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AlyssaSpellman
Mar. 3, 2012, 04:18 PM
Can anyone talk to me a bit about sponsorship and their experiences with it?
What kind of agreements did you have with your sponsors? In what ways did they contribute to your showing, and what did they get from you in return for their contributions? How did you approach non-horse people, and how did you convince them that sponsoring a rider is a good idea? Do you think more people are willing to sponsor an individual rider who shows with a reputable trainer, or do they lean more towards sponsoring bigger operations like barns themselves? How well has sponsorship worked out for you, and would you do it again?
Any other stories/information you can think of to share would be great.
If you'd rather PM me than discuss this publicly, feel free to do so. :)

AlyssaSpellman
Mar. 4, 2012, 05:21 PM
Bumping.. I'd really like to get some more information on the topic!

mvp
Mar. 4, 2012, 06:14 PM
Sorry, I can't help.

I guess I don't understand the question. You mean a company would enter into a contract with a minor in order to have the kid show in, use or endorse the company's product? I don't think the deal makes a whole lot of sense.

If you mean kids who are riding sales horses for barns, then you have come to the right forum for questions about that.

Rel6
Mar. 4, 2012, 06:21 PM
I'm not sure how much information you're going to get on the topic, as I believe a sponsored junior is somewhat rare.

The catch 22 is that a junior who is riding and winning at a high enough level to attract a sponsor's attention already the money/support to have gotten them there in the first place.

(Someone please correct me if any of this is wrong, I have no first hand experience.)

S A McKee
Mar. 4, 2012, 07:08 PM
Not all that rare.
And not always a top Junior rider either.
Sometmes it's as simple as a reasonably good Junior rider ( even childrens hunter) appears in ads for a clothing line or a tack store.
In return for wearing that brand or the brand of the tackstore the Junior receives clothing in return.
It's legal as Junior's are not limited by Amateur rules.
Happens a lot.

Foxtrot's
Mar. 4, 2012, 07:26 PM
Good luck - but no practical suggestions.

Product sponsorship is one way, but how many show shirts or supplements can a person use?

Ask what you can do for the sponsor before asking them what they can do for you. It is about payback.

Money is the biggest hindrance to anybody's dreams but I think you do need to be in with a BNT and be able to pay them back with work of some kind.

It is so much about being well connected and a terribly hard row to hoe, testing anybody's stamina, dedication, heart and talent. . . to achieve the big dreams.

It seems you have to get there first, before the $$ start coming in and only one teeny fraction get there.

harkington
Mar. 4, 2012, 07:47 PM
Sometmes it's as simple as a reasonably good Junior rider ( even childrens hunter) appears in ads for a clothing line or a tack store.
In return for wearing that brand or the brand of the tackstore the Junior receives clothing in return.

There is a girl on my local circuit that began to appear in ads for a local show clothing company and got quite a nice selection of shirts, schooling and showing breeches and a hunt coat for a few hours of her time. They also let her keep the field boots and helmet they bought for the shoot. Not a huge 'sponsorship', but given that she had recently had a growth spurt, it was a huge money saver for her and she was able to do an extra show or two with the savings.

It worked well for them too as she made it her Facebook profile picture, ranted and raved about their fantastic clothing (which is really nice stuff!) and would hang out by their booth at shows dressed in their clothes as a sort of model.

AlyssaSpellman
Mar. 5, 2012, 01:58 AM
I figured most sponsorships had to deal with wearing clothing around/appearing in photos in exchange for free clothing.
I read a blog post before posting this about a junior who was sponsored, and the agreement was that the company helped pay show fees (not sure how much) in exchange for her to show (in the jumpers) with their logo on her saddle pad, be mentioned in announcements when possible, be mentioned on her farms website (mother owns the farm). I hadn't heard of this happening a lot, especially with junior riders, so I wanted to see what info I could get on it mainly out of curiosity and because of the fact that I've never even talked to this girl (just stumbled across her blog randomly) and would've felt weird asking her about her sponsorship.
It's not something I'm looking into for myself - it just got me thinking about the topic and I wanted to find out what others had to say about their experiences with it. :)

M. O'Connor
Mar. 5, 2012, 07:44 AM
I think it's not as prevalent in our sport as it is in others because a rider has to be somewhat high profile to be considered for such an arrangement, yet it's very hard to reach that stage without already having plenty of resources.

That shouldn't stop anyone from trying for one. But a sponsorship agreement is a two way street--it's not about sitting back and taking the benefits, sometimes it requires substantial time spent on returning a benefit to the sponsor.

While juniors can be sponsored, amateurs (including college students who participate in NCAA and IHSA) can't be; younger kids aren't so likely to be sponsorship candidates for bigger companies, and older ones might be pressed to enter into a relationship with a sponsor that they have to give up at age 18 if they plan to compete as amateurs, or if they are planning to ride competitively for their college.

It's an interesting question, though, because our sport is so incredibly expensive that it's often the case that many promising athletes never get started or can't continue in it; a good number of these gravitate to other sports.

S A McKee
Mar. 5, 2012, 08:15 AM
I think it's not as prevalent in our sport as it is in others because a rider has to be somewhat high profile to be considered for such an arrangement, yet it's very hard to reach that stage without already having plenty of resources.

.

Childrens Hunter, Mini Eq riders who do not show out of their home area are hardly high profile. And yet they receive sponsorships because they promote a local business.
The four riders I'm aware of that receive clothing sponsorships ( and one of them is in an area your profile says you live in) do not have 'plenty of resources'.
Receiving nice free show clothing eliminates what can be a large showing expense.

Ponies, etc.
Mar. 5, 2012, 08:42 AM
My daughter has two sponsorships, a helmet company and a saddle company. Both are new products on the market and want to get their name out. The helmet company, I emailed and asked if they would be interested, and the saddle company approached us.

My daughter shows nearly every weekend at both the A show and local level, mostly on catch rides and is pretty well known in our area, so it benefits the sponsoring companies because it gets their name out. When the companies get signs/banners to us, we will display them on our stalls at shows.

M. O'Connor
Mar. 5, 2012, 09:43 AM
Childrens Hunter, Mini Eq riders who do not show out of their home area are hardly high profile. And yet they receive sponsorships because they promote a local business.
The four riders I'm aware of that receive clothing sponsorships ( and one of them is in an area your profile says you live in) do not have 'plenty of resources'.
Receiving nice free show clothing eliminates what can be a large showing expense.

Your example is of riders who are high-profile locally, and these sorts of arrangements are a win-win for both parties.

Especially so because "plenty of resources" is an incredibly relative term in this sport! ;)

Lostboy
Mar. 5, 2012, 10:01 AM
We had two juniors sponsored by a local clothing company and then the company went national. Neither company did "horsewear" but rather adventure/outdoor stuff and the other company made skate board type clothes. The girls got jackets,T-shirts and other items with the business logos and the stores paid entry fees in the jumper classes. They did NOT cover the entire costs of showing at the start since they themselves were new businesses and weren't sure of the advertising benefits.
The girls searched for the sponsors on their own, explained what they did and how they could help get the name of the company out locally. They were not top riders but did well locally and ocassion won at an "A" show.
They DID wear the jackets,shirts,shorts,shoes and such almost all the time. They always said good things about the products to their friends and anyone who asked. Each sponsorship lasted a coouple years then the businesses went other directions in marketing.

Check out the book "Athletes Guide to sponsorships" (I think that's the name) we have a copy on the barn bookshelf in case anyone geting motivated. Also I am sure the internet in loaded with this topic so read some blogs even if they are not equestrians, it's a good way to learn what else has worked.

emmrodge
Mar. 5, 2012, 10:02 AM
While juniors can be sponsored, amateurs (including college students who participate in NCAA and IHSA) can't be; younger kids aren't so likely to be sponsorship candidates for bigger companies, and older ones might be pressed to enter into a relationship with a sponsor that they have to give up at age 18 if they plan to compete as amateurs, or if they are planning to ride competitively for their college.


Just wanted to correct this. A professional can compete IHSA. You are correct about the compensation rules for NCAA though. I showed IHSA in college and I had to declare my professional status before I even went to college. They did require me to show in open though.

JustJump
Mar. 5, 2012, 12:00 PM
Just wanted to correct this. A professional can compete IHSA. You are correct about the compensation rules for NCAA though. I showed IHSA in college and I had to declare my professional status before I even went to college. They did require me to show in open though.

That's good to know. I will be looking into that more closely; I had not thought IHSA allowed professional activity either.

AlyssaSpellman
Mar. 5, 2012, 12:16 PM
The girls got jackets,T-shirts and other items with the business logos and the stores paid entry fees in the jumper classes.

This seems to me like it's the kind of sponsorship on the blog I read. I had never heard of companies helping pay the show fees of juniors, mainly because as some have pointed out, most of the "top" junior riders whom I'd think the companies would be looking to sponsor already have lots of resources.
Thanks for the info. :)

Dune
Mar. 5, 2012, 12:58 PM
I don't know if this is what you're looking for but I know of trainers who sponsored a talented junior by providing a horse/pony for them to ride/show and paying for some/all of the show fees/training. I know that personally I was willing to provide a fancy large pony, pay show fees and clinic/lesson fees with a trainer I approved. (ie George Morris clinic) It could've lead to more, unfortunately, rider flaked. :(

S A McKee
Mar. 5, 2012, 01:12 PM
Your example is of riders who are high-profile locally, and these sorts of arrangements are a win-win for both parties.

Especially so because "plenty of resources" is an incredibly relative term in this sport! ;)

Nice back pedal. LMAO

JSjumper
Mar. 5, 2012, 01:21 PM
Just wanted to correct this. A professional can compete IHSA. You are correct about the compensation rules for NCAA though. I showed IHSA in college and I had to declare my professional status before I even went to college. They did require me to show in open though.

Ditto- Was about to say exactly this.

AlyssaSpellman
Mar. 5, 2012, 02:27 PM
I don't know if this is what you're looking for but I know of trainers who sponsored a talented junior by providing a horse/pony for them to ride/show and paying for some/all of the show fees/training. I know that personally I was willing to provide a fancy large pony, pay show fees and clinic/lesson fees with a trainer I approved. (ie George Morris clinic) It could've lead to more, unfortunately, rider flaked. :(

I've heard of that done before, too. That's such an amazing opportunity - it's a shame that the rider flaked!

PonyPenny
Mar. 6, 2012, 02:31 AM
A little off topic, but it is interesting how other sports define amateur. My husband is on a amateur cycling team. The United States Cycling Federation (USCF) allows sponsorship as long as they are not paid a salary to ride. His is fully sponsored by the team as all his entries for cycling events are paid for. He also gets all kinds of free stuff from sponsors such as bicycle frames, tires, helmets, shoes, etc. Their jerseys list all the sponsors. The team also does PR events for the sponsors.

Too bad amateurs in USEF can't receive the same type of sponsorship. It is interesting how different the rules are depending on what type of sport you do and how the national governing body defines amateurism.

PonyPenny
Mar. 6, 2012, 02:33 AM
I don't know if this is what you're looking for but I know of trainers who sponsored a talented junior by providing a horse/pony for them to ride/show and paying for some/all of the show fees/training. I know that personally I was willing to provide a fancy large pony, pay show fees and clinic/lesson fees with a trainer I approved. (ie George Morris clinic) It could've lead to more, unfortunately, rider flaked. :(

My daughter has this exact type of sponsorship. Much better for her and my pocketbook then some free stuff.

Foxtrot's
Mar. 6, 2012, 12:33 PM
A rider can offer to catch ride. Lots of sale ponies need a good ride. From there a rider's reputation gets built until the wealthy owner spots the rider and makes the offer?!

A hard working student in a BNT's barn will often get to ride in the shows too, if the in training horses need a trip.

It is so much about work ethic and attitude...and talent, of course.