A sponsor can change a fighter’s life. After all, when starting out, a fighter typically needs a day job to cover expenses, and at night, they’re busy training. They have to be disciplined with money, as combining paying the bills for themselves and their families with funding gym costs in order to train isn’t easy.
Any business can choose to sponsor a fighter but usually, we see brands from Energy drinks, Sports equipment, and Casino. When a company sponsors a fighter, they’re giving that fighter money to pay for their expenses. This allows them to give up their day job and dedicate themselves to MMA. They can then look to hire nutritionists and coaches, purchase new equipment, and fund other training expenses such as travel.
The first thing that fighters need to do is to go online and research, with the goal of putting a list together of potential sponsors. They’d then need to get in touch with the owners of each company. Sometimes a sponsor may approach a fighter, although that isn’t usually how it works. The companies that a fighter can be most value to are those that they have knowledge or experience of. So it would make sense for them to start with stores or restaurants they frequent most often.
When you’re starting out, don’t think too big but don’t think too small either. For example, you can look for a business where you can reach the owner. Businesses such as Facebook and Nike are likely out of reach right now. At the same time, you want to avoid stores so tiny that they don’t have any disposable income to invest in you.
Why Sponsors Want You
Sponsors are not so charitable that they’re willing to give you things for free. That just wouldn’t make sense from a business point of view. Sponsors have reasons for wanting to support you. Having an understanding of what motivates them will put you in a better position to secure their help.
One reason why a business would want to sponsor you is because they’re passionate about MMA and want to be involved in some way. They might not be able to coach or fight, so sponsorship allows them to get in on the action.
Making the Approach
Once your list of potential sponsors is large enough, you should start to work on your pitch. The first thing you need to establish is what you’re looking for from them, then what you can offer in exchange, and how you’re planning on asking for their help. You should also set these expectations quickly to avoid any potential confusion. You should invest as much time as you can on researching businesses and their owners. Social media and Google are your friends here.
Next, you can contact every business on your list. You should look presentable, make your entrance, and enquire as to whether the business owner is available. You should be prepared, as you may have an opportunity to speak with them there and then. If you’re unable to speak to the owner right away, then ask to make an appointment.
If you think in terms of what you can do for a potential sponsor, as opposed to the other way around, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of success. You should also respect your fan base, and seek out products that can be beneficial to them.
Finally, continue to work on improving as a fighter, and give both your fans and sponsors a product they can be proud of. They will love and respect you for it, and you will gain new fans and potential sponsors in the process.