It’s that time of the year again…the sun is shining, horse shows are in full swing and the requests for sponsorship from riders are abundant.
Here at EquiNutritive we get dozens of sponsorship requests every single week and we’re definitely not the only company to do so. We currently have 4 sponsored riders representing us across the UK and Ireland and we’re actually not looking for any more at this time. Having said that, if a very impressive request for sponsorship crossed our desks we’d probably say yes. Unfortunately, almost all requests for sponsorship are lacklustre at the very best.
So, we decided to put together some top tips to follow if you’re serious about getting sponsorship as a rider.
1. Proof read – This is so simple but so overlooked. Almost all of the requests we get for sponsorship are riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. If you’re letting a company know you’ll be sharing about using their products ask yourself why a company would want you representing their brand with spelling and grammatical errors - how will that enhance our brand? It won’t! Take the time to do a simple spell check and have someone else read over your email or letter. Spelling and grammar errors make you look sloppy and we instantly discard applications that contain those errors.
2. Seek out sponsorship from companies whose products you use – Throwing together an email and sending it out to every single equestrian company you can find in a Google search is NOT A STRATEGY!! Approach the companies that you currently buy products from or use. Tell them why you’d like sponsorship from them specifically and what you love about their products. If you want sponsorship from a company you’re not currently using, go out and buy a product from them so you at least have something to say about their products and your experience of them. As a company that sells purely online, we can look through our customer database and instantly identify if you buy from us. If you haven’t then we discount you for sponsorship immediately because your claims of ‘loving our products and their benefits’ are clearly just that – empty claims.
3. Personalise your requests for sponsorship – Companies are run by human beings and intelligent ones at that. We can clearly tell if you’ve just copied and pasted a generic email and sent the same thing to everyone. A quick search on our website would let you know the name of our CEO. Take the time to address it to a specific person rather than starting off with ‘To Who it may concern” or my personal favourite as a woman “Dear Sirs”. Mention actual products in your correspondence rather than making wishy-washy references to ‘your products’.
4. Get creative – We’re mainly approached for sponsorship through email or Facebook messages. With thousands of riders seeking sponsorship all over the UK, a generic Facebook message just isn’t going to cut it. Put some effort in to get the attention of a company. Create a video, send a letter by mail, approach them at a show to start building a relationship, not just to outright ask for sponsorship. Think up some way to cut through the noise because there really are so many sponsorship requests – they’re all the same and they’re mostly pretty boring.
5. Make a company believe that they need you – We know sponsorship will help you. Sponsorship costs companies money so we want to know how you’re going to help us. Get creative here, because every single person talks about how they are going to wear our branded gear and post about us on their Facebook page with a few thousand followers. Again, get creative and let companies know what you’re going to do for them that they can’t get from the next person wanting sponsorship.
Getting sponsorship is a competitive process and every single one of our sponsored riders caught our attention by taking the time to use our products and/or build a relationship with a member of our team first. Companies spend years building their brands and they’re important to us –asking a company to entrust you with that is actually a big deal. Take it seriously and follow the tips above and you’ll be well on your way to securing sponsorship.