If you’re lucky enough to be sponsored by a company or brand, you may have been provided with a nice detailed list of sponsorship obligations. This should reflect the terms of your agreement and the value of that offering.
However, if this is not the case and you want to be sure that you’re offering great value to your sponsors, here’s some suggestions and advice for you:
Riders are often given free product in return for an agreed list of obligations. If you are offered financial support, you may be obliged to allocate a set number of hours per month or pre-agreed activities.
Consider carefully the time you intend to allocate to your sponsorship activities and make sure that they reflect the value of your sponsorship arrangement.
Keep your website updated. Ideally include a calendar of your competition schedule, demos and events.
List your sponsors on your website with a link directly to their website and include their logo. Include their brand information too but make it personal and add more about the products you use and why you use them, with images, even better!
Keep your social media pages active and up to date with what you’re doing. This should include your activities at home and competitions.
It’s worth pointing out some best practices in regards to tagging sponsors on social media posts. Don’t tag a dozen sponsors on the same post or include all your sponsors’ hashtags on the same post.
Tagging your sponsors is a great way to alert them to your latest activity so they will know what you’re up to. But, if you are tagging multiple sponsors, ideally select one or two but no more than four sponsors on the same post, as long as they don’t conflict and the content is relevant.
It’s smart and professional-looking to tag your sponsors on the image itself rather than the post content. But again don’t over tag one image as the tags are likely to overlap and be covered up!
Be creative and create bespoke posts tailored for one sponsor. Think of clever and unique ways to promote them. More often than not, a prominently placed brand logo on a simple image works best. The key is to make your sponsors brand noticeable in a smart way.
Don’t make every single post about your sponsors. Your social profile should be about you. Your followers want to see what you are doing, not have products pushed in front of them.
It’s recognised that if a brand is promoted too much on an account, you may actually lose followers!
Whilst it’s nice to have lots of sponsors and good for the industry, think about your sponsors individually.
As a rider, a useful exercise is to separately list each sponsor according to the value you receive from them. This isn’t always about product value or financial contributions. Often it can be about the significance of the brand association – how it may help to raise your personal profile. Then consider how you can help them in return or what your agreed sponsorship obligations are. Do they match the value offered?
Remember, you have a choice and only promote a brand or work with companies that you believe in and have a good relationship with. Brand sponsorship must work for you and your horse because if it doesn’t it’s fake … and your followers will spot a fake relationship.
Be honest, be genuine and work hard for the brands you love.