This is one of the most asked questions I receive when doing presentations and seminars. There is no precise answer to the question How do I get sponsors? However, there are some unwritten rules and items you should consider if sponsorships are something that you are looking to obtain.
When thinking about how to get bass fishing sponsors, many anglers hope that they will have enough money provided by sponsors that they will be able to fish full time. The truth is, only a small group of professional anglers can do that.
…”bottom line is a sponsor needs to have someone who will successfully promote and sell their product or service”.
The first and utmost concern and attitude you should have when approaching sponsors is pretty basic, yet it seems to be over looked by many new-comers to the bass fishing world. That is to ask yourself, not what the perspective sponsor can do for you, but what you will do for them. I know this sounds corny but the bottom line is a sponsor needs to have someone who will successfully promote and sell their product or service.
Most often a sponsor does not need someone who will just fish tournaments. A sponsor is looking for someone who will WIN tournaments and develop a good image and following while promoting their products and or services. Remember there are thousands of tournament fishermen. But there are only a few who can promote well.
How do I get sponsors? In the past few years I have seen these changes accelerate, as platforms like Instagram and YouTube have given anglers the ability to reach larger audiences outside of a tournament finish, television appearance, print or other traditional media outlet. It is still a requisite to win or finish high in several tournaments to gain sponsorship with a brand. In some cases, you don’t need to be a fishing expert to influence and impact sales in today’s world. Long time touring pros are seeing their contracts being cut in some cases and those funds are being re-directed to influences from social media.
To start you need to consider where in the fishing industry you want to go and where your strong points are. That is, do you want to fish tournaments professionally, do you want to be a major player in the marketing of the industry, and do you want to do this nationally or regionally. This will help the sponsor know if there is a program or area already in place internally for you.