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June 21, 2010

Dear Athletes (some sponsorship advice)

Watch it. Take the 20minutes from your schedules and watch that. Learn from it.

Yes, it contains some bad language, so don’t show it to your 8 year old. Apologies for that, but Gary Vaynerchuck is talking about the number one thing that is lacking for up and coming athletes I have to deal with. Grow your personal brands.

Results are not enough anymore. Learn from the history books from guys like Dan Hugo & Conrad Stoltz. Sponsors want to see you have an audience. I get weekly requests from athletes to be a part of our Multisport Team and one of the main things I ask them is if they have an audience. Most never return my email. They only want free stuff & to race in kit. They won’t write race reports, they won’t write blogs, develop a community and they really come across as not caring at all. It saddens me that they can’t see the truth.

It’s far easier to have a huge community and to have to back that up with results than to perform all year around. I would be willing to put money on it that this post will be read more than 1000 times by athletes with the potential to develop a brand for themselves. I would also be willing to bet that less than 5 of those athletes start a blog, or even start to try to create something. I would also be willing to bet that 4 of them stop within 6 months.

Are you going to be that 1 guy I am looking for, who makes a brand for himself out there? I am looking for you. There are great opportunities for you out there. You`ll have 999 other guys who will envy what only you had the goonz to do. Simple, but not easy.

Or even better, are you going to be that girl.

This is a topic I am hugely passionate about. I have to thank Nikola for all his advice in this department. Even when he knew he wasn’t giving it.

Who is going to be smart enough to follow this advice?

5 Comments on “Dear Athletes (some sponsorship advice)

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Raoul de Jongh, Michelle Clarke. Michelle Clarke said: RT @raouldejongh: New Post: : Dear Athletes (some sponsorship advice) http://bit.ly/9poRy8 […]

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Pieter Blaauw
June 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm

So true…through all the years I raced in the Sub-Vets licensed category (cycling) I never had problems finding a team for the next year. This as a 95kg fat bugger.

It’s how you sell yourself. Work for the team, and the team result, always ALWAYS be an ambassador for the team and it’s sponsors. I’ve had more compliments for my off the road behavior than on road results. Sell yourself in the proper ways and the rest follows!

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Barry Lewin
June 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Hi. Loved this post. So true, personal brands are rare but so important in individual sports, great advice, atheletes need to lift their game or get left out! Barry

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Jimmy Redman
June 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Thanks for posting that..really enjoyed it..would love to hear what you think of Ryan’s work so far

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Robert Kaletsch
September 17, 2010 at 8:10 am

Awesome article – building the brand and the getting noticed is the hardest part – especially for an athlete that is just outside the podium area. Brands want to be noticed and I think that in South Africa our sponsorship program is about tagging a brand to a podium places – but who uses the products??? Predominatley the middle of the pack guys and gals! Sponsors need to recognise this and use these athletes not for thier ability to always stand on the top of the podium but to generate “free” marketing and exposure to the brand through commuinication and interest generated on those weekend group training sessions. Che k out the current marketing drive by G.I. Lean – they are prepared to put thier brand on those people that have comitment to thier passion but might not be on the list for Olympic inclusion, although some might, but the awareness and overall brand recognition is huge… big up to then.
Sponsorships should not only look at podium finishers but also potential brand footprint – why advertise to those that already use the product – explore new terrain and “make the circle bigger”

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