#AthletesCorner: How to Land a Personal Sponsor

Netball player and social media influencer, Jo Prins, shares vital tips on how athletes can gain and maintain personal sponsors. Photo: Celine Abrahams

Netball player and social media influencer, Jo Prins and CEO of SMinc Sports Management, Colin Francke, share vital tips on how athletes can gain and maintain personal sponsors.

As an athlete, Prins is prominent on social media and believes that using her platforms creates space for organisations to witness her developing brand.

The netball star highlights the following as a guideline from an athlete perspective on how to best use social media to position yourself for sponsors:

1. First and foremost, you have to realise that business is business. As an athlete, you are very passionate about what you do, and it is not just a job to you, but a huge part of your life and even your identity in a sense. So, when it comes to the marketing or the sponsorship side of it, it becomes a little less personal and a bit more about business.

2. Brands and companies will back you for various reasons, but the main purpose will always be for them to get something out of it. Sponsors either want to reach a certain audience through you and therefore as an athlete you have to make some sort of impact. You must either have a big following, be really good at your sport and your personal brand must align with that of the sponsor or you must have a voice and stand for something that the sponsor would like to get behind and support.

3. It’s important for sponsors to see what you are about before they will invest time and money into you. As an athlete and brand, find your identity. Know who you are and what you are about. And let that shine through in not only your performance, but any opportunity you get, such as your social media accounts and interviews. As an athlete you have a reach or an audience and sponsors want to buy into that audience. The partnership needs to makes sense and be beneficial to both you and the brand or company.

4. Personally, I never promote anything that I myself don’t use or believe in. I always try to be as authentic and organic as can be both on and off the court of play.

From an agency perspective, Francke says it is easy to gain sponsors but maintaining the sponsor is the hardest part.

Every athlete wishes to be sponsored but brands look at what you bring to the table. It is not all about what you do on the court or field of play, but what you do off the field of play is important to the sponsor.

1. Package yourself authentically. Once you have sponsor always maintain your social platforms with their brand, in terms of photos and videos. Be creative in your content. Market yourself as well as your brand, the more you market it, the more the sponsor is willing to do for you.

2. When you do interviews on TV, or radio or print media always ensure that you mention the Brands that back you, more especially the Brand that you can not do without, like your kit sponsors or your supplement sponsor.

3. Brands are about 40% what you can offer on the field or court of play and 60% of what you provide off the field or court of play. They want to see you not just an achiever on the field or court of play but also as an influencer to their brand on your social media platforms.

4. Always ensure that you obtain a contract from the Sponsor. Having a verbal agreement is all good and well, but when you have a signed contract, everything is legal and binding and both the athlete and brand knows what is expected of them.

“As an agent, I always ensure that my athletes live up to the expectations of the sponsors. It is my duty to ensure that the athletes get the most out of the sponsor and that in turn the sponsor is taken care off. Sponsorships is a give and take situation,” reveals Francke.

“As an athlete always represent your Brand or Company with respect, pride and dignity. The more you market them, the more they will be willing to do for you, in terms of contract renewals, merchandise, TV ads and Billboards. Become the best version of you,” he concluded.

 

Photo 1 Caption: Netball player and social media influencer, Jo Prins, shares vital tips on how athletes can gain and maintain personal sponsors. Photo: Celine Abrahams

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About the Author:

Selina Munsamy

Selina Munsamy

I am a sports enthusiast. I am newly appointed KZN Women's Cricket Manager for the 2019/2020 season. My passion lies in cricket, technically I live and breathe cricket. I am a Scorer affiliated to KZN Cricket Scorer's Association. I also coach mini cricket for Tongaat Cricket Union. Live, Laugh and Love with Sport.

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