Want To Be a Sponsored Athlete? Here Are The 2 Key Factors.

28 May Want To Be a Sponsored Athlete? Here Are The 2 Key Factors.

Create Time. Have a Plan. It really is that simple!

What we have seen over many years of educating, guiding and advising athletes (of all levels, abilities, ages and in all sports) is that there are 2 main things that lead them to success.

As we prepare for our first public workshop of 2018 (Athlete Brand and Sponsorship Workshop Weekend here in beautiful Brisbane, Australia) I thought it was a great time to share these 2 simple but powerful concepts for athletes and those who are supporting their efforts to get sponsored!


There is a misconception that you need to be famous, have a million followers on Instagram, be really good looking, or be in a sport that is on TV. Thankfully none of of those is true….and we have seen a huge shift in the way that companies sponsor athletes which means that the everyday, non-elite on non-famous athlete can now engage some really awesome, valuable and meaningful sponsorship! Jup Brown is a great example of this…he is the athlete in the photo above…..you can read his success story here.


More and more companies are seeing that sponsoring athletes is a way to connect to their current or potential customers….that an everyday athlete might be more relatable and influential than some famous athlete (who everybody knows is only representing the sponsor because of the pay cheque). Authenticity is where it’s at….so the more REAL you are, the more YOU you are (yeh, just be yourself! Your awesome self!) then the better able you are to connect with the right sponsors and create real relationships with them that benefit both of you. To read more about ways you can offer value to sponsors check out this blog.

So……now that we have cleared THAT up….let’s look at the 2 main factors for success in your engagement of sponsorship!


It’s common for athletes to straight away jump into creating a sponsorship proposal document (or letter) but did you know that that should never be the first thing you do?

Following a simple, structured process will mean that by the time you create a proposal you already know the information that you will put in it AND it’s the information that sponsors want!

You need to know:

What you seek from sponsorship…..beyond the obvious sports equipment, what about other things in your life such as fashion items, insurances and groceries! As well as other benefits you seek such as training, experience, travel etc.

What you can offer to sponsors….you will want to have a list of the different ways you can offer value to sponsors, and know that these days placing a logo on your clothing just doesn’t cut it with most sponsors…they want you involved in their activities online and at events!

Which sponsors you seek.….you need to know who they are, what they can offer, what you can offer them and whether you are aligned with their values and brand (and vice versa!).

Putting it all together.….having a process of gathering and making sense of this information BEFORE you create and send a proposal to a sponsor is key, and is often the greatest challenge that athletes face because they get a bit overwhelmed at this point without proper guidance or an understanding of the process.

Before we move onto the next key factor (TIME) here’s a great blog we wrote on the plan for getting sponsored: https://www.thesponsorshipconsultants.com/how-to-be-a-sponsored-athlete/

And here’s our Fast Track to Sponsorship pack which guides athletes through the process using video workshops, activities and templates. Yeh, this is a little sales pitchy but it’s also the best resource available to athletes (if we do say so ourselves) because it’s what we’ve developed working with sports organisations (like the US Olympic and Paralympic Teams, Sport England and Australian Institute of Sport) and individual athletes over the past 5 years.


Are you giving yourself TIME to do this and do it right? It may not take as long as you think (especially if you have a PLAN)

We suggest 2 effective ways to give yourself time to create your sponsorship pitch:

Option 1 – Get it done in 1 Weekend!

We see athletes getting to the point of sending their first sponsorship proposal after working on it over a single weekend! Yep, 2 days and they have created a really well-crafted, strategic and gorgeous looking proposal that is ready to send to a potential sponsor on Monday morning! Nice!

Option 2 – Get it done in 6 weeks!

Alternatively, you might want to spread this over a few weeks, say 1-2 hours per week, and set a deadline for yourself of 6 weeks! This way you can schedule it into your busy week just as you do your training, work or study!


Having a PLAN and giving yourself TIME takes away the 2 enemies of successfully sponsorship, namely GUESSING (having no clear idea of what you are doing) and STRESSING (worrying that it’s just not happening fast enough if at all)!

So the reward is that from the very start, you are creating a positive experience for yourself in your sponsorship journey rather than what so many athletes do which is put immense pressure on themselves but have no real way to achieve what they want. And quite frankly, that feeling sucks, so we want you to avoid that!

If you’re in Australia, you can join us at our upcoming Athlete Brand and Sponsorship Workshop Weekend where we will work with you to create your personal brand and sponsorship strategy and actually create your proposal during the weekend!

For those not in Australia (or who can’t make it to the weekend) get onto our Fast Track Pack (it has everything you need to create your sponsorship pitch and proposal document in as little as 1 weekend!):

I want to personally wish you an AWESOME experience in your athlete sponsorship journey….it can literally be life changing!

Vickie Saunders
[email protected]

Vickie is the world's leading expert on commercial relationships for individuals, businesses and sports organisations.