The world of competitive bass fishing is growing and so is the interest of anglers all across the world that want to try to reach the Professional level. Alas, there is a problem in attaining such lofty goals and aspirations....the high cost of entry fees, hotels and oh yeah, the ever rising price of gasoline. Unless one is independently wealthy, these costs can be overwhelming and out of reach unless one obtains some really lucrative corporate sponsorships. Should be a walk in the park huh? Well, not so fast, these types of corporate sponsorships are not being handed out on every street corner to every angler that just won the AOY for their local club. With today's economic state, even the elite anglers of the world sometimes struggle to obtain such sponsors, as companies are cutting back in several areas of business, including marketing that targets a certain demographic.
First, before reaching out to companies that you wish to obtain sponsorship from, realize that Pro Staff does NOT mean professional staff , Pro Staff means Promotional Staff. A marketing director knows what his company can do for you, what they want to know is, what can you do for them. With this in mind, sit down and create a resume to send to your desired companies. It should be prepared and look professional. One thing to keep in mind is that many of the companies you reach out to do not put as much emphasis on your fishing production as they do your ability to market their product. Formulate a plan of action that describes the ways how you will be promoting their product. Any experience you have in public speaking and in sales/marketing will help you also. In today's world, an education and the ability to use proper grammar and spelling is a must have if you have any plans of effectively promoting a product, and above all, know everything you can possibly learn about the products offered by the company you are contacting. Social Media is playing a key role in marketing and promoting, so it would be wise to establish accounts with as many different social media sites as possible. If you already have social media accounts like Facebook, it would be extremely beneficial to create another account that is a "Fan" page that you can do your marketing through.
One mistake I see many anglers making in their pursuit of sponsorship, is that they are only looking to get sponsored from endemic companies and completely ignoring the non-endemic companies. There are many local businesses could be interested in your services, so don't get locked in on thinking you have to have Bass Pro Shops or Quantum sponsor you. Many of these businesses have a multi-level sponsor program. Initially, your sponsorship may be a product sponsorship where you may get some free product or product at a discounted rate. So don't be disappointed when you don not get cash money to cover all your expenses. The better you perform at promoting their product and driving sales, the more the company rewards you.
We hope some of this will help you guys/gals in your fishing future and good luck. Dream big, work hard and anything you want can be obtained with enough perseverance.
Best of Luck
Antique Truckers Hat