How to Find a BJJ Sponsor

BJJ can be an expensive hobby. Perhaps, for some, it is more than just a hobby. It may be a way that you wish to live your life and earn your income. It’s a tough road to take, but for those who wish to do so, there is always the assistance of sponsorships.

Sponsorship is one of those things that everyone dreams of having, but not everyone knows how to go about getting. Luckily, Budo Jake wrote an excellent ebook on the topic. There are a few things that I’d like to cover, some are already mentioned in this book, some aren’t. However, I recommend giving it a read after you peruse this article.

  1. Win

I know this one might seem obvious to some of you, but it needs covering anyways. No one will want to sponsor you if you’ve never won anything. How do you win? First of all, you compete. At the starting level, you might be able to just go and win without putting much thought or preparation into your training. However, as you progress, you will need to up your training schedules. Victory takes preparation. Make sure you train to win.

I’ve talked to lots of “writers” who expect to sell stories they haven’t even written yet. You absolutely cannot market something that doesn’t exist. If you want to be sponsored, you have to show you can win, and win consistently.

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  1. Ask
Capture
A random Facebook post is NOT an effective method of asking.

Another obvious one, but people seem to think that sponsorships will just fall into their lap. This may be true for some cases, generally only for a very high level competitor. You need to go out and talk to people who can sponsor you. I actually find that face-to-face meetings are the most effective, but I understand that this is also not the most readily available option either.

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Letters and emails are also effective. I find that the age old idea of hand writing letters to guarantee a response is not actually the most effective when seeking sponsorship. Much of a brand’s interactions occur online because they are quick and easy. I’ve found emails are moderately effective, but are also easily overlooked. However, social media messages are spotted on a seemingly more regular basis. Every brand has social media accounts and checks them often to interact with their potential customers.

  1. Wait

What I mean, is don’t panic if you don’t get an immediate response. The people behind a brand are generally busy people, especially if their brand has been growing. Give them time to respond. If they never respond, it is ok to follow up. Be polite, and simply check to see if they received your first enquiry. If they still don’t respond, they may just not be interested in you yet. That’s ok. You can try back after you’ve expanded your resume a little more.

But under no circumstances should you ever start spamming a potential sponsor. That’s a really quick way to turn someone off. Sometimes a brand may not be able to sponsor you yet, but they may offer you some sort of trade, or a free piece of merchandise. This isn’t uncommon. It doesn’t equal a sponsorship, but it is a promising sign. Be sure to keep those people updated on your competitions and other expansions you make on your BJJ resume.

  1. Actually Know About Their Brand
From http://www.jotunnusa.com/

This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to own lots of their merchandise. However, with any brand, you absolutely need to truly know about their brand. They’ll know if you’re trying to fake it. Don’t just know about it either. Be a fan of it. If you don’t really like the things they sell, why get sponsored by them? That’s a major set-up for immediate failure.

When I first started my apparel line, I got multiple messages within the first week of getting my website off the ground from people asking for sponsorship. These people didn’t know my brand. They didn’t know my mission. They had no clue what I even sold. They just wanted funding. A sponsorship is a two way street. You both have to be genuinely invested in each other’s mission. I wouldn’t ask for a sponsorship from a brand I didn’t care about, and I would never sponsor someone who’s future I didn’t want to be invested in.

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  1. Grammar

There is nothing more annoying than terrible grammar. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but don’t ever send an email or message in text speak. Don’t misspell lots of words. Use a good letter format. It doesn’t have to be a business letter or anything, but make it formal enough. You’re asking someone for money or stuff, and they may have not ever met you. Don’t give them the impression that you’re unprofessional just because of your writing abilities. If you need someone to help you, get some help. But don’t write like a middle schooler who couldn’t pass an English class.

 

Those are some of the things I find important in requesting a sponsorship. For more, and frankly, better information, check out Budo Jake’s book I mentioned above. He goes much deeper than I have here and even gives you a sample template for writing a sponsor letter. Work hard, and best of luck!

 

Cover Image from: http://www.thevaultproscooters.com/

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Yes! Terrible grammar is so bad and so important to have good grammar. It actually might signify that they should concentrate on other things other than being sponsored.

  2. When we look to sponsor an athlete we are looking at several factors:

    1 What kind of sportsman do they seem to be? This is a tough one to measure and I can best try to evaluate from the sincerity in their writing.
    2 How much do they coach? Trying to determine sphere of influence.
    3 What is their social media reach? Do they already have pics up in our brand of gear?
    4 Do they appear to be a BJJ prodigy at least in their own region?

    David
    Submission Fight Company

  3. Speaking as part of a brand that sponsors Bjj players, I’m not worried about someone who is always at the top of the podium. For me it is about the person…what they stand for, how they act both on and off the mat….it is impossible to gauge all of that from an email requesting sponsorship. I like to meet the person at an event, watch them roll. Learn more about them if I can. So when we consider cooperating with “Borets” sports club I talked to the coach and athlete together and separately. Eventually now they were gis with Biotexcom logo on it. I want to relate to the closest to the point about what the player can do for the brand and would suggest this to be a key area that any player looking for sponsorship should research and nail. A prolific tournament competitor and winner will have the edge over and above the hobbyist player who only competes a couple times a year. That said, I do know of several examples of the latter type of BJJ person successfully obtaining a sponsorship for factors other than tournament prowess. And one of them is a member of a powerful ZR\ Team.

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