How to Become a Sponsored Skier

SHRED THREAD // 17th Jul 2020

17th Jul 2020

The most asked question in our Instagram DMs is...

“Will you sponsor me?”

It sounds like a sweet deal, right? Getting paid to ski, travelling to the world’s best ski resorts, getting all of your gear for free, testing new products before anyone has the chance to buy them, and getting featured on our Instagram. Well, here are some tips on how to score a sponsorship with Planks Clothing.

HOW TO BECOME A SPONSORED SKIER

Firstly, you need to stand out. Just like applying for a job, employers must sift through mountains of boring and generic CVs, if you can pop out from the pile, you will be off to a strong start. So, what makes you, your skiing, your style, or your story unique? These are the things that brands will have an eagle eye for, so show them exactly what they’re looking for from the get-go. The progression of our sport has been through the roof in recent years, which means more and more people can do the same tricks or the same gnarly lines. The world of skiing is noisy right now, so find your unique selling point and shout about it.

Secondly, think about why brands sponsor athletes. Is it because they just love throwing money and free stuff at skiers? Is it because you’ve been skiing for a few years now and you shouldn’t have to pay for skiwear anymore? No, you are there to bring value to the brand, through reaching new audiences, producing social media content, competition results and more. With that in mind, you need to make it clear what value you can bring to a brand. But if you can talk the talk, make sure you can walk the walk. Where possible, it is always beneficial to back up what you claim you can offer a brand with some data or examples. Then if Mr Money Man says, “why should we sponsor this guy/girl?” you’ve already got some solid answers and a business case.

Following on from that, what are you expecting in return if you can offer all of the above? As you may be aware there are different tiers of sponsorship. If you’re winning X Games gold medals, it is most likely you will be getting a paycheck. If you are smashing the social media game and producing some strong content, you might get kitted out with product for the season, or maybe you are a local hero with a juicy discount. You have outlined what you can offer, now what is the price of that offer? You might not be in a position the get exactly what you asked for, but at the end of the day, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

WHAT ARE THE PLANKS SPONSORSHIP REQUIREMENTS?

Here are some of things we are looking for:

👉 A talented skier with an original style.

👉 A personality that fits with the ethos of the brand.

👉 A strong social media game, with regular and quality content, alongside long-form videos and blog content. Think quality not quantity here. A small but engaged audience is sometimes more appealing than a big following uninterested in your story.

👉 Competition results on a national or international level.

WHAT ARE THE COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SEEKING SKI SPONSORSHIP?

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is sending a direct message to a brand with very little thought. The most common message we get in our DMs is “sponsor me”. First impressions are important, in all aspects of life. So, when you are asking a brand to sponsor you, if you can’t write a sentence longer than two words, will they want to spend marketing budget on you? If you can’t put any effort into telling us why we should sponsor you, for example, you can’t blame us for getting the wrong impression.

Don’t think that being sponsored is the most important thing in the world. It is an unrivalled theory that if you are passionate about something, you will be successful in some shape or form. We ski because we love it and it brings us escapism like nothing else. Make sure you don’t jump the gun and get it all backwards. Skiing and having fun must come first, put in hours of practice and do it for all the right reasons, then further down the line things will fall into place. You never know, a sponsor might come looking for you.

PERSEVERANCE IS KEY

You might not be good enough for sponsorship yet, but everyone has to start somewhere. So, now you know where you want to be, you can start making steps to get there. Progression in sport comes at different speeds for everyone, but as long as you are always moving forwards, that's the right direction. Make sure you start to set goals for yourself, no matter how big or small. Be self-critical and always look for ways to improve your skiing, whether that's your style or bag of tricks. Finally, there is no such thing as too much skiing because practice makes perfect and skiing is fun.

JIM'S JOURNEY TO BECOMING A PRO SKIER

In a recent interview Planks Clothing Founder, Jim Adlington, tells us about his journey to becoming a professional skier. From a dry-slope in the UK to the Salomon pro team, travelling the world in his pursuit of skiing. "I think it just shows that if you work hard, you've got a dream and you do something you love, you can make anything happen." - Jim Adlington