Every month, wakeboard sponsorship requests pound our inbox. With social media playing such a significant role in wakeboard sponsorship, we wanted to share 5 key insights to help you make the most of 2019.

1. You don’t need a big bag of tricks. Just a different bag.

It could be as simple as grabbing a trick in an unexpected way, or focusing on only a handful of tricks to make each stand out with your style. Like Shredtown, find ways to ride ‘off the beaten path’. Going big can also highlight subtle differences in your riding that make you stand out amongst other riders. It’s also super helpful to study past rider’s video parts know for going big like Randall Harris, Keith Lyman, or Scott Stewart.

In short, focus on quality and not quantity. Study other riders movements, their trademark style or tricks, and work on tricks that offer something unique before moving to the next trick on your list.

2. Exposure is important for wakeboard sponsorship, consistency is better.

With today’s news becoming ‘old’ in a matter of hours, it’s important to build engagement on a consistent schedule and over a longer time frame.

How do you do that?

Focus on shorter edits and utilize live videos to connect in a more impactful and organic way. Shorter form content doesn’t have to highlight wakeboarding either. Keep it entertaining by showcasing your travels outside of wakeboarding, the gear you use, or even your day to day downtime activities. Consistency of your messaging is expected from larger sponsors like boat companies.

There’s a time and place for polished edits, but utilize the resources social networks have built to increase your engagement and grow your network quicker in between your longer edits.

Don’t try to build a following in the months or weeks leading up to something you want/need to promote. Go where the traffic is and use strategies that work for the long term that build trust. 100 real engaged followers is better than 10,000 software bot likes.

3. Know your value. Exposure isn’t everything.

This is a big one. A few years ago brands only had a few ways to assume the value of a wakeboarder. Assessing value and providing incentives was the traditional way of sponsorship. Was winning contests, producing video parts, or photos in magazines the key to a successful sponsorship? Was this even the right way to gauge a rider’s value? Probably not, but he only way a brand could assess a rider’s value was to review what sold and what didn’t. No one could identify any other way until social networks came into the picture.

Nowadays, companies and riders have a much more concrete way to assess value they each bring to a relationship. At times, this has turned into how many likes a post generates or followers a profile has. These metrics aren’t necessarily any better than before. However, the important key to remember is to understand how to utilize your social following to help achieve both your goals and the sponsoring company’s goals. Social media and analytics can provide much more specific metrics which can identify if both you and the brand are achieving the desired outcomes. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say a sponsored rider is backing an endorsed product on the sponsoring company’s website. Using a few snippets of code, the brand and sponsored rider can review the volume of traffic this page receives. They could also see where the traffic came from. If a brand were really tech savvy, they could install tracking links to see if the potential customer makes a purchase and was referred by any of the pro rider’s social profiles.

So, having defined metrics leads to a more clear summary of responsibilities for both the rider and the sponsoring brand. Success doesn’t have to mean just making sales either. In the end, that’s the brand’s job. There are a variety of creative ways to work together outside of sales. So, having a more detailed set of metrics to rely on brings a more defined goal to the sponsorship.

4. Contribute in ways other than wakeboarding

Yes, wakeboarding is a creative outlet. That’s what makes it so fun. However, don’t expect to retire off of your wakeboarding career. The most important aspect wakeboarding can bring is adding new experiences, meeting new people, and developing new skill sets that bring so much more to the table for yourself and sponsoring brands. You get to experience this at a much younger age than most people in this world. This is the chosen route of the most savvy pro riders. Wakeboarding became the launch point to explore new creative outlets, meet new people, launch new brands, and forge new skills.

And thanks to technology, we’re seeing this more regularly now. Pro riders can control the creative direction and highlight their unique perspective of wakeboarding. This could come in many forms. Pro riders becoming accomplished photographers, videographers, even brands in their own right.

Creativity outside of wakeboarding is just as important and creativity in your riding. Find new angles and new perspectives – whether it be with products, photos, videos, or the experiences wakeboarding brings about.

5. Produce your own content and partner with brands outside of wakeboarding.

Publishers need pro riders in order to showcase how fun wakeboarding, wakeskating and wakesurfing is. Spreading good vibes. Sell more of what the brands are pushing (yeay capitalism).  This is an essential part of any industry. In order for publishers to accomplish this, they often need the financial support from larger sponsoring brands. These brands ultimately provide the money to back the marketing projects of the publishers. Riders are essential pieces in this process, remember that.

With the right team in place, it’s easier than ever to produce insightful and valuable content, grow your audience, and eventually produce a financial return for yourself and the sponsoring brand. The key to this is understanding that if you have the right team in place and an audience, the rider holds the power to producing content and not the other way around. So as I listed above focus on building your own audience with your own unique content. With all the online resources available today, there is no distinction between publishers, brands, and sponsored riders.

Okay, so how do you find the right brands?

Look for brands outside of wakeboarding that have a product that might be complimentary to wakeboarding or the larger water sports market. How can you partner with them to introduce the product into your market. A great example of this is Mitch Bergsma. Mitch has hundreds of thousands of followers and lives a crazy life cause he was willing to venture outside of wakeboarding but still make wakeboarding a key part of his life. Legitimacy comes about with showcasing a unique way of riding that is completely your own.

Want more? Read some of the best tools wakeboarders use.

Getting started with a wakeboard sponsorship.

Create a profile on our website. Navigate to your Share & Shred affiliate area and grab your referral code. Here’s where you can find the referral code:

wakeboard sponsorship referral URL

Share with any of your followers on your Instagram, Facebook, website, or any other social site. We’ll pay you a 20% commission for every buyer you refer to us. All the buyer has to do is click on your referral URL and make a purchase. More details of the program can be found here.

Sell 3 boards or 3 bindings…

You’ll earn enough commission for a brand new wakeboard deck of your choice. We may even make you a custom wakeboard.

Start sharing and set yourself up reeeeeaaaal nice in 2019.

Dorsey Sponsorship

 

 

 

Watch Scott Stewart For The Love Of The Game