by Kris Pitcher
It seems to be every one's dream to be a sponsored athlete. Sure, it's nice to have someone else pay the bills. But is there really money to be made?
In a multi-billion dollar industry it's pretty important to keep in mind the company has the most to gain. Recently, a company put out a call on social media for entries to be considered for their 2014 sponsorships. I couldn't help but look at their application.
Heck, who doesn't want free product? Well, the requirements actually were not only time consuming, but also costly for the athlete. Certainly the obligations to the athlete were more than the free product being offered as sponsorship.
Who wins here? Maybe the athlete if they need exposure, are looking for modeling, or expo opportunities. But be careful of the time commitment you may be signing up for with your "free" sponsorship.
How much selling of their product on your social media accounts will they expect from you? It's all in the fine print. You did read the fine print didn't you? How many in-store sampling sessions will they want you to do on Saturdays?
There are some great opportunities out there, don't get me wrong. Just don't sell your soul for a 5lb tub of protein. Keep in mind you are a reputable athlete who people follow, trust, and look to for advice. Do you want that to be bought by your sponsor? How valuable is YOUR time, your reputation, and what are you willing to put your name on?
Truly, it depends on what your goals in this industry are. If you are looking to get some competition expenses covered, there's that. Are you looking to increase your visibility as a model? Are you an elite level competitor truly a few steps away from becoming a pro? Or are you just looking to get your nails done for free for your next show?
Sponsorship can mean a lot of different things. You can look for it within the industry, or from businesses and companies outside the fitness industry. It's all about relationship building, sharing what you can do for them, what they can do for you, and making all of that work in your best interest.
Corporations have something to gain, and as an athlete you have something to gain. You shouldn't be signing up for a second job for some free product. Make sure you know what you're getting into as a sponsored athlete.