It’s a picture in your head, traveling the world, training and competing while representing your… SPONSORS. Living the high life of glamour and posh extremes… Derp! Back up that truck! Sorry folks, this is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This is the land of blood, sweat and tears! Posh extremes?! If you mean a backpack, gis, and mats to train on then YEEESSSS!!!
Looking for, and maintaining a relationship with, a sponsor requires just as much dedication and commitment as training. Once you find a match, and you Should prepare yourself to hear more “no” than “yes,” you must remember that you have a duty to the sponsor, as well as the gym, you’re representing. You can’t be a hot head, rude, disrespectful person or otherwise conduct yourself in a manner unseemly or unbecoming to others. Maybe you thought it was fun to chill with your buddies and make that video which has now gone viral?! Re-think.
Black Belt & Owner/Head instructor, Anthony Mitchell, of Anthony Mitchell Jiu Jitsu Studio had a few choice words regarding sponsorship:
“Are you looking for Sponsors?
I can for one attest this is a long and tiresome process. Some give up, some jump at the first 25% off product they are offered. I once took a sponsorship, it lasted about 6 months. I never trained in their product and only used the friends and family discount to help others. After pitching an idea to this sponsor (which they loved and produced) I was promised certain things. When it was released I was given 0 credit, and when asked about promised products, was made to feel selfish for asking. I provided a simple screenshot got my package and then said I was no longer interested in representing a brand that did not support me, As I also did not support them. It’s a 2 way street and you sometimes have to pass many places up and wait in long lines to get what you want, where you want it.
You are a representative of your sponsor; they put their name on you and you need to act like a professional. ESpecially on IG and FB. Yes those are your pages, and there is freedom of speech, but they do not have to sponsor some Ahole, who posts twerking videos and Worldstar all day! Be someone you would want to have represent your brand, if roles were reversed.
Your sponsor is not your bank account. If it’s Gis and clothing, then that’s generally what you get! You don’t receive airfare, hotel, food, rental, and a Dave and Busters Gift Card… This isn’t the red carpet of “I get what I want.” Expect reasonably. What exactly are you making them? If you’re good and get attention, win World Titles, get big Invites then you’re worth a lot and should get more. Those athletes do, but just starting out, think minimum wage. (Not $15.00hr either)
There’s a reason most athletes have many sponsors. Because each one gives a little and it adds up. But bottom line, LOYALTY and the way YOU CARRY YOURSELF will take you a long way. If you LOVE!!! One brand, and buy the product because you love it, why wear another brand because they give you 2 free Gis and 25% off. Just wear one of the many you love, show loyalty and hopefully one day it pays off into something more.
I’ve landed 2 sponsors, and I’m still looking for a supplement sponsor. Been a Black belt 2 years now. It’s not easy, but good things come to the ones who wait. What are you missing out on if you settle for less than your goal???? Just keep pushing forward, be a positive role model, and set yourself in front of the rest with attitude and performance. Sponsors look for leaders.”
Be a leader, on and off the mats. Conduct yourself with decorum, and be positive! Great things come to those who work for it (and are humble). OSS.