28 Dec Team Focus: Why Individual Athletes Should Create a Sponsorship Team
As the Community Manager for The Sponsorship Consultants and our sister-business The Brand Builders I work closely with athletes, helping them to understand their value and connect with opportunity in the Athlete Sponsorship Hub. They benefit from being able to share their journey in the group with other athletes. However, when many of these athletes first join the group they’re alone on their journey and in need of support.
Athletes often work in groups or with coaches and mentors. It’s important that you have people around you who understand sponsorship and can support your sponsorship goals. Just like you have coaches and mentors who support your athletic goals. Athletes who have sponsorship teams are more motivated, obtain more valuable sponsorship and can offer more value to sponsors. They have access to a wider variety of skill sets and get sponsored faster.
If you are finding sponsorship too time consuming, building a team will free up some of your time. Meaning, you can reach your goals faster and more efficiently. Your team shouldn’t just be a cheer squad, they should be helping you tick items off your sponsorship list. E.g. social media, getting professional photographs taken, doing research on sponsors, putting together your proposal.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR SPONSORSHIP TEAM
Many athletes take a solitary approach to sponsorship. They embark on their sponsorship journey alone, with no support network and no one to help motivate or encourage them.
While they may talk to friends and family about sponsorship, it’s often a one-sided conversation. Their loved ones sometimes don’t understand sponsorship and can’t give them real advice or feedback. Meaning, these athletes feel lonely and unmotivated. So, they end up putting sponsorship in the too hard basket and stop the journey altogether.
But sponsorship doesn’t have to be a lonely journey.
WHO SHOULD BE ON MY TEAM?
Creating a group of people around you to support your sponsorship journey needs to make your life easier! They need to be enthusiastic and positive about sponsorship. Your best friend might be amazing at cheering you on at events and keeping you up to date on celebrity gossip, but if they are time poor and sometimes unreliable, they might not be the best person to bring on board your team, even if they are your best friend.
All your team members need to understand sponsorship and the process of obtaining, maintaining and retaining sponsorship. Perhaps you could suggest they read our book Sponsorship for Athletes (also available as an ebook).
You want each person to bring a different set of skills to the table.
Team member A might be a great motivator. E.g. the person who always manages to uplift you when you’re down and gives fantastic life advice.
While team member B is a graphic designer and budding photographer. They can help you put together a super slick and well-designed proposal.
Team member C is able to help you prepare for public speaking events because they’re a great MC and have a background in theatre.
Team member D works in social media and can help you start to create engaging content that will draw sponsors in.
HOW DO I BRING SOMEONE ONBOARD?
Ask! Find out what they have to offer and if they have the time and energy to commit to being a team member. If they can’t be involved, don’t spend time trying to convince them to come on board.
It’s important to get their input and ideas on what they bring to the team…they may have more skills and knowledge than you were aware of!
HOW DO I MANAGE EVERYONE?
Knowing what each person’s role is really important for you AND for your team members to know.
The secret is to keep it really simple….and one of the best ways to keep it simple is to have a plan for engaging sponsorship such as the one we have created in the Athlete Fast Track which is a step by step guide to getting sponsored.
When you have a plan, you can see what needs to be done. Then you can work with your team to decide who does what….and when!
BUT WHAT IF I CAN’T FIND THE RIGHT PEOPLE?
If you’re having trouble forming a Sponsorship Team out of your friends and family, don’t worry. Thanks to the internet you can find your team online. In our free Facebook group, the Athlete Sponsorship Hub , you’ll find thousands of other athletes also in need of team members.
When you join the Hub you’ll be connected to these athletes. They all possess a wide range of skills and attributes that make them amazing Sponsorship Team members!
By joining the Hub you’ll be making sure you never feel alone on your sponsorship journey. We also provide daily tips and resources on athlete sponsorship and advice from experts.
CREATE YOUR TEAM
Now for the fun part, it’s time to go out and start creating your team! Remember, your team members need to be positive and enthusiastic about sponsorship. They also need to be able to dedicate a few hours a week to your journey. Choose wisely and make sure you thank everyone who comes on board for their time and service.
Once you’ve started I’d love to hear about how you are going and how you choose your team members in the Athlete Sponsorship Hub.