Question- How Did You Get Sponsorship For Fishing?
Tommy Dominguez How did you guys go about getting sponsorship for fishing?
This is a very common question, especially from young anglers. I could write 3 books on this subject and have a weekly newsletter as well. There is a tremendous amount of information that needs to be understood and conveyed but I will try to make this short and sweet. I am sure that we will revisit this question often.
First, there is a ton of confusion on how to get sponsorship and why a company would choose to sponsor any angler. The most simple way that I can explain this is that there is absolutely no reason that any company would sponsor any athlete other than to increase their sales.
Yep...that is it. Not really a whole lot of magic to it. It is really that simple.
So...what does this mean to a young angler, a bass fisherman looking to go on the Pro Tour, a Redfish Team trying to fund their participation in a series, a guide who wants to become sponsored? It means that if you want to be sponsored then you have to be able to show the company that you can increase sales.
Obviously, the larger your audience, the more sales you can influence. A wise man once told me that you are worth the size of your audience. When I heard it, it made sense to me and I started finding ways to increase my audience. I was a fishing guide booked 300 days a year and I had valuable customers in which I could organically place product in their hands and have them experience it in a real world (real fish) situation. That is valuable.
I took pictures, wrote articles, took writers fishing, took authors fishing, took photographers fishing, did seminars, and entered every tournament I could. Each of these things increased my audience. Eventually, I started winning tournaments and that increased the audience more. One day, there was the internet and I had one of the first websites of any guide in the Keys.
The audience continued to grow. Some of the tournaments I entered and won were pretty high profile and even landed me on ESPN and ABC when I won the Inaugural ESPN Great Outdoor Games. This led to over 30 appearances on other shows and the audience continued to grow.
Ten years ago, we started Saltwater Experience and started on one network. The audience continued to grow and the networks increased. Social media has increased it even more.
Like any other business, there are seven zillion ways that you can accomplish this. That is just my story. Other highly sponsored anglers don't do any television. Some just do seminars and fish in tournaments. Some write, some guide, some field test, some produce films, some have massive following on social or Youtube.
So, in short...what you have to do to achieve sponsorship is to develop an excellent reputation and continually grow your audience. Figure out what your strengths are and use them to help companies increase their sales. It is really that simple.
All the best,
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