is a common denominator. They are very well versed in public speaking, they represent an "image" that is worthy of their sponsors. They ALL don't win all the time. No man can do that, except maybe VanDam or Clunn or even Nixon if you count St. Clair.
So in shortm if your goal is to be successful in obtaining sponsors in this ever increasingly competitive world of bass fishing, remember that there is 5 times the work "behind the scenes" than what you see. And maintaining those relationships is every bit as hard as getting them.
Until next time.....tight lines
John "Mini" Maniaci
Right here was a list of sponsors at the time he wrote this and to ensure there are no ill feelings from his new sponsors, I won't print them.
Mac and Mini,
Has the responsibility increased since this original 12-14-01? I think it has, Mac has much more on the plate as well does Mini.
This may just be a perfect topic for me to add my two cents! I have selected our pro staff at Bass Pro exclusively over the past 4 years and have help a few folks along the way to gain outside sponsorships as well. Here is a list of what determines who I sponsor or help get sponsorships.
1st- How does the individual present themselves to the public! Remember this person will be representing my store, products etc. This means not just at tournaments but in everyday life especially in a social setting!
2nd- Public speaking skills! Can they leave a positive impression on the public during seminars, speaking engagements, after a tournament (you know when the beginner angler wants a few tips) etc.
3rd- How much exposure to the public will this person offer my products and business?
4th- Work ethic! Mini is exactly correct! Nothing is for free. The expectation that you will work events, special promotions, kids events etc is part of getting what you think is free!
5th- Tournament success! It's not essential but is part of the equation! I must admit it's low on my list of priorities!
6th- Once you get a sponsor do you keep in touch, provide feedback on the products and anglers impressions, offer ideas etc.
Now here are a few suggestions!
A resume is the essential starting point! Make sure you add a cover letter that expressly states how you intend to benefit the business of the potential sponsor!
Look outside the fishing industry! There are many companies that could benefit from exposure to the fishing market! As an example my partner and I have sponsorship from a mortagage company! They pay our entry fees for one circuit every year. This happens because we both send customers his way through our contacts at work! We help him he helps us!
You might want to start by becoming a local prostaffer for a large vendor ie: Shimano, Berkely, Dawia etc. Everyone of these companies need local people to help work shows and events in our market. They usually pay you in product or deep discounts on product. These types of relationships are easy to obtain and start the ball rolling! Send them your resume and ask if they need local prostaffer for events rather than asking for free product!
Good luck in your endeavors!
My last suggestion is volunteer! I have many people come to my store and do tank demo's, seminars, teach classes etc. The people that do this type of unsolicited work are the first people I think of when a sponsorship opportunity presents itself.
I'd add to always be who you are. NEVER burn any bridges. It's really a small world and everyone knows everyone else. Consider products you truly have faith. Volunteering is good. Any experience is worthwhile. Don't take the word NO too personal. I've heard it many, many times.
Maybe they really do have a full pro staff. It's better to take them at their word. I've been told that before too. It might mean they do. It might mean I didn't do a good enough job. It might mean I should have gotten to know the person personally first (it's always a good idea to personally know the various reps of the various companies - I know I don't know many of them - which means they don't know me either).
I like the bow-jack comment, but I'm feeling bad for Bob again. Hey Bob, I hear the University of Egypt is looking for a few new specimens, er, persons to work with on some kind of project.
Dan...no need to feel bad for ol'Bob,...he can hold his own with the young pup's 1/2 his age!!..LOL...I just figured out why my truck's been so dirty all winter,.....He took ALL of my car wash money up at Camp Neeley with his Normandy Poker tactics.
and...I'm not so sure he'd be interested in that Egyptian job anyway,....most of those "finds" are his former fishin' buddies!!...and they don't have any Musky in the Nile!!
(Bob does walk like an Egyptian now that you mentioned it...it's all coming together now!!
I'm an American. One half Swiss. One half Blue Blood. Any remarks Mac and I'll tell them about the funny way you fish. At least I think it's funny. Dan you don't have to feel sorry for me as I have had in some ways a great life. I have seen a lot of things. Had my own T V Show. Get to fish all the time and get paid for it and don't have to worry about winning the Tourney's. So There. Love Ya All. Bob
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