Getting Sponsors for Your Endurance Sports Passion

Posted on 08 November 2010

It’s amazing how much money can be spent on racing/training for endurance events over a year.   If you incorporate long distance travel with flights, hotels, entry fees, transporting equipment costs, etc. in addition to all the normal expenditures for our passion.    

The question is how hard is it to get sponsorships:  Dollars for travel or specific performance products for an average (not professional athlete)?  Of course with the last few years economic climate many companies have been tighter with specific sponsorships.   

I have found that by writing a passionate letter to a specific company for products – nutrition, clothing, gear most will be willing to provide products for the additional market exposure (especially for an athlete who races throughout the year).  In many cases, the specific company will only ask you to wear some clothing (yes that’s an additional benefit – some free performance clothing) that they are more than willing to offer a package of products.  It’s actually not that difficult and can be a win-win situation for the athlete and corporate sponsor.

With regards to raising funds to offset travel, entry fees, etc. it’s a much different situation than just product sponsorships.   It’s important to actually have a written plan with benefits to the company, cash flow model, charitable intent (if that’s your focus) before a company will even consider a cash sponsorship.   All of these companies receive many requests and to differentiate yourself – do you homework, understand the company’s mission, personal relationships/connections and combine that with a well developed business/partnering proposal.   

When I hear athletes tell me that they need funds to race and can’t get any corporate sponsorships I ask them what have they done to qualify for the funds.    Of course the normal response is that they sent an email request without formalizing a complete plan.   

It’s no impossible today to receive cash sponsorships with some planning and creative thinking.  Yes, you are selling yourself to the company so plan out a comprehensive strategy and target list and don’t ever give up.   Persistence will pay off in the long run!

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