Guide for New BMX Riders (Part five)

PT. 5 Getting Sponsored Overview

Most people have a dream of getting sponsored. The bmx lifestyle is so fun and so rewarding, everyone wants to be able to do it as a career. However, there are so many different factors that will decide whether you are sponsor-able material or not. If you ride hard, and have a good attitude it wont be long for you.

This is a really hard topic to cover. I believe that you need to 4 characteristics to get sponsored. These are:

  • Network
  • Skills
  • Attitude
  • Brand

Sometimes you can have one or two of these characteristics but they need to be very extreme. For example, you can have a huge personal brand, low skills, bad attitude, and small network and still get sponsored. Or you can have a small personal brand, medium skills, good attitude and a medium network to get sponsored.

I know this is kinda confusing, but just devote your time to growing all 4 of these things if sponsorship is your goal.

Network

Having a good network is huge for anything. It can help you get a good job, get a place to stay or get a deal on something. The quote for this is "It's not what you know, but who you know." And this goes for sponsorship.

Knowing other sponsored riders, or other business owners will help you get to know people who can really help you out. It isn't like knowing someone will get you sponsored. But knowing someone will give you a chance to meet important people and show them your character and skills.

BMX Networking tips

Social Media Interaction is huge and easy. Try to build meaningful relationships by leaving meaningful comments and interactions. These could be compliments or tips, just don't be annoying.
In Person When traveling and riding at new parks you have a chance to meet with a lot of new people. Get to know them by asking tips or giving them props for a cool trick or line. The most popular thing from here is following this person on social media and keeping up with them.
Youtube Reach-out to people similar to you or complimentary to you. Ask if they want to collaborate. This will help you make new friends and expand your audience.

Making these connections and building a network will help you so much in the future. My biggest tip is to build a meaningful relationship. Don't just use someone and say "hey can you help me get sponsored?" Build a real friendship and everything will come to you if it is meant to be.

Skills

Skills can be considered a lot of different things. Generally in bmx skills are viewed as tricks. But think about other skills like video editing, or teaching, or selling. If you are really good at teaching people, you are more likely to get picked up by a company that needs help selling product.

So find a skill that you enjoy. Grow this skill and focus on the skill you enjoy. If you end up chasing skills that you don't enjoy you will not be very effective with them.

Skills to Consider

Skill Application
BMX Riding Grow your personal brand by killing it. People love watching good riders and they will follow and keep up with these riders.
Creative Media Growing social media by having the knowledge to create really good quality content that people want to view.
Communication Knowing how to effectively communicate with other riders, followers, and companies will help you grow a lot faster. Good communication is so important.
Teaching Some of the biggest bmx Youtubers got big from making how-to videos. People love to learn and teaching is a really good skill to grow yourself.
Positivity In my opinion, you need to have a good attitude to go anywhere. Building the positivity skill will help you connect with other people.

Building Creative media skills

To get better with creative media, you need to practice. You need to try and fail, and you need to learn. If this is a skill that you want to learn, get the equipment and get going. Make how to videos, make edits and LEARN!

Camera

You need a good camera to build good edits, and take good pictures. When a brand sponsors you, they want you to be able to put out good content.

Why I recommend it

I personally use a Nikon and the reason I suggested this kit is because it has two lenses AND a software kit. Similar to adobe creative suite, just a lot cheaper. This creative package will let you edit photos and videos like a pro.

How-to Book

You can learn with trial and error, but it will be a lot faster if you just get a book. I use for dummies books a lot and they are so in depth.

Good Computer

You need a good computer to make the videos and photos. Something that can run the software with ease is a must. I had an old Dell and trying to edit on it was aweful. It liked to freeze and I'd loose all of my hard work.

When I upgraded to a macbook pro, my life had changed. It is so fast it blows my mind.

If you are a Windows guy, I hear this Asus is pretty solid.

Attitude

Heres the thing, when someone sponsors you, you become a representative of that brand. My best advice is to be yourself. Brands that have core values similar to yours will find you and things will work out. Look at the onsomeshit riders. Their lifestyle is exactly like OSS.

This really goes hand in hand with networking, because having the right attitude will help you grow your network. I recommend having a good attitude but I guess everyone is different.

Do some digging

Find a company that you want to work with, and look at what they are about. Who do they sponsor? What do they do? What do they sell?

Next you need to figure out if you line up with any of those things. Let's imagine it is a travel brand. This brand sponsors people who travel and do travel hack videos. They sell clothing, hammocks and backpacks.

First you need to ask yourself if you even know how to use a hammock. If not ask yourself if it is something that you are interested in. If it interests you and you also travel, this could be the start of a good relationship.

You need to research these things and make sure your attitude lines up.

Attitude Tips

Positivity Positive people have a better chance of getting things done. Wouldn't you rather talk to someone who is positive instead of someone who always sees the bad?
Passionate Think about it from a brand owners perspective. The owner is certainly passionate about their brand. You should be too.
Dedicated No one want's to sponsor someone who is not dedicated to the sport. Look at Adam LZ, he got sponsored by Stranger and then went to drifting. The Owner of stranger has said that he learned it was a big mistake.

Personal Brand

The best form of marketing is called collaboration. If you notice all of the huge people in the bmx world, you will see that they have build a brand around bmx. After they established a personal brand companies want to work with that brand. Lets look at Billy Perry.

Billy Perry Case Study

Social Media Followers
Instagram 159,000
Facebook 12,000
Twitter 10,400
Youtube 967,000
Total 1,148,000

So this one person has over a million total followers. Of course almost any brand would want to collaborate with him. Now we get into becoming an Influencer.

Now these are just estimates for YOUTUBE only. The suggestions are only from ad revenue, which is only one income stream for successful influencers. It would be fair to assume that Billy Perry's sponsors also pay him a small monthly salary and per post that he tags the brand in. Up to $4,800 a month just from YouTube sounds pretty nice to me.

How can you do it?

I hope this shows you the importance of building a personal brand. Having a following makes you much more valuable to any company. On top of the sponsorship money, your brand will be able to sell t-shirts and stickers and anything else.

Put in work using one of the skills mentioned above, and make sure it is one that you enjoy. Focus on building yourself and the sponsors will come.

Growing your BMX Brand Tips

Channel Need Focus
Youtube Good Camera, Lighting, Mic, Editing software Long form content. Be entertaining, think of competing with shows on Netflix.
Instagram Phone with a good camera Short videos. Look cool (banging tricks, traveling)
IGTV Phone with a good camera Medium form content. 2-3 minute edits, rants, discussions.
Tiktok Phone with a good camera, Lighting Short form (15-60 seconds) Aesthetics are huge. Visually stunning content. Valuable content.

Getting Sponsored Research Document

I have created a free pdf for you that will allow you to go through the process of finding a brand to work with and getting sponsored. This document has an email template that you can use to send emails or dm's to your targeted brand.

Conclusion

Getting sponsored takes years of hard work and dedication. You need to work on so many different aspects of yourself in order to score a good sponsor. The good news is, if you start now you will get it a lot sooner then if you started tomorrow. Grab some camera gear and start documenting your climb to the top. People love to watch.