Common Mistakes anglers make
The most common mistake guys make when approaching potential sponsors is the manner or demeanor in which they solicitate with their initial contact letters and tone of expectation in which they are written. Many anglers approach potential sponsors as if that company needs them, because they feel that, they have won a few tournaments that should qualify them candidate for sponsorship.

Do not make the mistake of contacting a company with a (what-can-you-do-for-me attitude.) This is why anglers, who submit themselves in this manner to potential sponsors, will most likely only get a response letter back from the company, thanking them for their interest in their products and generally will include a 10% off coupon for future purchase of that product.

Not to be discouraging, but there’s a lot of good fisherman out there, with the same credentials you may have, all competing for the same a few opportunities.The key objective in seeking sponsorships is to understand that sponsor relationships are not built on what company can do for the angler, it will be based on what the angler can do for the company.

Dedication an understanding of the product
The last thing you want to do is go to a company all cocky, beating on your chest, bragging on your accomplishments and who you are. This is not what companies are looking in a team player. It’s simply not a very good way of selling yourself to a potential sponsor.

A better way to approach this would be to reassure the company and prove to them you know something about their product and believe it. Tell them why you like their product and how you think you can be a benefit to the company. “What I want to see is how the angler can touch the industry, while promoting themselves. What avenues do they have for promoting the products they will be representing,” says Steve Douglas of Monster Rod holders.

“News paper articles, magazines, trade shows and such where the angler can get logos and product mentions included, have all worked in the past and is all cool and still effective, but todays technology of communications has made promoting your self easier. having an internet presents via a website, blogs, creating a fan base on face book or YouTube.”

“I do not care how many times they have placed well in tournaments, how many times their name has been in the paper and I don’t care how many big fish they show me. If I do not see logos or product mentions of the companies the angler represents, or they don’t have some sort of a web presents, in my opinion, the portfolio or application is worthless.”

Another approach that anglers should avoid when looking for sponsorship is coming across like you are mass marketing yourself or just shopping for whoever and whatever you can get.

“I am much more willing to work with an angler who has used our products and believe in them rather than a guy just shopping to see what they can get,” says Douglas

Anglers seeking sponsorships should not take the, “I will use the company that will do the most for me” approach. Believing in the product is key and anglers should think carefully about who they want to align themselves with and then pursue only that company. Not just who can give me more.

With Confidence
Anglers who have done their homework should be able to tell the company exactly why they want to use and promote there product. That connection and belief is very important to start and build a relationship. If you don’t believe in the product and wouldn’t sell the product to your neighbor, you wouldn’t be to successful selling it to the consumer.

IT’S A TEAM EFFORT
Think of sponsorships as joining a sales team of sorts. There are certain business principles such as “return on investment” and “value added” in relation to the company the angler is pursuing.
When you are a sponsored by a company, you must show a return for the company’s investment in you. You must show that you have added value to that company in some way. Anglers who understand and demonstrate these abilities up front without being told, stand a better chance of getting there foot in the door before the anglers that is just seeing what he can get from a company.