Get That Sponsorship! Bea's Step-By-Step: Part I
Fort Meyers, Florida
by Bea Youngs
Part One Part Two
Unless you have friends on the “inside” and are in that “Know Circle” of being able to obtain products for free from those friends who own their own manufacturing businesses, it’s not as easy to obtain sponsorship. I’ve also noticed a trend: “The Connection” - Most teams that have a sponsorship or two get sponsored because usually their team owners or captains work or have worked for large paintball companies or they work at a paintball store or field.
|Paintball Wholesaler's Team Nasty|
However, for the rookie teams who are just starting out, getting a job in an instant is not easily obtained right away, most rookies don’t know Tom Kaye (Air Gun Designs) or Dave Youngblood (DYE) personally, and can’t get sponsorship as easily as those who do have that privilege. Rookie teams need to start at the very beginning. I remember when I was at JT USA working as the Promotions Coordinator and receiving questions like, “Hi. I was wondering how I could get
sponsored? I’m 12 and have a 3-man team. We don’t have a lot of money and paintball is really expensive, but we love to play and hope to get some free stuff so we can start playing tournaments… Can you help?” Seriously, questions like that came and are still asked to this day.
As I gave some examples in the last article, I wrote about how I did it, but this time, I will actually list the “How to’s” and “How to maintain” to make it more clear. In this juncture, we will focus on a rookie team with no record of success; a rookie team just starting out with no connections; a rookie team that has charisma, hunger, and love for the sport of paintball. And remember, no one said this was easy. That’s why it’s important to
|Hard Work Will Pay Off!|
keep motivated, keep striving, and have faith that it can be done. With patience, you will get what you work hard for. As a rookie team, there is no record of success. You have no championships or titles yet. Therefore, you have to earn the sponsor’s trust, give them reasons why they should sponsor you even without a solid track record in place.
BEFORE YOU ASK:
1) When You Should Ask: Around October of every year, after the ever-so-popular tournament so righteously named “World Cup” has come and gone, sponsors have either already determined who they will be sponsoring for next year or will so by the end of the year.
2) Who makes the decision? In the case of a rookie team, the store and/or
|Support Your Sponsors! 2002 World Cup Champions Aftershock|
field owners are who makes the decision. If you want to shoot for the stars, and go for the “Big One” by going beyond local, you can submit to the Marketing departments of those big paintball companies. They have a budget they have to work with, so they are careful on whom they choose and how that money is dispersed. Know this: Very few rookie teams, however, get a full- sponsorship from manufacturers. Amateur and Pro teams are looked at more, scouted more, and have more clout, for obvious reasons, with the bigger companies like WDP (Dynasty), National Paintball Supply (Bob Long Ironmen), and Kingman (Bad Company).
3) Who to turn to for sponsorship: It is a good idea to look to your local store or field for assistance. Usually, these stores have sponsorship opportunities with the manufacturers for gear discounts. This is the most common sponsorship deal for rookie or novice teams.
|Sponsorships Can Come From Anywhere:|
Team G & C Electric
Another place to look is to seek outside the paintball realm by asking those sponsors that are outside the paintball industry. Antony “Solonor” gave a good example of this and said, “Use your father/uncle's company as a Sponsor! … Have posters, stickers, [that help to aid in advertising, giving the sponsor exposure]… Why not... Team Kobolds sponsored by... Kaligula shoelaces!!!!” Most rookie teams will have their parents as their only sponsors, so if they are in business for themselves, like a pizza place, or a computer online service, be sure to post a banner at the tournament or even at the practice field.
Remember, you have to give the sponsor a good reason to sponsor you. Sponsors will most likely say, “What can your team do for my business?” Since your rookie team is starting out, you have to earn the trust of the sponsor first.
THE TEAM BIOGRAPHY/RESUME
In order to be taken seriously, you must create a team biography, like a resume, typed, printed on resume paper, put in a folder or see-through clear packet, in a manila envelope, while listing the following:
1) Team Name (Have a logo created, graphically create one on your PC or draw your logo)
2) Team Location (Address)
3) Team’s Objective/Motto
4) Team Owner
5) Team Captain
6) Team Roster (Roster should include each player’s name, age, position, years played, and gear sizes of pant, jersey, and glove – that way you’re one step ahead if you gain the sponsorship deal)
7) Team Expectations (What will you do for the sponsors in return?)
8) Team Goals (What tournaments will you be playing?)
9) Include pictures of the team in action and off the field, behind a team banner with the team’s logo and an area available for sponsors to be listed.
That's it for Part One of your sponsorship tips. Stay tuned for Part Two where I will discuss the "How-To's" of these steps and get further detailed about how to go about these steps and keep those sponsorship deals!
Achieve the Impossible – BEAggressive!
Visit Bea's Website.