Amateur athletes often dream of getting sponsored, but it’s not a simple matter of just becoming good enough at the sport in question. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, from understanding sponsorships to building a high-caliber profile. Read on to find out about the six steps that separate amateurs from sponsored athletes.


Why Any Athlete or Fitness Enthusiast Can Get Sponsored

Brand sponsorships are all about linking the company’s marketing strategy to the type of audience they’re looking to entice. Once athletes understand what specific sponsors are trying to accomplish, they can tailor their own approaches to meet the companies’ goals with the help of athlete branding from Creatitive. There’s no need to be a professional, and sponsored athletes aren’t always the best at their sports. They’re the people with the best grasp on personal branding.


Step One: Find a Niche

It’s important to be specific when seeking out a niche. Fitness is a broad topic, and sponsored athletes must become authorities in one particular area. It doesn’t have to be a professional sport. Yoga, pilates, and even HIIT workout enthusiasts can all brand themselves appropriately to appeal to sponsors.


Step Two: Form a Brand

Branding isn’t just for companies. Individuals can also create brands with distinct names, logos, color schemes, and other marketing materials designed to appeal to their audiences. Depending on the target audience, athletes may also want to keep it simple and just use their names.


Step Three: Create Effective Social Media Profiles

Most people these days have multiple social media accounts, but athletes seeking sponsorship need to take their participation one step further. They should curate their accounts to ensure that all the images are high-resolution, their self-descriptions have sufficient depth, and they’ve included all the right links and contact information.


Step Four: Create High-Quality Content

Once athletes have their social media profiles on-brand and looking their best, they can start creating and posting new, high-quality content. Try to incorporate plenty of variety, but stay on subject within the chosen niche. Great content ideas for self-branding include:

  • Motivational quotes
  • Workout clips
  • Announcements
  • Competition giveaways
  • Fitness tips
  • Diet and nutrition information
  • Shared content from other athletes
  • Fitness memes
  • Commentaries on related media stories
  • Company or product endorsements

Athletes who don’t have infinite time to spend on social media should time posts to maximize their reach. Post as often as possible and focus on mornings, lunchtime, and weekends, and include hashtags with each post.


Step Five: Boost the Following

Take advantage of apps and tools that make it easier to schedule posts, track mentions, and keep up with online interactions. Reach out to relevant users. Follow other leaders in the field. The key here is to stay engaged and keep people interested to increase organic reach.


Step Six: Brand Outreach

Once an athlete has built a reputation and gained enough credibility online, he or she can begin reaching out to companies that might be interested in a sponsorship. There are many fitness-focused businesses out there that want help growing their brands. Find the ones that operate within the niche and start reaching out via email, Facebook, or other means until someone bites.


The Bottom Line

It takes some time to establish a following online, but without one, there’s no way to generate interest from potential sponsors. Devote the time and energy to curating a personal brand before reaching out to seek sponsorships.