Not that long ago, the UFC forced all of the fighters on its roster to wear the REEBOK shorts – as the general sponsor of the UFC. Before that, the fighters were allowed to pick their own sponsors – and the UFC’s decision to forbid that was not taken lightly by the fighters. This is to show just how important sponsorship deals are to the fighters. If you too are an up-and-coming MMA athlete, then chances are that you’re interested in getting bigger and better sponsorship deals. Read the rest of this article in order to learn how to get better sponsors yourself.
The power of social media
If there is one thing that can immediately help you out in finding sponsorship deals – it’s having a well-built social media presence. If you have a big following on social media and if you interact with your followers – then chances are that you will be noticed by the sponsorship companies. It’s also highly likely that you will be offered a sponsorship deal. So, give your best to establish yourself on the social networks as an up and coming MMA prospect.
Sign with a brand that you would truly endorse
Many athletes make the mistake of endorsing sponsors that they aren’t really fond of, solely for the money. While the money is usually the most important thing to go for when it comes to sponsorship deals – the athletes should never underestimate the importance of staying congruent to their ideals – and not selling out. This can backfire and in the end the athletes may lose both fans and sponsors.
Work your butt off on the mats and off them
If you do the work that’s required of you – then you will reap the rewards. Social media and brand selection are all important – but don’t forget the core reason as to why you will be getting sponsorship deals – your fighting prowess. That being said, make sure that you’re an exciting and successful fighter to watch in the ring. People love an exciting fighter – and, guess what, so do potential sponsors.
Create your own marketable personality
One perfect example of this rule is UFC’s Colby Covington. Colby’s career was going downhill back in the day when he was a down to earth dude, willing to just train and fight – and despite the fact that he won fights. To turn things around – he said “All you Brazilians are a bunch of filthy animals and you suck” to a sellout Brazilian crowd, after he won his fight. This served to turn around his career and he began to get sponsorship deals and better fights – which culminated in his fight against the welterweight champion – Kamaru Usman. This is not to say that you should be derogatory towards anyone – but feel free to experiment with your character and add things here and there that you think are marketable.
So, if you follow the advice from above, you will definitely see some improvements in your sponsorship portfolio. But in the end, it’s all about the success that you show when fighting. Do that – and the huge sponsorship deals will fall in line naturally, without you needing to do anything about it.