Before you go on reading this, you should first read Dave’s article on “How to Get Sponsored”. It’s a great starting point so see if you have what it takes to be a sponsored rider. Now, you may be a great skater with potential but all of that can go to waste if you screw up the way you approach your favourite skate company for sponsorship.
I have once actively looked for sponsors (met with both success and failure) and now I’m on the other side reading through tons of “Sponsor Me” emails and trying to decide who makes the cut. So here are some pointers for those of you who are writing your sponsorship emails.
1. Be Professional!
You are not talking to a friend online or posting on some forum. You are writing to a company for sponsorship. It’s pretty much like applying for a job except maybe minus the formality. Don’t send in a two liner email that says “Hi I’m John and I am looking for sponsors. Lemme know if you have room on your team. Sent from Iphone.” No matter how good a skater you are, nobody is gonna give that email a second glance.
Put in some effort into your sponsorship emails. Sit back and think about what you want to say, how you would like to present yourself and what you plan to include in the email. Get your spelling and grammar right. You don’t want to be that kid who can’t even spell “sponsor” correctly.
2. Go through the proper channels
It’s always good to put in your sponsorship application the way a certain company wants it to be done. Check their website and look at what they want to see in your application. Also, getting the right email address or the email of the person in charge of sponsorship is a big plus.
Sending sponsorship applications via Facebook is never a good idea. There is no harm in approaching a team manager/team rider/owner on how to go about sending in an application but don’t spam them on their personal Facebook with tons of unnecessary messages, the only thing you will accomplish is annoying them!
3. What to include:
You don’t want your email to be too long so try and be concise and get some of these key points down in your email.
(a) Give us a little information on who you are and your skating background. What competitions have you been to and how did you do? What are your skate plans going ahead?
(b) Tell us why you want to be sponsored and why you think you have what it takes to be a sponsored rider. What makes you so special from the other great skaters out there?
(c) Nothing comes for free, you have to pitch yourself and what you can do for the company. Tell us what you can bring to the table if we decide to sponsor you. Riding our products and having stickers on your helmet isn’t gonna cut it.
(d) Always include a skate video of yourself. No raw runs or a poorly edited video you put together in 30 mins. You want it to showcase your skating and your personality at the same time.
(e) Links to your Youtube channels and any other websites related to you
Essentially, the goal is to get the person reading your application interested enough to follow up with you but at the same time not bore them with a long-winded essay about yourself.
This is a good example of a short and sweet sponsorship email I recently received:
Latecomer to skate scene, I got my first longboard when I was about to turn 20 years old. I'm now about to turn 23, and it's been an amazing and life changing experience for me. I helped to build the Longboard club up by my college in the Davis, CA area, and got a lot of people stoked on skateboarding. I hosted somewhere around 5 or 6 events, some of which were sponsored by [insert brand here]. I ride because of the pure joy I experience while on board, especially with friends. I'm somewhat competitive, but I'll choose to skate with friends and push our limits over going to a hard core competition most of the time. I have been riding [insert brand here] for about a year now, and they definitely made my riding experience far more enjoyable. They allowed me to further tune my trucks and I have been recommending and turning friends onto [insert brand here] for a while now! I would be honored to ride for the company as I truly do believe that you guys are putting some of the top products available out there to allow us skaters to rip even harder than before!
I enjoy writing reviews on products in addition to skating, and you could count on me reviewing your new products too! I'm all about giving back to those who support me; for starters, I can provide rider feedback, product promotion at the grass roots level, and an all around positive and friendly persona to represent your company
Thanks for considering me!
4. Follow up
If you haven’t received a response after a few weeks, you can always send up a follow up email just to check in. Sometimes your email can get lost or overlooked so give it a shot and send a little reminder. If you still don’t hear back, then odds are they might not be interested and maybe it’s time to move on.
Good luck and don’t take it personally if you don’t succeed the first time. Work on building up yourself as a skater and try again another time!Stoke out your friends!