In the past it used to be that those who brought home the results from competitions would be the ones getting sponsored by brands. With social media coming in to place this has slowely changed and now you see that those with the largest social media presence often get sponsored to. But how does that happen? Below you can read some tips.
Social media and online presence –
Unfortunately the equestrian world is slightly old fashioned and slow when it comes to marketing(especially in the Netherlands, their better in for example Sweden), but in other fields like for example fashion you can see what a huge difference having a great social media following can do. For example the brand Tarte decided to bring 10 YouTube girls to a luxury resort where they got pampered for a whole weekend while getting a free iPad, GoPro and loads of products from the brand itself. What did they get in return? All 10 girls went on their social media and show cased what happened and the brand reached out to millions all across the world which they would never reach with for example adverts on tv or magazines.
Some big equestrian brands like BR, Horze and Ariat have started doing some sort of sponsoring/seeding program, but untill the equestrian brands realize the benefits of doing things like this, you can grow your social media to get sponsored the old fashion way. For a competing/working athlete on a high level this would be to have a website, Facebook page, Instagram and possibly YouTube/Blog, where you share all your results and little snippets from your life. If your not a high performing athlete, you need to choose your niche when it comes to sharing on social media that people want to follow. This can be everything from videos about you and your horse to beautiful photos of horses. There is a niche for everyone, just make sure you choose one your passionate about otherwise you won’t be able to keep up to grow your following. Generally people follow something faster if they can associate a person with it, which is something I need to work on.
Create a press kit –
Once you’ve gained some followers it’s time to get that press kit ready. With this one you might think, how on earth do I do this? Think of it as a CV. You want to create an A4 explaining why you think you should be sponsored by the brand. It’s nice to let them see the results you have achieved, but if you let them know you got a huge social media following they will definitely be more interested. Make sure the press kit looks stylish, clear and understandable just like a CV would. People working in sponsorship departments generally gets a few of these, but if they don’t look good or are hard to read they will just skip looking at it. Once you’re done, send it to the brands you’d like to get sponsored by. You might not get a yes the first time around, but they will remember your name when it starts popping up here and there on the scene. I know it might feel cringe worthy to send out such a kit, but just remember if you don’t try, you won’t get anything at all. Obviously this one is for those who have already grown a following or have results to show for. Otherwise there is no point for a brand to sponsor you.
In what way can I get sponsored –
Many automatically think that they would like to be sponsored with money, but if you are starting out, you might want to go about it a bit differently. We all know that everything surrounding horse riding is really expensive, so anything you can get for free is nice. For example brushes for your horse, rugs, halters, saddle pads and so forth. As long as the brand can put their name on it, you should be good to go. Most brands are also more willing to give something away for free then actual money. If you already got other sponsors or are more well known you can ask for boots, caps, apparel or even help to pay a truck. The list is endless as long as the brand gets something back for it.
Know your value –
As mentioned earlier you might not earn any money on it in the beginning, but you might get freebies like a rug or brushes and so forth. However as your social media or competition results will grow, make sure that you know your value and that you don’t do things for free that you could earn money on!
Are you sponsored? Let me know how you made that happen!