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How to become a sponsored Rock Climbing athlete

How to become a sponsored Rock Climbing athlete

Want to know how to become a sponsored climbing athlete?

Our favorite big-name athletes all have sponsors who help them cover training costs and put more money into their pockets. In fact, many high-level athletes in any sport rely on sponsorship as their primary source of income.  

The ability to receive sponsorship is not just for the best of the best. Sponsorships are an option for athletes of any level, from the most prestigious events all the way down to a local gym competition.

An often misunderstood aspect of sponsorships is that an athlete is usually under the impression that a sponsorship is reserved only for athletes as a reward for their hard work. That they earn sponsorships through hard-fought battles, and businesses pay them for their hard work at their sport. This is a misconception. Another misconception is that the fitness company that sponsors the athlete does so because they want their logo on TV or in front of countless spectators. This is not correct either. So what does the fitness business that sponsors athletes want? A return on their investment.

Large international companies and small mom-and-pop businesses both want the same thing, to grow and gain a more extensive customer base. To be willing to make an investment that grows their customer base, the return must be greater than the investment the company makes. If a significant fitness brand sponsors a climbing athlete at the top level, let's say for $10,000. The company expects that athletes to generate more than $10,000 in revenue. The expectation is typically double the investment. At the same time, if a local mom and pop store sponsors a local athlete for $500, they expect to receive a return of $1,000 or more.

It is important to remember this a logo on a shirt does not increase the business value or gain a fitness business revenue. If they did, politicians would have logos all over their suits. A logo on a shirt is not a sponsorship. It is only a representation of the businesses you agreed to represent. A shirt logo is the least financially valuable aspect of the agreement.

As the athlete seeking sponsorships, you have to show that the value you can bring to these businesses is greater than the financial value you are requesting. Walking into a fitness related business and asking for money to be sponsored without a plan on how you will ensure the company receives an increase on the money-back than they give you is a guarantee that you will not only not get this sponsor today, but now you have shown them they do not want to sponsor you in the future.

Before you approach a business for sponsorship, whether it is a large international corporation or a small business in your local community, you have to have already a detailed plan on how they will receive an RIO before you contact them.

Before you contact sponsors, you must already have the below questions answered:

  • How will they receive a return on investment?
  • How many people will you get their product in front of BEFORE the event?
  • How will you market their business on social media?
  • How many followers do I have on social media?
  • Even more important, what is my engagement rate on social media? (having 10k followers is useless if you have low engagement.)
  • How will you represent them AT the event? As we discussed earlier, a logo on a shirt has zero value.
  • How will you represent them AFTER the event?

Most consider the sponsorship contract to be completed once the event is over. That could be true if you did not value the sponsorship and did not want to contact the same business for the opportunity again. However, if you want a continuing relationship, you will want to go above and beyond to delight the sponsoring company by doing more than the contract stated. Showing your long-term value can help you get long-term sponsorships beyond just a single event.

If you are an athlete that has worked with sponsors or is currently looking for sponsorship, we at can help. When you create your profile on our site, you can select if you are looking to help add value to fitness businesses looking for athletes to help grow their brands. Creating your profile and selecting these options will show fitness businesses worldwide that they have the potential to be a valuable asset to their growth. Create your profile today to start increasing your visibility and income.

If you are hosting a fitness event and would like to learn how to find sponsors for it, click here.