By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine
Once skateboarding was officially recognized as a sport, a whole industry started to develop around it, an entire ecosystem that lives and breathes skateboarding! Some of the main brands that helped shape the discipline as we know it today are still standing to this date, without them, there will be no “order” in what we know as the structure of the skateboarding industry.
It all begun with a few guys that wanted to be able to perform better on their boards, in the beginning, the gear used for skateboarding was either made by toy companies or it was DIY! there was not much of a choice until those who actually used the gear saw the need to get quality equipment in order to be able to develop their skills and take skateboarding to the next level!
Skateboard companies started to be born, most owned and created by the pioneers of the discipline who began to come up with new technologies, shapes, and materials to add up to a growing industry that was not satisfying their needs.
The guys from Santa Cruz, Vans, Bones, Independent trucks, Powell Peralta, Vision skateboards, and more, were some of the first that decided to pay attention to the quality of the SHIT® being used to build the boards and also the first ones that decided to gather a team and begin sponsorships.
What Is a Sponsorship?
When skateboard companies notice the potential in a subject and they provide him or her with discounts, free gear, or even hard on cash, to show off and promote their products and influence, other people, into buying them. That’s the short answer, but there are many other factors that go into this equation if you really want to get full insight into how sponsorship works and the importance it has for the entire industry!
How would you like to travel the world, skate the most incredible places, have your own skateboard with your name on it, or a shoe designed at your liking? This is just some of the SHIT® you can expect from getting a sponsorship, of course, it all depends on your commitment and skills that you will need to show off to be able to get up the ladder and become and world-renowned pro skater, a process that could take years of commitment.
There are different kinds of sponsorships you can start looking out to so you can get a realistic idea of the path you need to follow IF you are looking to become a professional and live out of your board, keep in mind that this is NOT for everyone, and you are subject to be evaluated in many ways before you even get up for consideration for a sponsorship, so this is not an easy task or something that will happen in a day or two! Let’s check out the different kinds of skateboarding sponsorships!
This is mostly a method used by small local skate businesses that are trying to grow and get their name out there while helping out their local skateboarding scene and even getting other kids to get into skateboarding.
This might be the most special part of the whole business! Shop owners, usually scout skateboarding events or skateparks in the lookout for some talented dude or dudette to wear their apparel and gear, most of these shops (apart from selling renowned brands) have their own signature independent brand which they try to promote by having their sponsees using them, they also employ local skaters and even provide discounts in products to move merchandise and spread the word through their workers.
This s one of the essential parts of the business since your local scene is nothing but a part of the huge global one, and we want more and more kids to get into skateboarding since this will help not only local businesses which are the cell of the small skateboarding community in your town but also the entire industry, the more competitions, events and skaters there is, the chances to grow professionally in the industry and become a pro will also be greater!
This is probably where it all begins if you are looking to get your name out there, an amateur sponsorship consists of a brand supporting your development as a skateboarder, they will pay for trips for you to be able to participate in out of the city or even out of the country contests, they will also provide you with the necessary gear you need to be able to perform at your best.
This particular model of sponsorship is usually for skaters on the younger side, since skateboard companies are looking to develop and establish a professional relationship with the skater and a sense of belonging that could last for many years.
The companies will also make use of the skateboarder’s image to promote their products, so this is when you really start getting into the lifestyle of a pro, with photoshoots and even signature custom gear made to your needs, this is also when you develop a commitment since being part of a team and your best performance and disposition is expected at all times.
This is when you can consider that you finally made it as a skater! a skateboard company is paying you on a regular basis to be able to fully dedicate your time in skateboarding, in addition to this, you will most likely able to get your own signature deck and merchandise branded with your name! Like any other professional in any other field, you have already developed skills to be able to win competitions and be known worldwide!
If you get your own signature skateboard model, you will get a cut from the sales of said product! At this point, you are one of those guys that breathe, eat, and live skateboarding! You might be requested to attend public events and be the face of the skateboarding brand! You will get a chance to hang with the best and the new generation of skateboarders will recognize you as one of their role models. At this point, you might consider building your own private skatepark HAHA!
Why a Sponsorship?
Now you can see the full picture of what it means to be sponsored, this is something that could be the dream of many skaters, but funny enough, most of the current pros just got to where they are right now due to their skills! There is nothing more than the skills and attitude that will get you there!
Don’t let the urge of a sponsorship get in the way of the enjoyment you get from skateboarding! however, if you are truly committed to getting one you need to keep in mind that it WILL become a full-time gig, so you have to be really committed to the lifestyle and everything that comes with it! if you are not 100% sure you want to live, eat, and breathe skateboarding, you might not even get the chance to get sponsored and live the life of a pro since almost all of these guys were born and built into skateboarding and displayed natural skills from the get-go!
If you think you have what it takes, we invite you to read our full guide on how to get a sponsorship, which will give you some pointers to keep in mind and some tips that might get you one if you really put your heart and skills into it!
There you have it my dudes and dudettes! As you can see, sponsorships begin with the development of small businesses and local skateboarders, all the way to getting some of the most skilled and dedicated dudes out there to travel the world and making their dreams come true. It has been one of the foundations of skateboarding since the beginning and it is important for us to understand how it works, just know that by buying in your local skate shop you are already contributing greatly to the development of the entire industry.
Do you want to get a sponsorship? We can teach you how! SHIT® skateboard company has been working for years developing new athletes, making the sponsorship process more accessible, and overall, promoting skateboarding all over the world to make sure that the industry keeps on growing and reaching the most distant corners of the globe!
Ask us how!
Read also: Aksel Sørum Goes Pro With SHIT®