Getting sponsorship can seem like an extremely daunting task, especially if you have no idea where to start. This article will outline the main elements of your video and what you need to do to get sponsored the RIGHT way.
#1: Include as little “park” content as possible.
Team managers love to see real street skateboarding and it will help you progress a lot in your career. Not only does it show that you have much more dedication to your passion, but it also shows that you can skate on more terrain than your local park and in places you’re not used to. Prove that you can skate just about anything thrown at you. In my experience, this is also a deal breaker. A little bit of park content is fine if you must include it, but the majority of your video should be made up of street content because the TM sees it’s all park football, chances are he won’t even see more than 30 seconds of your video.
#2: Mix up your tricks
There is nothing worse than watching a video where the rider just flips for over 3 minutes and trust me the company team managers feel the same way. Even if your video is a bit shorter, try to limit the number of tricks you repeat to 3-4 max as a rule of thumb. Making them knock down different obstacles is another way to stay cool as well. If you go up a curb in one lane and in the next clip you push it up a ladder, no problem. What you want to avoid is doing, for example, a popup nudge on every line I’m your video. Try throwing in different combinations of routines, ladder games, manuals, etc. Lines are a good way to show your consistency, so if you can hit a ledge or hand pad and then do a trick or something else in a set, you should get the TM’s attention.
#3: Keep your video short
Almost all TMs are busy people, so the fact that they are even watching your video is a hit, so make your job easier and keep it short. A minute and a half to two minutes is all you need to make a good impression on them and also allows you to keep it short enough to use only your best clips.
#4: Use a decent quality camera
Cameras are so cheap now don’t try to shoot a whole part with your mother’s digital camera. Even an older Go-Pro camera model will only set you back $100 and believe me, it’s worth it. If the team manager can’t see your skateboard properly, he won’t bother to watch your video. It also shows that you are more dedicated to what you are doing if you are investing in your own team because if you are selected for sponsorship you will be required to submit more images on a monthly basis to ensure you are making use of the free stuff they are sending you.
#5: Skate Fast
One thing I can guarantee you is that you will always feel like you are skating faster than you actually are in the video. So with that in mind, if you feel slow, it will probably look even slower on video. Skateboarding faster also conveys a sense of confidence and style on camera that TM loves. Within reason, of course, you don’t want to be shredding uncontrollably on a ledge.
#6: Use online video providers
The internet is a big place nowadays and believe me, TMs scour the web for the highest rated videos and they will see the comments and the number of views and sometimes people can be contacted based on this. It’s also much easier to send images this way by putting a link in an email instead of sending a video by post as was done not too long ago.
#7: Get your name out there in contests
The best way to get sponsored a lot is by winning or participating in contests. A little harder to do, but enter as many as you can to build confidence in the contest and you may soon be on your way to the podium. Winning contests almost always guarantees you patronage from local stores, whether they’re running the contests or just watching. Also in larger cities and contests, some events will have scouts looking for people to ride for them. Keep in mind that winning a contest doesn’t guarantee you a sponsorship for sure, but if you consistently place in the top three, your odds increase incredibly. Winning contests also gets your name out there with the locals, who will probably be talking about it for the next few moments at the park, skate shops, etc. any publicity is good publicity.
#8: Last but not least
Have fun!! At the end of the day, you should be having a lot of fun with what you’re doing. Crew chiefs will pick up on this too, nobody wants to ride with the guy who always gets mad and throws his board and gets stressed to the point where he’s not even nice anymore. In my experience, I have met several people who have been exceptionally good and who have been rejected because they have a bad thing.
Following these 8 steps will increase your chances of landing that sponsor, but it’s important to enjoy what you’re doing. So go out and have fun.