Every month, wakeboard sponsorship requests hit 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 your hunt for wakeboard sponsorship in 2019.

1. You don’t need a big bag of tricks. Just choose 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 own style. Like Shredtown, find ways to ride off the beaten path and ride with your own style. Spend time thinking about subtle differences in your riding that make you stand out amongst other riders. You can do that by studying past rider’s video parts.

In short, focus on quality and not quantity. Study other great riders  and their stylish tricks. Work on tricks that offer the unexpected before crossing off 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 all wakeboarding either. Keep your audience engaged by showcasing your travels outside of wakeboarding, the gear you use, or even your day to day downtime activities.

There’s a time and place for polished exposure & edits, but utilize the resources of a single social network to increase your engagement with your audience as you build out and plan longer term projects.

Don’t try to build a following in the months or weeks leading up to something you want and / or 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 unengaged bot likes on Instagram.

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

This is a big one. Up until a few years ago brands had little to rely on in order to estimate the value of a wakeboarder. Assessing value and providing incentives around that 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 correct way to gauge a rider’s value? Probably not, but a quick review of what sold and what didn’t was the only way to translate a rider’s ‘value’ to numbers for the company…

Nowadays, companies and riders have a much more concrete way to assess value each brings. Unfortunately, this has turned into how many likes a post generates or followers a profile has. Quantity of followers or likes aren’t much better what was used before influencers were all the rage. However, your audience can help achieve you and your sponsoring company’s goals.  Analytics from the online world can then clarify a much more specific desired outcome. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say a sponsored rider is endorsing a signature product on company’s website. Using a few snippets of tracking code, the brand and sponsored rider can review the volume of traffic this page receives compared to other pages. They could also see where the traffic is flowing from. If a brand were really tech savvy, they could track site visitors and see if a purchase was referred by a sponsored rider.

So, having clearly defined goals using analytics helps with the outcome for both the rider and the sponsoring brand. Success in the relationship doesn’t have to be about making sales either. There are a variety of ways to work together outside of sales. So, having a clearly defined goal allows both the rider and the brand to stay in clear communication about expectations and how to best achieve that.

4. Contribute in ways other than wakeboarding

Yes, wakeboarding is a great creative outlet. That’s what makes it so fun. However, don’t expect to retire off of your wakeboarding career or even make an above average living. The most important aspect wakeboarding can bring a young wakeboarder is adding new experiences in interesting places, meeting new people, and developing new skill sets that elevate your opportunities in the future outside of wakeboarding. Getting to experience this at a younger age than most sets you up for success in the future. This is the chosen route of the most savvy pro riders that transitioned their career successfully. Wakeboarding became the launch point to explore new creative outlets, launch new brands, and forge new relationships.

And thanks to technology, we’re seeing this more regularly now. Pro riders can control the creative direction and highlight their unique perspective and love for riding sideways. 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 stylish pro riders in order to showcase how fun wakeboarding, wakeskating and wakesurfing is. Spreading good vibes. Selling more of what the brands are pushing (yeay capitalism).  This is an essential part of any industry. In order for publishers to support riders and 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 technology in place, it’s easier than ever to produce insightful and valuable content, build your audience, and eventually produce a financial return for yourself and the sponsoring brand. Remember, when you’ve built a sizable, engaged audience the rider holds the power to content production. So as I listed above focus on building your own engaged audience with your own specialized content. With all the resources available today, there is no clear distinction between producer/publisher and sponsored rider when it comes to content.

So how do you find the right sponsorship brand to make a living in wakeboarding?

One possible angle is to look for sponsoring brands outside of wakeboarding that have a product that might be complimentary to wakeboarding or the larger water sports market. Think about how can you partner to promote each other in an organic way. A great example of this is Mitch Bergsma. Mitch has hundreds of thousands of followers and lives a crazy fun life cause he was willing to venture outside of wakeboarding but still make wakeboarding a key part of his content plan.

If you’re wondering how you can get started some of what I’ve outlined above, 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. You can track a bunch of analytics from within your profile or other tracking software like Bit.ly.

Humanoid pays a 20% commission on any sale that occurs through our website. 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.

Start sharing and you might find a custom wakeboard in hand soon enough.

Dorsey Sponsorship