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I’ve been receiving several questions lately on how to successfully contact brands, and why they might not be responding to your sponsorship requests.
I made many mistakes in my early years of seeking sponsorship, which resulted in most of my attempts being left unanswered.
That was until I started to understand two key factors in my approach, which honestly changed the game for me and led to securing brand deals with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Those two factors were contacting the right person, and presenting myself professionally.
CONTACT THE RIGHT PERSON
Contacting the right person - the ‘decision-maker’ - at a company is the biggest step in successfully being able to begin discussions with them.
In a lot of cases, riders will send their resume to just a generic email address from a brand's website, although this email simply falls in the hands of the admin staff - meaning the chances of actually reaching who calls the shots on sponsorship at the company is significantly reduced.
By getting in touch with the right person, you’ve firstly bypassed any chance of your resume getting lost in the junk folder or simply deleted, but you’ve got an opportunity to make the initial email personal and make an immediate impression.
I’ve covered how to identify and get the contact details of the ‘decision-maker’ before, but I’ll run you through it again.
Firstly, look at the company’s website, as the appropriate details of the owner/marketing/brand manager may already be on there.
Secondly, I would start by creating an account on LinkedIn (which is good to have anyway as a rider seeking sponsorship) and searching the company you want to be sponsored by.
People who work for them and are on the platform will pop up, and you’ll generally be able to find the person you’re looking for. Usually, their email address will be listed, otherwise you can message them directly, introduce yourself and take discussions from there.
If that isn’t successful, investigate on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and even your own contact list - you may just know someone who can point you in the right direction, and a referral from a friend will boost your chances of landing a meeting.
Alternatively, call the company with the details listed on their website, and explain why you’re calling and whose contact details you need.
The biggest unlock for me in getting companies to respond to me seeking sponsorship was professional presentation.
When I first got started, I made a super simple resume in Microsoft Word and listed the basics. I was often left wondering why no one was ever responding to me, even if it was a no.
And just a side note - a response was always a positive for me, even if they weren’t interested or in a position to sponsor what I was doing.
It wasn’t until I designed a professional proposal that reflected my professionalism that displayed significant effort had been put into it and that was serious about working with them, that I finally started to receive replies and actually land them as a sponsor.
This may sound harsh, but a Word document resume shows you’re lazy (in your effort for sponsorship).
I like to think of a proposal or resume as a ‘foot in the door’ with a sponsor - it’s your first opportunity to impress them, and if you’ve put in the effort and can display you’re serious about working with them, you’ll earn their respect and a reply, allowing you the chance to take discussions further.
If a resume or proposal lacks professionalism and effort, it already tells the sponsor that it’s not even worth their time in taking it any further.
If you have any sponsorship questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.