First let me share a little of my background. I’ve always had a passion for fitness, but I supported my family most of my adult life in the music business. My band Pillar was fairly successful in certain circles. Because of our platform we had endorsements with many music related companies, clothing, and other products. So when I stopped touring and decided to go into fitness full-time I applied all my marketing and networking knowledge into my new career. I am currently an official Athlete for Kaged Muscle, Ryderwear, 6 Pack bags, and SwoleO’Clock. I also have great relationships with the owners of P28 Foods and Shields Of Strength. Here are some of my thoughts and tips on how to secure Athlete sponsorships in the fitness industry. This is not the definitive guide by any means, but how I personally go about things.
*Build Your Business: Concentrate on building your business and not be in the business of just trying to land a specific sponsorship. Most fitness athletes are trainers, competitors, online coaches, models, business owners, and more. The companies they represent are a part of the whole not the entire picture.
*Be Unique: What makes you stand out of the crowd? Why are you different? There are thousands of fit people out there who want sponsorships. My personal angle is that I am 40, a husband and father of 4, and always natural. I proclaim, “Be your best at any age”.
*Love the Product: You should only try to partner with companies you truly believe in and love. These should be products you are already buying and paying for. Don’t be the one always looking for free handouts. Do the occasional post sharing your love for the product or why it’s important to you. Tag them accordingly. Be mindful not to be pushy or to look desperate here.
*Platform is Important: Athletes are basically one of the marketing avenues for companies much like magazine advertisements and tv commercials. As you all know social media marketing is a part of life nowadays. One big factor on being selected as a Athlete is your Reach. With this being said put daily work into expanding your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Twitter, etc. Quality of followers is important as well. Fake numbers don’t help as they can be seen a mile away. Once a company picks you up you will want to be able to do your part and help sell product. If you don’t hold your weight some companies will drop the dead weight. Building your social media takes time.
*Your Body is Your Billboard: This is the “fitness” industry. You need to look fit. It’s not necessary to have a championship physique, but years of hard work should be apparent. I have personally found that I get much more attention being cut than bulk huge. Everybody can bulk up, but how many put in the work and self-discipline to be super conditioned. Be sure you are putting more work into your body and fitness level rather than Instagram and Snapchat.
*Look Professional: In any business, be it music or fitness, I have found that “perception” is highly important. People pass mental judgement seconds upon seeing something. Find talented friends and spend some money on quality photographs and a professional website. Look at the level of quality the pros are putting out there and try to match that visual quality.
*Market Less: When it comes to posting make sure your social pages don’t look like a big magazine advertisement. People don’t like marketing and product shoved down their throats. Be sure to provide useful information, educate, inspire, and motivate. Give more than you expect to receive. You build trust by giving information and content. Then when you do “market” something you love your audience is more likely to listen.
*Be Kind: You would think this is a given, but it still has to be said. Kindness will take you to the top. As I said before “give more than you expect to receive”. Help others. It’s always better to be at the top with other good people.
*Be a Good Communicator: You should be able to communicate naturally and effectively in writing and on camera. This is a gift for some and others it takes work to perfect. This is something I am always working on especially when it comes to video. Companies are looking for people who have great communication skills not just for social media posts, but also on camera and in person as you represent their company.
*Respectful and considerate: Once you feel you have done a great job at all the above two things may happen. #1. The company will reach out to you because you’ve shown true love for their product and they want you to be apart of their team. #2. You write the company a nice, professional email explaining in short who you are, why you love their product and have been using it for years, and that you would like to be considered. Leave your social media links. Remember that despite you are writing a big company it is regular, real people who will read your email. Being pushy or rude will get you nowhere fast. Write them professionally and do not send them something publicly (like a Tweet or FB post). Don’t keep messaging them over and over again. Space your correspondence out over longer periods of time.
BE PATIENT! Nothing worthwhile happens over night. I have not only had a life-long passion for fitness, but I consider myself very knowledgeable when it comes to marketing. I was co-owner of a social media marketing company for years. My progress in the fitness industry took years of daily hard work.
Feel free to email me with any questions you may have Michael@WittigWorks.com.
-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete