Have you ever wondered how some cycling teams have their sponsor? In today’s article, we will tell you how to get a cycling sponsor for incredible benefits.
Being into cycling, chances are you have seen many teams or solo cyclists with gears financed by brands, not to mention the paycheck. It looks so fun and makes you wonder how to get a cycling sponsor for yourself.
Apparently, there are two possible ways to get funded as a cyclist.
The first one is getting your own as an individual rider. The second one is joining a funded cycling team. Both of these ways are not easy, especially for amateur riders, which we assume you may be.
Nevertheless, you must follow specific steps and rules about which route you want to take. Read on to know what those are.
How To Get A Cycling Sponsor
Being A Sponsored Cyclist Vs. Joining A Sponsored Team
The first thing you need to know is that not all sponsorships are the same. You may have seen many riding teams wearing the same kits and uniforms gather to organize tours in your neighborhood.
Yet, chances are they are only a bunch of like-minded hobbyists who get their gears discounted or funded by a local shop.
An amateur sponsorship can be as simple as having an excellent relationship with a biker shop owner so you can promote his products.
Or, in other scenarios, there is a well-to-do guy in the team who is willing to buy other members’ stuff.
It’s not that complicated and works the same for a solo rider. Joining such a team is also not too demanding nor competitive.
However, a pro cycling sponsorship is another story. To be a part of a pro team means you have to prove your abilities and showcase achievements. You also need to prove that you can contribute something to the team and dedicate yourself to, at least, a semi-pro career.
It’s definitely demanding for an ample reason: Finance. How much does it cost to sponsor a pro cycling team? You may end up with the answer of millions of bucks.
And then, becoming a pro-sponsored rider is a hell of a challenge. You have to become a professional cyclist to get some attention from big brands.
That is undoubtedly the most arduous route and is not for the light-hearted. Compare the average achievements of amateur vs. pro cyclists, and maybe you will know why.
Create Your Value And Image
We have seen a lot of people asking how they can get funded for free gear or tours. But rarely have we seen anyone asking how they can contribute to the supporter or a team.
Whether you want to have your new helmet discounted by a local shop or want to join a popular local cycling community, you need to remember it should be a win-win situation. That you are valuable entails a worthy sponsor in return.
When reviewing your request, a bike shop owner or team leader is also like an employer.
Imagine you are applying for a job. In this case, you want to let them know that you can increase their value by promoting the products, being a good ambassador, or at least an enthusiastic team member, and bringing in a positive vibe.
Of course, each “employer” has different values for their applicants. For example, some teams will find a helpful, friendly rider more valuable and a better fit than someone who wins many races but won’t stop bragging about it and talking down to other members.
If you seek support as an individual biker, we suggest going to some local races and seeing whether any bike shop owner supports local riders.
Bikershop owners are businessmen, so they always look for opportunities to promote their products. By promising to be a great ambassador to attract more customers, you will get a better chance to be funded.
Before that, you also need to establish solid relationships with those shop owners. Ask them politely, make friends, and build your network with local riders, motivate others, send proposals, etc.; there are many ways you can do this.
And then, after getting support as an ambassador, remember to treat it as a real job. You have to be constantly present in the community, spread positivity and any values your corporate sponsor is trying to sell.
While amateur support might only look for good marketing, pro ones are likely more result-based.
To be in such a team with stable support or even salary, brush up on your achievements, win cycling competitions, and try to connect with pro riders.
If you are still up in the air, please watch this video to get the hang of it:
Write A Proposal
Let’s say you have found a suitable company for your pitch, for example, a road bike company. So, in that particular case, how do you get sponsored by a road bike company?
FYI, sending a proposal is a great way to apply for a sponsorship. To have a successful, convincing proposal, we recommend you to:
- Have a good look at the company’s values and show that you can positively represent them
- Introduce yourself and get straight to the point
- Showcase riding backgrounds and recent race results
- List your social network accounts, make sure that they have excellent exposure, and are all about positivity
- Show commitment to cycling
- Have a clear, concise writing
- Mention other sponsors if you have
Below, we have an excellent example of an application to Vertebrae; we hope that you can find it helpful as a good guideline for how you should write yours.
What Should You Expect?
You can’t expect much from your brand at the amateur level. Sometimes, a free team jersey, helmet, or even sleeping bags for mountain biking or adventure cycling, for example, are possible.
Other times, they will offer services or discounts. It’s really up to your position and the sponsor’s budget. Cash or salary is not likely, though.
Nevertheless, you can still get a lot of free goodies and discounts for your gear, which should help you a bit as a hobbyist.
How To Find A Potential Sponsor
We have mentioned the best way for a local rider above: Try looking in your area for shop owners or distributors willing to fund.
Other ways include finding on social media and websites. We recommend looking for small to medium-sized businesses if you are starting. Chances of getting funded by big brands like those in national tours are next to nil.
Tips For Individual Riders
Knowing your current position is essential whether you consider cycling a hobby or want to go pro. Please try to target the right businesses with your level of influencing and achievements. Aim high, and you will definitely miss it.
Also, try to stand out and have a work ethic even after getting supported. Even with local businesses, there are hundreds of hobbyists like you for them to choose from, so always be humble and find ways to contribute more.
We hope that you find our article on how to get a cycling sponsor helpful. After all, cycling is a challenging sport, physically or economically wise.
Pride goes before a fall. Remember always to be humble, helpful, and improve your skills every day, and maybe someday you will be proud of what you have got along the way, not of brands and free stuff you are wearing.