One of the hardest things of being a fighter is obtaining a sponsorship. We all know how important they are, and if done right, they are important to both sides of the party. Ideally the fighter is successful enough both in and outside of the cage to bring some attention to that brand and at the same time, the brand is successful enough to get eyeballs on their fighter. It should be a reciprocal relationship.
But instead of talking about what an ideal relationship is and what should be expected from both parties (let’s save that for another article), let’s talk about the wrong ways of trying to get a sponsor.
My favorite, and has a nearly 100% shot down rate, is sending an email to a company with some variation of the following.
Yo! I’m John Doe and I am the best fighter not signed to the UFC yet. You should be honored to work with me and give me $XXX and in return I will put your logo on my shorts. Here’s my address to mail the check to.
Seriously? I’ve read some good variations on that line, some likely to be even done in jest. But telling someone you are the best unsigned fighter doesn’t mean squat. To quote Brent Weedman from an interview we did, “That’s like being the tallest kid in the third grade”.
So don’t do it. Another one of my favorites is when I see a fighter post on facebook saying “I’m fighting in 30 days. Hit me up for sponsors”. Yes that is an actual line that I have seen, and truth be told, the inspiration for this article.
The biggest issue here is that he is saying hit him up for sponsors, meaning he has them and is looking to sponsor people. I am just as guilty of poor grammar as the next person, but when the goal is to get people to give you money and not you give them money, it’s kind of silly.
Additionally on top of it, this is probably the laziest approach ever to trying to get a sponsor. You might as well go into the local mall, stand at the center and shout “Hey someone give me money”. With the speed that we read and disregard facebook posts, this mall method might have a longer life span.
Being that you are on social media more than likely, make sure you don’t do something stupid on it. While a single non-important post on facebook or twitter is going to be brushed off, a mis-guided or bad post will live on for a lot longer. Think of Forrest Griffin with his “joke” about rape on twitter. Think a local company wants to deal with that?
Finally don’t over-estimate a company’s worth when asking for money. Just because they appear to be a huge successful company, doesn’t mean that they are. If they tell you they can only give you $200 for a fight and you demand $1000, they might walk. Not because they don’t want to work with you, but because they cannot afford to. One sponsorship company that used to be around at all the local shows went under after sponsoring a fighter for 4x what they could afford. The fighter didn’t sell a single shirt and all of their resources were dried up in a matter of weeks.