How to get sponsored

Urban athletics is a pretty rubbish term imo, but it kinda fits when trying to categorise obscure outdoor activities that young(ish) people tend to like doing nowadays. There’s also a growing demand I’ve noticed within these circles for praise and reward. Largely because there isn’t much of it available out there in the realms of competitions and medals etc. So it tends to be sought after by the weak from the alpha males (or peers) of the groups. And well those at the top, are looking for praise and reward too, and generally the only way they can get it, is from their peers.

The only next step available to them is peers ‘outside’ their activity group, which tends to materialise as sponsorship by some company, often only loosely connected with an activity, looking to associate itself with (often) young people, whereby they can brand them for the rest of their lives and all the jealous people, can bitch and moan about them taking from ‘the man’ and ‘selling out’ etc.

*yawn… give it a rest.

Soo… how is this all connected to ‘getting sponsored’ like the title says then?

Well, lets face facts; you have a skill, which in most peoples eyes is pretty impressive, crowd pleasing and ‘cool’… companies want to be associated with impressive coolness, and therefore either spend vast amounts of money, trying to look cool (and often failing) or hanging their products on people that tend to be cool, without trying much.

In nutshell, companies want to be associated with:

clean, good looking, healthy, active, talented, positive, confident, role models.

That list is important to remember, cause if you honestly don’t adhere to that spec, then no matter how hard you try, you ain’t even getting a foot in the door.

Now notice I didn’t say ‘super-models’, I didn’t say ‘weathly’ or ‘intelligent’… because those things aren’t required. All companies need is a good walking talking naturally impressive ‘coat hanger’ to represent them in the social circles that they are desperate to break into… probably looking to launch a new range of catalogue products for the spring/summer 2010-11 range.

How exactly would a company do that?

well they’d probably sponsor a high profile, social media network, full of desperately seeking attention ‘media whores’ and then encourage as many of them as possible to join in their fun, spending their marketing budgets. One example would be the recent Adidas London 2012 urban athlete marketing campaign they’re running. A channel is set up on YT for people to send in their best clips. And for all those that are raising their eyebrows, in preparation of complaining about the corporate ‘machine’ taking over the fun stuff. Well, keep thinking that dim people, cause that is a perfect example of how a company with budgets available ‘reach out’ to the masses and invite them to get in contact. Once you’re in contact with them, you can begin a dialogue, and its that conversation which will add to your visibility within their company. And that’s half the battle. Getting your name and face known within the walls of the brands is where it all begins.

Another approach people aren’t aware of is through shops. Pick small shops, with products you like, Nixon Watches for example, or Billabong clothing, perhaps Fly sunglasses. Well each ‘little’ shop will have regular visits either from reps directly or to the salesmen through telephone orders, the smaller the shops, the more acquainted the owners tend to get with the distributors and employees. Now lets say over the course of a few weeks, you got chatting to your local shop owner and mentioned that you’ve a bit of an extreme flipper… photogenic like with good steez and all that shizzle. It won’t take long for you to establish a little rap-or with the guy… and once you’re on good speaking terms (buying products there helps btw) … you can start asking questions. Like do they know any reps or contacts at the distributors that you could send in some photos or portfolio for flipping, in the hope of getting a bit of supportive ‘flow’ on the go. Play the owner your show-reel, show some kick ass photos (you don’t have any?? damn, get that sorted!) … and basically work on winning the man over with your ‘grinning like you’ve just passed your driving test’ smile and witty charm.

It works, believe!

Oh and don’t give up. It’ll be tempting to do all the above to one shop and sit back and see what happens…. but nah, go to every little shop you can find, get your face in their face, make every rep, salesman, and distributor know who you are and that you’re looking to become their next clothes hanger for their 2010-11 range.

This is the common route to sponsorship. When competitions aren’t available, you gotta go directly to the source. And remember, you gotta look good, smile, laugh, be happy and be a clear notch above the rest of the wannabe’s begging for attention.


I have more to add on this subject, but got fed up typing. Might add another ‘part 2’ later.



Filed under Flips, free running, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, parkour, Tricking

20 responses to “How to get sponsored

  1. Pingback: Filming the Ultimate tricking showreel 2 « FlipCatch

  2. Pingback: filming: The ultimate tricking showreel… « FlipCatch

  3. The thing i find difficult is I’m mainly into parkour, which isn’t as astheaticly (however you spell it) pleasing. And I’d say i’m of a fairly good level and have sent video’s of me and my team (who are very talented) yet i have had no luck :(

  4. If you have no luck in the search for sponsorship, then it is not the right time for you right now. Keep pushing yourself, look at what the top level people in your activity are doing, match it and surpass it. If that isn’t achievable for you right now, then you know that those are the areas you need to work on.

    Style is a big winner – hold a mirror under your chin and look down at the ceiling, look at what everyone else is doing and do something different.

    Don’t wait to be sponsored – sponsorship is a perk of being effective in all areas of everyone else’s weaknesses. If you keep learning and progressing, you will get what you want.

  5. Hey whats up I can do doubles in all directions and land it on my tramp, am I good enough to be sponsored? If so, what companies can sponsor me? PLease let me know, mty email is or you can message me on youtube trampolinetutorials.

  6. hey mate, I’ve checked out your video and tho you have lots of flips, I personally don’t think you’re ready to be sponsored fully yet. But you should still work on your skills, tidy things up, push out some good quality footage and start blasting your name about. You know it makes sense :) keep flipping – mark

  7. Alex

    Hey. Awesome post. I’ve recently been looking into getting sponsored. I like the small shop idea I think i’m going to try and work on that one. Also, you mean privately owned shops, not chain ones right? I recieved an invitation from MTV for the casting of a new stunt show but they never contacted me back about it. Any tips? my youtube account is ytcheeseheadam, check out the vids. Thanks.

  8. bboy noel

    im bboynoel and im danceing whit a group call blade breakez we danceing for 8 years now but now we looking a sponsor please help us my email is

  9. Juan Prieto

    Hey if you’re still there I need you to check out my video and see if its good enough to send to sponsorship videos.

  10. im 13 yrs old, an NSSA competitor , won MANY surf contests before, and not sponcered. a shame

  11. My Name is Marcos Raudkett
    and i would like to get sponsored now.
    i’ve been Freerunning Now For 2 or 3 Years
    Also Here is my video:
    Thanks. :)

  12. jared richardson

    how do i get sponsored

  13. A.K.B.

    well i have done gymnastics since i was three and i have wanted to get sponsored for a long time and i was thinking hey why not for gymnastics so im just wondering how you get sponsored. I know that you have to send a video of you (or something like it) to a team but do they look at it?

    Well anyways if anyone know anything about getting sponsored and they could help me i would love it if u would reply to the comment and tell me what you know.


  14. Erm, sorry mate… but the whole blog post above is about how to get sponsored! Have you read it? If so, start doing it :) If you are thinking about sending in a video to someone… check my post on how to film an amazing Sampler :

  15. jose carrera

    Looking to get sponsored for breakdancing I been bboying for about 9 to 10 years. So I’m asking if it’s possible that i can get sponsored?

  16. luke brown

    hey man loving the tips i have been flipping on flat groung and off ledges for about 3 and a half year i am looking around for a sponsership no anyone that would add me on facebook if u have its i might make a website to sponser other kids. be great if you reply and add me on facebook

    thanks …………………………….. luke

  17. tony

    can one of you guys check out teamflowfreerunning on youtube… spaces or caps when typing the name in…..and can you tell us what we need to work on.

  18. alexander

    hey mark me and my parkour team have been thinking about getting sponsorship by anyone lately and we have been working very hard on a demo video lately and if we send it intop you would u send to some easy sponer people lol thanks


  19. shellee

    Im looking to be Sponsored. Im a gymnast, the reason i would like to be sponsored is because i have always wanted to go to gymnastics 5days a week 6hours each but it is so expencive. and then along with monthly fees there is compatition fees. comp. fees can be from $400-$4000 thats alot! plus monthly and other expences like wardrobe if anyone can help me get a sponsor that would be great! thanks

  20. connor richards

    ive been trying to get bsponserd for ages please check me out young and new into it i can lots of tricks please email me or go to my youtube chanell connorrich269 thank you so much

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