By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Getting a sponsor is no easy task but it is not something impossible to do either as some people could make you believe. Basically what you will need is to have mad skills, commitment and motivation among many more things to finally be able to show your best to the world, and never having to worry about lacking clothes, gear or shoes while getting paid to do what you love, skateboarding!
One of the first things you need to ask yourself is if you have what it takes to be able to become a sponsored skater and if you do you might get to do it for the rest of your life. Some people take skateboarding as a hobby (which is completely fine) but these are the kind of guys that after few years and choosing another career, realize that skateboarding really is not a priority and often move on to other things! Keep in mind that if you plan to start a skateboarding career it will basically be eat, sleep, skate and it is something that could be as demanding as any other career or professional sport. There are many factors included in the whole process and it is not as simple as some people think, get famous, get a video game appearance and your personal signature shoe, there is much more SHIT to keep in mind!
Love What You Do
One of the most important things to succeed in anything is to love what you do! And if you love skateboarding you shouldn't even care about being sponsored or not! You should just have fun while you do it! But fun fact, sponsors love that about a skater and if they see that you are trying too hard, you will definitely be off their radar! Funny huh? All people have a certain “energy” that is noticed by other skaters around them, it's some kind of encrypted attitude only noticeable by those who skate and sponsors tend to really look at this energy when they look for new possible candidates, some people even say that getting a sponsor is 40% skateboarding level and 60% that “energy” you provide to your skating and those around you.
Join The Crowd
Make sure to hit the parks, there is always this kid that has a friend knows someone that knows this guy that skates for Powell Peralta (90% of the times not true) but the reason we say this (which should happen naturally) is because you have to get involved in the culture! You have to learn the ways and also there might be a chance that the “guy” might be skating next to you, one thing to keep in mind is that it is really rare to have “recruiters” in the skateboarding world, they are not out there in every skatepark looking for someone to sponsor, it usually just happens out of nowhere, but keep these tips in mind if you are looking to make it in the skateboarding world:
- Go to all the local skateboard competitions, events, and parties.
- Make your presence known within your local skate scene and online.
- Upload your videos and skate pictures to social media, use hashtags and tag your favorite skateboarding companies.
The more presence you make and the more you stand out, the higher the chances that you could get your sponsorship!
Make Your Own Skate Video
Back in the day, it was really difficult to get your own tape. That's right kids TAPES, VHS (look it up). It was really difficult just knowing someone that even had a camera to record you with, today we have the ability to record anything and share it with the world in a matter of seconds! Which is also, believe it or not, a double-edged sword! Why? Because now there are millions of hours of footage online from people all over the world! If you want to be noticed, your film needs to stand out, be really high quality and then it needs to reach the right places!
A few tips for your video:
- Film in a variety of spots and be creative with your tricks.
- Edit only your best tricks together and keep it about 2 minutes in length.
- Keep the transitions simple and use them sparingly.
- Choose your music with caution, or don't use any at all.
Keep in mind that if you are filming your demo tape, you should be at a pretty good skateboarding level and you should be able to land your tricks nice and clean! But don't be afraid to include a fall or two! It is one of the global skateboarding realities, you WILL fall and it will give your film a more realistic, less pretentious feel to it! And most importantly, have fun while doing it!!
Send Out Your Video
Once you are satisfied with the quality of your video you can start sending it out to your favorite brands. Here you have a few tips of what a reach out via email may include:
- A subject line that stand out (don't call it "PLEASE SPONSOR ME!!!)
- Some text detailing who you are and what you can do, as well as why you are reaching out to them
- Let them know how you can help them
- Tell them what you want to happen next
Make sure you also include your plans and goals and details about your love for skateboarding as well as what you are willing to do for their company. But don't extend it too much, this could make your footage to be disregarded.
Always Keep a Positive Mind and Practice!
Don't focus all of your energy on getting a sponsorship because if you do it's probably the last thing that's going to happen. Just have fun skating and make sure to learn new things each day! As your level keeps on increasing and as you develop your own personal skateboarding style you WILL be noticed and as we always say PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
Read also: Aksel Sørum Goes Pro With SHIT®