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.