I’m not an expert on these two subjects, but I would like to talk about a few things I have learned this year about these subjects.
A lot of people tend to think that sponsorships will pay your tournament fees, you get free stuff, etc. That’s not the case unless you’re a bigger name in the industry. What I’ve learned from ambassadorships and sponsorships through Loveland Canoe and Kayak and Team Bonafide is that it requires a lot of committment and work. I enjoy doing what is required of me though because I have a passion for fishing and kayaks. Things I’m required to do is to post sales posts for my brand (Bonafide kayaks all models), be at demo days assisting potential customers, and posting on social media tagging the shop at least twice a week. It comes easy for myself because I know the guys at LCK and they are all a great group of guys. I enjoy their company and working with them to promote the business. The demo days are one of my favorite things. I get to be at the shop hanging with the team and talk fishing. If we have anyone interested in demoing one of our kayaks, we let them hop on and try it, talk about the product, and help them decide what would work best for them. It’s a blast.
With ambassadorships/sponsorships, it’s always a good idea to be on your best behavior on any social media outlet. Companies don’t want to support someone who is always getting in arguments or cursing quite a bit online. It’s just not a good look. A lot of companies look for someone who is well mannered, committed to their brand, and does what is asked of them. Going the extra mile definitely helps as well. My advice is to work as hard as you can and prove yourself to whom ever is sponsoring you. Eventually that company will take notice and be more willing to help you out as time goes on.
As of right now, I don’t know how I feel about prostaff, but I do have some advice. A lot of people tend to think of prostaff as something of status when it’s only meaning is promotional staff. Prostaff job is to help promote a brand that you believe in. Don’t just jump into a prostaff position with a company whom you’ve never used any of their products just for the title of being “prostaff.” Instead, be more selective with the prostaff you apply for. Apply for companies you believe in and brands you actually use regularly.
Another piece of advice I have about prostaff is not to load up on a ton of companies prostaff. You end up not being able to rep all those companies like you should be doing. Pick a couple, the ones that mean the most to you, and roll with those. Also, make yourself familiar with all the products of the company whom you’re on prostaff with to help you to better promote the brand as a whole. Prostaff does offer some perks such as discounts, chances to earn gear, or even invites to the biggest fishing expo, iCast.
I have been more selective with prostaff recently. I have applied to Bending Branches pro staff and have gotten word back from their marketing manager letting me know he likes what he sees with me. Hopefully that is good news once the time comes when they pick their prostaff. Also, being a part of Team Bonafide, that means I also get the yak attack prostaff perks as well which is awesome because I love their products.
With all that said, don’t go into sponsorships, ambassadorships, or prostaff wanting nothing but free stuff. It’s more than just that. To me, it’s about being part of something bigger and having a love and passion for the sport of kayak fishing and even helping someone else out.
Like I said, I’m not an expert, I’m just handing out advice on what I’ve learned through this whole experience this year. I hope if you’re reading this, you can learn and apply these things as well. I’m here to help and I enjoy helping others through the process. It’s only fair of me to pass along to others what someone else did for me.
Go kayak fishing and have fun!