Author Bio - Ian Warner is 2012 Olympian and was a All-American sprinter at Iowa State. He is also the CEO of FIXT APP which is a mobile app the connects injured athletes o the best injury solutions in their community. Ian also is the author of “Endure” and he has dedicated his life to helping others to lead and succeed.
What athlete does not want to sign the dotted line on a massive sponsorship deal. I remember the day when I graduated from the grip of the NCAA’s amateur status, and I was ready to start making money from my name. The most valuable skill I brought with me on this journey was my entrepreneur mindset.
The entrepreneur mindset means you can see opportunity where others see nothing, and you wait for no one to make things happen for you. An entrepreneur started every company that exists. It is never a bad idea to align your thinking with those you are trying to attract.
How The Entrepreneur Mindset Will Help You With Sponsors
The Business Mindset
The first thing I hear a lot of athletes tell me once they get to the college level is their shock in how much of a business it all is. Sports make money whether, at the school level or the professional level, the goal is to make as much money as possible.
There is also a high demand to be able to get to that level and this means that an athlete is easily replaceable. The best thing you can do is develop an entrepreneur mindset and learn how to get scrappy and focus on revenue. Any sponsor that is going to invest in you will want to know what their return on investment from the deal will be.
If you don't think like an entrepreneur, you won't best understand how to make sure that you are providing the best ROI for this company. It is not about the best athlete when it comes to sponsorship. It is the athlete that is the smartest investment.
You Have to Hustle Hard
Rule # 1 to being an entrepreneur is that you have to grind because it is going to be hard. This same rule applies to getting sponsors. Sponsors are not just going to drop out of the sky. Even when you do get a sponsor, keeping that sponsor is an entirely different story.
Athletes can develop egos that make them think that all they have to do is be a good athlete. Sponsors don't care that you are a good athlete. They want to know how you can help them sell more.
Customer Service Wins In The End
I mentioned above that getting a sponsorship is one thing, but keeping a sponsorship is a different story. The only way to keep sponsors happy is to treat your customers like gold. Every athlete knows what it is like to be a client that is treated well vs. one treated like crap.
To be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to keep your customers happy. One bad customer could ruin your entire brand and since you don't have a large name yet that could be the end of your company. Keeping these customers happy means always being willing to go the extra mile to surpass expectations.
When was the last time you went above and beyond to keep your sponsor happy? Do you just think of doing the bare minimum to keep them happy? They can find tons of other athletes that can do the bare minimum. Do everything you can to surpass what they expect you to do. Make them feel like they could never replace you!
Always Think Outside of The Box
Do you go to sponsors and tell them that you will promote them to your social media followers? How original do you believe that this approach is? This is just as groundbreaking as an entrepreneur telling the world that they are going to market their company using social media. It is nothing special. To be a success, you are going to need more than that!
Thinking outside of the box means approaching situations in a way that is outside of the normal and expected. Don't contact sponsors like how everyone else does. Think of what the rest of the people have been missing that you know you could do better. Successful entrepreneurs make a living doing this well.
If you want to master this sponsorship game, you're going to need to start thinking like an entrepreneur. The business mindset, the will to work, treating customers well and the ability to think outside of the box will put you in a position to succeed. Business decision makers are business persons, so your best bet is your align your thinking with theirs. Now go and attract the sponsor of your dreams.