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  1. #1
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    May. 7, 2009
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    Default Finding Sponsors

    I'm currently a working student for an aspiring Grand Prix rider who would like to fufull her life long dream of making it to the Olympics. She has climbed up the ranks entirely self supported and has a thriving training business. All she is lacking is the sponsorship to boost her to international competition. Does anyone know how and where to find sponsors for people like this?

    Thank you in advance for your help.



  2. #2
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Default

    search the forum.

    Ton's of good pointers and cautionary tales of the pits falls.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  3. #3
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    Deep South
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    14,782

    Default

    I'm sure if anybody knew the answer, they would keep it to themselves !



  4. #4
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    Apr. 9, 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    638

    Default

    She has to be good in PR or get a PR person that knows how to handle that stuff. You are selling a living advertisement to them. A sponsor wants to know how you are going to help them and for them it is publicity that counts
    Every time you ride, your are either teaching or un-teaching your horse.



  5. #5
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    May. 13, 2007
    Location
    mountain and east coast
    Posts
    171

    Default Program for Fundraising

    Stay tuned for an announcement soon on a program that will educate and teach equestrians how to accomplish this. As opposed to "keeping" it to ourselves...
    we will try to "spell it out !".

    We will post more info here, as we trot this out.....

    Karin Offield



  6. #6
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    Mar. 13, 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    457

    Default

    Think outside the box of how the rider can benefit sponsors. Starting with smaller companies and contacts will help gain experience of what works and what doesn't. Rub shoulders, be personable, make a ton of contacts, and be honest with everyone about what is being presented... the public relations aspect is key. It seems not a whole lot of people are chasing down riders for the 'opportunity' to sponsor then (even at the highest level, sometimes). It's all about getting in with people at the right time and being able to present them with an idea that sounds like they're getting a ton out of it.



  7. #7
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    Sep. 4, 2006
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    Somewhere in the Southwest
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    Default

    I'm going to present another side to this, and it might come off a bit harsh...

    If this trainer was really riding at that level, and had the quality of horse to be competitive at CDI's, they'd already have people noticing them and offering help. That's just kind of how it goes. You show a lot, and people notice. Then word gets around. A rider with that kind of talent does NOT go unnoticed at that level.



  8. #8
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    May. 14, 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
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    1,375

    Default

    To dressurpferd01-- no-it is NOT that simple.
    I own such a horse, had such a rider and have an even more well known rider now on that same horse. No one is offering to help with the finances. No one ever has.
    Yes- I had two 7 figure offers on the horse that I turned down, but no "help" to continue his show career.
    Even the riders at the very top get offers "in kind" meaning product for advertising use of the rider's name/endorsement BUT not usually the money nessesary to pay the bills. That is usually the responsibility of the owner or the rider. And I can tell you, at this level, I simply do not have t he income to support this much longer.

    I am currently trying to find those sponsors for my horse/rider who have a legitimate chance of at the very least making the WEG trials. Both the horse and the rider have the credentials already in place- winners both at Grand Prix.
    Maryanna Haymon- Marydell Farm - Home to Don Principe & Doctor Wendell MF
    www.marydellfarm.com
    2012 USDF Champion Breeder! 2007, 2011 USEF Champ Breeder
    2009,2010,2011 USDF Res Breeder of the Year!



  9. #9
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    Nov. 9, 2005
    Location
    uk
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    15,268

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by samd View Post
    I'm currently a working student for an aspiring Grand Prix rider who would like to fufull her life long dream of making it to the Olympics. She has climbed up the ranks entirely self supported and has a thriving training business. All she is lacking is the sponsorship to boost her to international competition. Does anyone know how and where to find sponsors for people like this?

    Thank you in advance for your help.
    hate to say this - but she needs to offer a plan to make it commercially benifical to the sponsor
    in other words if she was any good they would have picked her out on the shows shes doing or the training shes doing or she would be on a programme of selection by proven background of competitions and winnings

    what your saying so far is what most people do and what most people want its a dream and once at the top you have to have the ability to stay at the top and have the fanancial backing

    so i will give you a clue
    what is the person going to offer up in return for the sponsorship''



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 1999
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    South Coast Plaza
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    20,439

    Default

    It's all about the sponsor and the sponson's ROI. That is the most important thing to remember.
    EDDIE WOULD GO



  11. #11
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    Dec. 16, 2003
    Location
    Staunton, VA, USA
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    Default The view from the other side

    I come to this from the other side, and I totally endorse the posters who say that in order to win a sponsorship you need to provide something to the sponsor.

    The best, most lomg lasting relationships work when both sides benefit, so what does the rider propose to the potential sponsor that they would benefit from sponsoring the rider?

    And don't just say publicity, cos I have to tell you that I can buy a lot of pages of advertising for the cost of a sponsored rider and get a lot more eyeballs into my products that way.

    So think in terms of value for money, what value to the company will the sponsored rider bring to the table?
    Yours
    MW
    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
    Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
    New edition of book is out:
    Horse Nutrition Handbook.

    www.knabstruppers4usa.com



  12. #12
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Packing my bags
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Melyni View Post
    I come to this from the other side, and I totally endorse the posters who say that in order to win a sponsorship you need to provide something to the sponsor.

    The best, most lomg lasting relationships work when both sides benefit, so what does the rider propose to the potential sponsor that they would benefit from sponsoring the rider?

    And don't just say publicity, cos I have to tell you that I can buy a lot of pages of advertising for the cost of a sponsored rider and get a lot more eyeballs into my products that way.

    So think in terms of value for money, what value to the company will the sponsored rider bring to the table?
    Yours
    MW
    Well, what can a rider (or cup speed stacker, what ever applies) do for you that a stack of fliers can't do for you? If you care to share some of that....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2007
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Posts
    663

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    Well, what can a rider (or cup speed stacker, what ever applies) do for you that a stack of fliers can't do for you? If you care to share some of that....
    Win gold at the Olympics, that's one thing

    Train the stack of fliers as much as you want, it won't probably be the one holding the medal in the end telling everyone how you helped them and their horse get where they are...



  14. #14
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    Dec. 2, 2002
    Location
    Waterford, VA USA
    Posts
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    Default

    Come up with a business plan detailing how you're going to be a walking advertisement for the sponsor.

    Detail your past successes as well as your future plans for competition, outlining the number of attendants, public exposure, etc. those events typically get. Offer to add the sponsor's logo after your horse's name when showing (check out the top Dutch horses). etc. etc. etc.

    Make yourself familiar with your potential sponsor's business before you approach them so you don't come across as just another request for a donation.

    Be positive!

    Good luck!
    Siegi Belz
    www.stalleuropa.com
    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MILOUTE55 View Post
    Win gold at the Olympics, that's one thing

    Train the stack of fliers as much as you want, it won't probably be the one holding the medal in the end telling everyone how you helped them and their horse get where they are...
    HAHAHAHAHAHA sounds like "days of Thunder'

    "promise me one thing, guys: whatever we do, next year we win Daytona"

    Not to mention, the post race interview, mentioning ALL sponsors....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,196

    Default

    I know your horse and rider (well almost sure I know who you are referring to) and I am shocked you do not have sponsors knocking at your door. FYI I am dying to see them showing together!


    Quote Originally Posted by Marydell View Post
    To dressurpferd01-- no-it is NOT that simple.
    I own such a horse, had such a rider and have an even more well known rider now on that same horse. No one is offering to help with the finances. No one ever has.
    Yes- I had two 7 figure offers on the horse that I turned down, but no "help" to continue his show career.
    Even the riders at the very top get offers "in kind" meaning product for advertising use of the rider's name/endorsement BUT not usually the money nessesary to pay the bills. That is usually the responsibility of the owner or the rider. And I can tell you, at this level, I simply do not have t he income to support this much longer.

    I am currently trying to find those sponsors for my horse/rider who have a legitimate chance of at the very least making the WEG trials. Both the horse and the rider have the credentials already in place- winners both at Grand Prix.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2003
    Location
    Staunton, VA, USA
    Posts
    2,489

    Default On getting a sponsor

    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    Well, what can a rider (or cup speed stacker, what ever applies) do for you that a stack of fliers can't do for you? If you care to share some of that....
    Okay since I get on average 3 applications a week for sponsorship here is my perspective on it.

    All the riders/drivers I have sponsored and continue to sponsor have the following in common;
    They are up beat and positive, they come to me and tell me what they can and will do to present my products in a positive light.
    They offer to conduct course walks, or seminars, or do pony club or 4H talks, wearing the appropriate logo on their clothes (which I provide), and they are educated enough about my products to be able to answer questions, offer a broochure or at least direct interested parties to the website etc.

    They offer to be a public face for my company, with logos on saddle pads, banners hung on stalls at competitions and be an ambassador for the company.
    Of course they all use my products and have taken the time to be educated about them and when and how to use them.

    They work hard to be where they are, but they do not whine, they talk about how lucky they are to able to do what they love most, and they thank their sponsors for the opportunity to do so!

    Now having said all that there are a few things you should be aware of about the sponsorship world.

    Firstly, most sponsorships start with some kind of personal relationship. In my case either they trained a horse for me, or I did a consult, or they used a product, or they were a friend of a friend. It really does help to get out and about and meet people.
    I did once respond to a written application because it was well written, correctly spelled, and asked for specific help for a specific competition, in short the applicant had done her homework and had made a really good impression on me.
    So look around amongst the people you know and have had dealings with, such as who runs a company that could benefit from exposure? Of course it helps if their product is used within the horse community.

    Not all sponsorships are open ended arrangements, I once helped a rider who was trying for the Pan AM games, we helped her with show entries and hotel bills as well as with product, she didn't make the cut for the team, but that was fine because she still put up the banner and still spoke publicly thanking us and endorsing our products. So it isn't always a matter of only the winners get it.


    Sponsors like to think that their contributions will make an appreciable difference, both to the competitors performance and also to the competitors opportunities. SO make sure you thank people who donate as much and as often as you can, and be specific, when you write in, tell them how you did and what you need and the difference that it could make. And write and tell them afterwards how you did and how much their contribution helped. At the end of the day, there will be another competition, so even if you didn't win this one, you will probably want help with the next one.

    Even if you have not (yet) won a sponsorship for your self you can help improve the chances for others by making a note of who sponsors a rider, then calling/faxing/emailing the company, tell them that you saw their logo on so-and-so's trailer, saddle pad, stall and thank them for supporting a competitor your sport, ask for a brochure of their products. You don't have to actually buy anything, just getting public responses to an ad campaign (which is what sponsorship is) will quicken the heart of any ad manager, if they think that sponsored riders get noticed and it gets eyeballs on their stuff then they will think more positively the next time someone asks, and that someone might be you!

    By the same token, if you win a prize (or even just compete) at a sponsored event, write/fax/email/call the sponsoring company and thank them, that way they know that the sponsorship was an effective way to get positive publicity for them. Then they are more likely to pony up the next time they are asked.

    Humility is a huge asset for an aspiring competitor who wants sponsorship, thanking your support group at every opportunity, saying things like "I would not be here if it was not for them", helps.

    If you are lucky enough to win a sponsorship be appreciative, thank them and keep thanking them publicly. Be a good sportsman, and be humble it really does give a far better impression. A classic example of how to be a humble sponsorable rider is Lucinda Green, the 3 day event rider. She always thanks her sponsors and is always helpful and thoughtful. She helps other younger riders, she is courteous, attentive and positive. Companies love to support riders like Lucinda because she is an asset to her sport.

    Above all, do not cop an attitude, or be negative, realize that everyone else is struggling as well, and try to be clued in as to how the whole thing operates so you are aware of your place in the microcosm that is the world of horse sports. Keep asking (with a smile) and keep knocking on doors. One day through sheer persistence you will get there.


    Hope this helps
    Yours
    MW
    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
    Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
    New edition of book is out:
    Horse Nutrition Handbook.

    www.knabstruppers4usa.com



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2002
    Posts
    1,312

    Default So helpful and positive

    Melyni, thank you so much for your informative post. You are very encouraging and make it seem as though a mere mortal can indeed get a sponsorship. I am neither sponsored or a sponsor, but I feel there has to be a somewhat symbiotic relationship between the parties. The rider definitely has to give something back, either gaining business for the sponsor or what have you. Thank you to those of you who do sponsor are giving wonderful opportunities to riders and help keep the sport alive.

    What are the thoughts on sponsoring para-equestrians? Would companies have any interest in this or are they looking more toward "main stream" dressage?


    Quote Originally Posted by Melyni View Post
    Okay since I get on average 3 applications a week for sponsorship here is my perspective on it.

    All the riders/drivers I have sponsored and continue to sponsor have the following in common;
    They are up beat and positive, they come to me and tell me what they can and will do to present my products in a positive light.
    They offer to conduct course walks, or seminars, or do pony club or 4H talks, wearing the appropriate logo on their clothes (which I provide), and they are educated enough about my products to be able to answer questions, offer a broochure or at least direct interested parties to the website etc.

    They offer to be a public face for my company, with logos on saddle pads, banners hung on stalls at competitions and be an ambassador for the company.
    Of course they all use my products and have taken the time to be educated about them and when and how to use them.

    They work hard to be where they are, but they do not whine, they talk about how lucky they are to able to do what they love most, and they thank their sponsors for the opportunity to do so!

    Now having said all that there are a few things you should be aware of about the sponsorship world.

    Firstly, most sponsorships start with some kind of personal relationship. In my case either they trained a horse for me, or I did a consult, or they used a product, or they were a friend of a friend. It really does help to get out and about and meet people.
    I did once respond to a written application because it was well written, correctly spelled, and asked for specific help for a specific competition, in short the applicant had done her homework and had made a really good impression on me.
    So look around amongst the people you know and have had dealings with, such as who runs a company that could benefit from exposure? Of course it helps if their product is used within the horse community.

    Not all sponsorships are open ended arrangements, I once helped a rider who was trying for the Pan AM games, we helped her with show entries and hotel bills as well as with product, she didn't make the cut for the team, but that was fine because she still put up the banner and still spoke publicly thanking us and endorsing our products. So it isn't always a matter of only the winners get it.


    Sponsors like to think that their contributions will make an appreciable difference, both to the competitors performance and also to the competitors opportunities. SO make sure you thank people who donate as much and as often as you can, and be specific, when you write in, tell them how you did and what you need and the difference that it could make. And write and tell them afterwards how you did and how much their contribution helped. At the end of the day, there will be another competition, so even if you didn't win this one, you will probably want help with the next one.

    Even if you have not (yet) won a sponsorship for your self you can help improve the chances for others by making a note of who sponsors a rider, then calling/faxing/emailing the company, tell them that you saw their logo on so-and-so's trailer, saddle pad, stall and thank them for supporting a competitor your sport, ask for a brochure of their products. You don't have to actually buy anything, just getting public responses to an ad campaign (which is what sponsorship is) will quicken the heart of any ad manager, if they think that sponsored riders get noticed and it gets eyeballs on their stuff then they will think more positively the next time someone asks, and that someone might be you!

    By the same token, if you win a prize (or even just compete) at a sponsored event, write/fax/email/call the sponsoring company and thank them, that way they know that the sponsorship was an effective way to get positive publicity for them. Then they are more likely to pony up the next time they are asked.

    Humility is a huge asset for an aspiring competitor who wants sponsorship, thanking your support group at every opportunity, saying things like "I would not be here if it was not for them", helps.

    If you are lucky enough to win a sponsorship be appreciative, thank them and keep thanking them publicly. Be a good sportsman, and be humble it really does give a far better impression. A classic example of how to be a humble sponsorable rider is Lucinda Green, the 3 day event rider. She always thanks her sponsors and is always helpful and thoughtful. She helps other younger riders, she is courteous, attentive and positive. Companies love to support riders like Lucinda because she is an asset to her sport.

    Above all, do not cop an attitude, or be negative, realize that everyone else is struggling as well, and try to be clued in as to how the whole thing operates so you are aware of your place in the microcosm that is the world of horse sports. Keep asking (with a smile) and keep knocking on doors. One day through sheer persistence you will get there.


    Hope this helps
    Yours
    MW
    Beth



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2003
    Location
    Staunton, VA, USA
    Posts
    2,489

    Default Sponsorship for Para-equestrians

    Quote Originally Posted by Invite View Post
    Melyni, thank you so much for your informative post. You are very encouraging and make it seem as though a mere mortal can indeed get a sponsorship. I am neither sponsored or a sponsor, but I feel there has to be a somewhat symbiotic relationship between the parties. The rider definitely has to give something back, either gaining business for the sponsor or what have you. Thank you to those of you who do sponsor are giving wonderful opportunities to riders and help keep the sport alive.

    What are the thoughts on sponsoring para-equestrians? Would companies have any interest in this or are they looking more toward "main stream" dressage?
    Not at all, companies like to think that their money "makes a difference" and helping persons with disabilities is a huge favourite. I would say that Para equestrians actually have an advantage over able bodied riders in this respect, since they are overcoming greater odds.
    I support a Theraputic Program myself and it has the priority for money when times are tight. So definitely I'd say go for it.
    Yours
    MW
    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
    Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
    New edition of book is out:
    Horse Nutrition Handbook.

    www.knabstruppers4usa.com



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 1999
    Location
    South Coast Plaza
    Posts
    20,439

    Default

    I have long suggested that those looking for sponsorship do research with to see what the European riders do in their approach to sponsorship. Have already posted lots in more detail many times here, so do some searches, but look at riders like Piet Raijmakers, the Van Silfhout family, some of the English eventers etc and see what they give to the sponsors in exchange for monthly $ stipends, etc.
    EDDIE WOULD GO



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