Every up and coming player in disc golf wants to be sponsored. I understand, it’s cool to be a “sponsored” player. Maybe you just absolutely love a certain brand and want to be on their team. I get it, that’s understandable. There are some perks involved and you have a small something to add to your disc golf resume. You’ve made it on some level, you’re sponsored. You’re a step ahead of those non sponsored peasants, right? This question came up in conversation and it made me think considerably about the answer. Why should Joe Blow be sponsored if he just plays tournaments statewide and is 940 rated?
With some exceptions, he shouldn’t. Let me explain my thinking.
Once you’ve played disc golf long enough and played competitively in tournaments you begin to think about how to get sponsored. Brands and manufacturers always seek out the Joe Blows of disc golf to join their street team. Remember the Salient Squad? Good times. Looking from a manufacture or brand perspective it makes total sense to sign little Joey to the street team. He will tell anyone who will listen that he only throws “brand x” and that he’s sponsored and he will give you a discount code to buy “brand x”. And when you have dozens ( or hundreds if you’re Lone Star Discs) of Joey’s signed to your street team, that is a lot of promotion for very little cost. Throw out a few free discs and one time 50% off code and you got yourself a local marketing machine on the cheap! It makes total sense for brands to create and sustain street teams. If I was them, I would do it too! But what is Joey getting?
Joey gets discounted discs. Maybe a few free ones. Maybe a piece of apparel. Joey also gets to claim he’s “sponsored”. That’s it. Joey will now undergo the process of learning some new discs, maybe make some content about Brand X and will only throw Brand X for the season. Joey may have REALLY liked his previous approach putter, but Brand X is what has to use now. If that is enough for you, than go kill it this season! If you’re wondering what else is there….
I hear you. If I’m saying it’s not that great to be sponsored by a brand, what do I think Joey should do? Shop Local.
Find some local sponsorships. Local businesses that could benefit from helping you out. Here is a list of ideas for finding local sponsors. Introduce yourself and run through some ideas and maybe work out a deal.
- Local Disc Golf Stores – Pretty self explanatory. Maybe secure some free plastic for shout outs during awards and mentions on social media. Keep in mind, this would be plastic you already know and like! An open bag!
- Screen-printing companies – Maybe snag some free apparel with their logo as well as other sponsors printed on it.
- Local shoes stores – A nice pair of discs golf shoes for the season. Maybe do a video review of the shoes and mention the place that hooked you up?
There are many local places you frequent. Maybe you’re a regular and you know the management or owners fairly well. Try to secure some entry fees for your tournaments and offer some exposure in return. Be creative, be confident in yourself and be prepared.
- Know your schedule for the season.
- Ensure you’re posting on social media regularly
- If you do videos, be consistent and mention your sponsors.
- Stop back by and keep them updated on finishes, highlights or content you’ve promoted them in.
Disc golf is growing and growing fast. There will always be a street team to try and join and if that is you’re thing, than go for it! I’m not being a hater by any means. Player should do what makes them happy. However, I think there is a lot to the idea of finding locally owned business to promote and help support your disc golf venture. They’re out there, go find them!