Every month, wakeboard sponsorship requests hit our inbox. With social media playing such a huge role in wakeboard sponsorship these days, we wanted to share 5 keys to help you make the most of your hunt for wakeboard sponsorship in 2019.

1. You don’t need a big bag of tricks. Work on making your trick look good.

It could be as simple as grabbing a trick in an unexpected way. Maybe 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 riding styles that can make you stand out amongst your peers. You can do that by studying past rider’s video parts. In short, focus on quality and not quantity. Study other great riders and tricks you find stylish. Work on tricks that offer the unexpected before crossing off the next trick on your list like a gym training session.

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

With today’s news becoming ‘old’ in a matter of hours and social influencers having sway, it’s important to build engagement and trust on a consistent schedule. How do you do that? Focus on shorter edits and utilize live streams to connect in a more impactful and organic way. Shorter form content doesn’t have to highlight wakeboarding. Shake it up a bit with travels outside of wakeboarding, the gear you use, or even your day to day downtime activities. There’s a time and place for higher budget, longer form content. Focus on one thing at a time and increase your engagement. Then build trust around longer term, higher budget projects. 100 engaged followers is better than 10,000 unengaged bot likes on Instagram.

3. Know your value. Exposure isn’t everything in wakeboard sponsorship.

This is a big one. Up until a few years ago brands had little data to rely on in order to gauge the value of a wakeboarder. 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. Nowadays, with magazines struggling and web influencers being all the rage, the marketing landscape has changed. Unfortunately, this has also turned into how many likes a post generates or followers a profile has. Quantity of followers or likes aren’t much better than before. However, certain web analytics can help guide you to a more desirable outcome for everyone. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say a sponsored rider is endorsing a signature product on a 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. They could track site visitors and see if an online purchase was referred by a sponsored rider’s network. 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 a wakeboarding career (even make an above average living). Wakeboarding can offer visits to unexpected places, new people, and new skills. Getting to experience adventure at a younger age sets you up for success in the future. The most successful pro riders of the past transitioned their career this way. Wakeboarding became the launch point to explore new creative outlets, launch new brands, or work for another brand.  Thankfully, we’re seeing this more regularly now. Pro riders can control the creative direction and highlight their  perspective and love for riding sideways. Pro riders becoming accomplished photographers, videographers, even brands in their own right. Creativity outside of wakeboarding is just as important as creativity in your riding. 

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 (yea 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 with cool, stylish riders. These brands ultimately provide the money to back the marketing projects of the publishers. Riders are essential parts in this process. 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 for content production. So as I listed above, focus on cool, stylish tricks while establishing transparency and trust with your crew. With all the resources available today, there is no clear distinction between producer/publisher and sponsored rider when it comes to content production.

So how do you find the right 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 will pay you 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.

Wakeboard Sponsorship