Before you apply, read this.
Hey guys, Chris here… I often get a lot of messages about riders wondering how to get sponsored by a unicycle company, so I've put this together to help those guys out.
I've been sponsored by the likes of Kris Holm, Koxx-one, Unicycle.tv, Mad4one and have had offers from many other brands including IMPACT. That's preeeetty much all the top brands, from this time anyway, so I like to think I have a rough idea of what these sponsors look for in their team riders, managing the Hippo team myself, I also get a good idea of what's important.
There are 6 main aspects to what makes a great team rider. If you meet all of these requirements and you're not sponsored, chances are you simply haven't asked anyone to sponsor you, you will be a huge asset. Some people also get away with being sponsored only meeting 1 or 2 of the following requirements, but those are the lucky ones ;).
The first aspect is obvious….
- HAVE MAD SKILLS:
Be better than or at least as good as ALL riders currently on the team you are looking to be sponsored by, skill wise. This alone will only get you sponsored if you're at the absolute highest level. Trying to get onto a team where someone's doing 900s and you're stuck on 5spins? This aspect isn't for you…
Land original tricks/lines/records. You need to be creating something new, not copying other people's creativity (if this is the aspect you're aiming for). Push areas of unicycling that others have forgotten about, focus on what you're good at, not what everyone else is doing and eventually people will follow you.
Make videos, as much as you possibly can. Take pride in videos you release, make them entertaining and fun to watch, make people wanna talk about them, but don't come across too cheesy and don't post your videos more than once in the same place. If people want to watch your videos, they will. If they don't wanna watch your videos, make them want to watch them by improving them, not spamming.
Compete and attend conventions! No company will want to sponsor you if you live in the woods and no one hears about you. If that's you, than you better be chasing the ENTERTAIN aspect. Uphold a good reputation for yourself and your would-be sponsor. Run workshops and encourage local riders in your area to ride/start their own clubs. Get as much media attention as possible, whenever theres an opportunity to get in the newspaper or a tv camera, jump on it. If you're increasing the number of riders, that means more possible sales for your sponsor, which at the end of the day out weighs most things.
This is the tricky one,
- UP AND COMING:
Be the best upcoming unicyclist/potential unicyclist in your country/area. BUT very few riders become sponsored purely by their "potential". Companies need to know more about you, through your reputation in the online community, what you do in your videos, general comments about your videos and/or posts etc. Your results and signs of commitment by competitions etc etc… If you're a young up'n'coming unicyclist, you need to be able to show you're committed and consistent at keeping a good image for your sponsor.
But the problem is, there are a LOT of these riders. Just because you think a team has one of these riders and you're better than them, the company is not going to just fire their younger riders for a new one. Chances are they're trying to support local young talent.
Another big one, its hard getting sponsored purely from this, but it will get you noticed…
If everyone is talking about you, sponsors will eventually hear about you. Sometimes this is more important than raw skill level. If a rider seems more popular than a rider on a sponsored team simply because of their personality and style, the sponsor will definitely start comparing the rider to have at least one of the above aspects. But I wouldn't say this is enough to get you sponsored. The sponsor needs to know you will be consistent in this trait.
If you're lucky enough to get sponsored with only one of these conditions then you're one of the lucky ones that people wish didn't get sponsored over them. Non-sponsored riders simply need to remember that they can't possibly know everything about this rider and that they will probably meet some of the above traits that the sponsor can see and you can't.
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself why you want to be sponsored. Ride for yourself, make videos to push yourself, if you happen to pick up a sponsor along the way, bonus.
If you're interested in a spot on the Hippo team, click the button below.