Are you a die-hard rider looking for a sponsorship? We will show you how to get sponsored mountain biking (with and without being the greatest mountain rider)!
Can you make money mountain biking? How to get sponsored mountain biking?
Besides fulfilling your passion and burning some calories , it is a privilege to get free gear or bike race sponsorship to offset the costs of your biking hobbies. Even better, you can pull a paycheck out of it.
Sponsorship is something that almost all mountain bikers want, but not many can obtain. Being a talented rider is sometimes not enough to get noticed by brands and the biking community.
Here we’ll tell you how to attract sponsorship and might help you transform your hobby into a side hustle.
What You’ll Need To Follow This Tutorial
Talents are desirable, as being on the podium can help you garner most brands’ attention. Yet, the truth remains that not everyone will win the race.
The chances are that having these few qualities can potentially lead you to an open path of getting sponsored:
- Unique personality: Standing out with your personality can help you become more influential in the riding communities. This boosts your marketability and thus, attracts sponsors.
- GoPro, action camera, phone, or anything that can record videos (optional).
- A pitch that resonates with the prospective brands.
- Social media accounts: Strong online presence is what brands look for in the era of social media. You can score mega-deal with a huge online following base.
How To Get Sponsored Mountain Biking
Improve Your Marketability
Think long and hard about what you can offer the potential sponsors in return. It’s important as sponsorship is limited and the competition is fierce.
So setting yourself apart will increase your chance of leading this virtual race.
Winning actual races is obviously the fastest way to get sponsored. Mountain bike sponsorship is a 2-way street where two parties mutually benefit from each other.
Champions of mountain biking acquire sponsorship easily as they gain the most exposure in the competition and on the podium spot.
That’s why companies are competing to sponsor race winners. Their logos, products, and brand names can appear in the spotlight and attract a larger audience.
However, many sponsored mountain bikers do not make it to the podium. Performance is a part of the equation, but what companies care more about is the marketability of the riders.
Wyn Masters is a case in point here. People always regard him as an athlete with an entertaining and unique personality.
This makes a big difference in his potential to sell products in the cycling circles and promotes the sport.
Create High-Quality Content
Brands love unique, creative ideas. Companies won’t hesitate to contact mountain riders after their videos go viral on social media. If you’re a fan of distance riding, go on an endurance racing or big adventure ride.
Don’t forget to mount a GoPro or an action camera to document the whole adventure. As long as your content is quality and valuable to the brand, you’re likely to earn yourself a ticket for sponsorship.
Check out this video by Global Mountain Bike Network on how to shoot and edit your own videos.
Then you can make your own ones. Absolutely, it'll be fun!
Pitch Your Stories Smartly
It pays to know your target well and convince them that you can offer something valuable. There are two common mistakes from a marketing perspective when riders promote their ideas.
First, the pitch is about what the mountain bikers want instead of what they can give. Let’s consider yourself as a seller; your proposal should revolve around the benefits of the sponsoring, not about yourself.
Second, the pitch does not seem realistic. The thing is, no brand would prefer a grand yet not viable plan.
If you’re seeking sponsorship from your local restaurant, go straight ahead and promise to put a takeout menu and punch card in every race bag.
This proposal shows that you know their business scale, needs, and the way to get more exposure for their products.
Build Social Media Presence
As mentioned, the brand’s ultimate goal of sponsoring someone is to help them sell more products and boost brand recognition. Become a better marketing guy, one way or another, and they will come to you!
Many riders have been doing an excellent job of using social media to their advantage. They have built a good base of followers on various platforms, which serve as a voice to promote sponsorship.
For example, KC Deane, a professional mountain biker and skier, has a strong online presence with a massive following that brands love.
This dual-sport athlete has graced the pages of both ski and mountain biking magazines, and that’s why he’s highly sought-after as a brand ambassador.
Start With Local Companies
Like many things in life, sponsorship is a progression, so you should never cease to walk your way up the ladder.
If you’ve just got started, you will get better luck getting sponsorship from small, local businesses.
The chance of nailing good deals from major international brands like The North Face, for instance, is pretty low before you make a name for yourself in the industry.
Start at the local level: local bike shop, running shoes, industrial manufacturing companies. This tactic requires you to build a good rapport with the owners or managers.
Try to prove that you can bring them more value by introducing new customers and promoting their shop towards the biking community.
Sponsorships in shops like these often come in the form of services, products, and discounts. You might get a bike at a wholesale price and deferred payment option, which is great as a starting point.
Pro Tips After Getting Sponsored
Once you’re sponsored, there is much work to do more than just ride your bike. There is no such thing as a free lunch, so you need to give back and be vocal about the brand’s products.
Out of the race, social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, can offer more exposure to the products.
Occasional posts on these platforms, such as the image of you in action with a brand jersey or drinking a nutrition beverage with hashtags, can help you with your “ambassador” role.
Just try not to bombard your friends and followers with frequent posts, or it will be counterproductive.
Another important point! Don’t try to lengthen the list of the brands that sponsor you by jumping ship very often.
Instead, you are more likely to make more money by building a long-lasting relationship with a handful of brands.
How do I get my first mountain bike sponsor? We hope now you know the answer to how to get sponsored mountain biking with tips and suggestions above.
It’s not that challenging to get sponsored, but there are a few things you should do to set yourself apart and stay ahead of most athletes. If you have got a unique personality, use it to your advantage.
Sponsorship is not only attainable when you make it to the podium. Build your personal brand, reinforce your online presence, and show what you can do for brands.
It’s best to start at the local companies like a bike shop, as they are the first sponsors of many mountain bikers. If you have any questions related to this topic, feel free to share with us!