10 Secrets To Scoring A Fitness-Industry Sponsorship
Have you ever said to yourself, I know I have what it takes to get on that cover, while looking at Muscle & Fitness, Status, or Oxygen magazines? In this industry, everyone dreams about getting signed to a big supplement company or landing some type of huge sponsorship deal.
After all, a lot of incredibly fit athletes have stellar physiques. You're probably one of them. So while we all want to work a booth at the big shows, score free stuff, appear in magazines, and maybe even turn into a huge fitness star-it doesn't happen to everybody.
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Jennifer Rankin is a 2011 BodySpace Spokesmodel
and sponsored by Optimum Nutrition.
But it can happen to you. Here's how: Read the answers to the top 10 questions that I always get asked about landing a sponsor. My knowledge comes firsthand, from working hard to build a look I'm proud of to being featured on the cover of Iron Man magazine.
This article offers insider knowledge that could help you become the next "big thing" to hit the fitness industry!
No. Winning a competition might help you gain a bit of exposure, but it is not necessary when it comes to gaining a sponsorship.
There are many sponsored athletes who compete but have never won a show, and there are many athletes who have won many shows but haven't bagged any sponsorships.
Companies aren't hung up on the titles you've won at shows. In my experience, they're more interested in your persona. Companies really go for someone who has a following of people.
After all, if people look up to you as their fitness role model and trust your judgment on supplements and other products, it'll be easy for a company to build credibility and a customer base with your physique and persona backing them up.
Social networking is a great way to get your image and persona out there, to get fans, and to endorse yourself as an athlete.
Building your network through Twitter, Facebook, BodySpace and a personal website can take a lot of leg work, and it is very rare that companies take notice of athletes only because of social networks online.
But it is always a possibility, and if you start now, you won't have as much work to do when you do hit it big!
The web is also a good venue for you to promote products for companies that you would want to work for. If you have a few favorite supplements (or a lot!) that really help you make progress, or if you've just tried something amazing, share your opinions online.
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They are looking for fit athletes who not only have a basic knowledge of supplements but know THEIR supplements (or products). Taking just 1 or 2 of a company's supplements won't get you signed.
You need to have a wide range of use and knowledge of the product line. They also want outgoing athletes who are not afraid to go into gyms or stores and ask to do demos as well as athletes who have stamina for long tradeshows and are excited to be there.
Your attitude, personality, and how you present yourself will be big selling points to sponsors. Even if you don't think that you are naturally outgoing or good around large groups of people, you can still get sponsored!
Just practice your people skills and work hard at showing your true self around larger groups. Sometimes it even helps to practice your "sales" talk because sponsors want to know that you can represent them to the public.
Visit the company's website and reach out to them. Most have online applications to be a member of their contracted athletes. Don't take rejection personally because a lot of it is just luck and timing.
Always remember that there are a lot of athletes out there wanting the same thing that you do who are also in great physical shape with great personalities. But you can set yourself apart and be the kind of outgoing, hardworking person a company would be proud to have.
There are also a lot of people succeeding in this business, and you can be one of them. It's important to keep trying and keep a positive attitude with every new opportunity.
Also, make sure you know some history of the company you contact, how it started, who the owner is, and who the creator and the brains behind the operation are.
Research the demographic and company goals. If the company you are reaching out to is Bodybuilding.com then make sure you have a BodySpace and that you're active on it.
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You can set yourself apart and be the kind of outgoing,
hardworking person a company would be proud to have.
This question is a tough one, and really it comes down to each individual's choice. But, you should think about what you are looking to get out if your sponsorship and what you believe a company should stand for.
I like to make sure the company's I work with have a great line of athletes. You can tell a lot about a company from whom they associate themselves with. Also, I always want to be with a company that makes products that I believe in and actually use.
If you are just after exposure or your only goal is to be "sponsored" then, sure, you can throw your name out to every company out there.
Just remember that this is industry isn't so big that word doesn't get around-it does. Most companies will be able to tell if you are sincere or if you're just in it for the attention or the spotlight.