The potential for athletes to acquire sponsorship, extends far beyond the often narrow focus of simply attaining financial support. Adding an element of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, sparks endless possibilities for athletes to use their story as a channel of connecting with other pursuits. Making creative connections can in turn build mutually benefiting relationships.
National team pentathlete Joshua Riker-Fox, has a unique and creative sponsor relationship with Canadian artist Real Fourneir. Joshua, uses the less tangible elements of sport, such as personal development and passion, as a way to connect with similar investments Real, makes through art.
For every financial sponsor that Joshua receives, Real will donate an original painting to the sponsor, worth the same value. Real and Joshua, have combined their individual passions to fuel each others successes. After a discussion with Real, he shared that he initially became involved with athletes when he was asked to donated his artwork to fundraisers for various teams and athletes. Since then, Real’s contributions have grown into long-term partnerships, like the one he shares with Joshua.
“I have always loved to help people with strong commitment. When I was young I coached myself and raised money for all my volleyball teams, so I relate to the team effort required. My wife Linda and I are very grateful toward these athletes, to be part of their journeys” – artist Real Fournier
Finding common ground with others provides a unique opportunity to secure sponsorship extending far beyond direct financial contributions. Developing relationships like Real and Joshua’s, initiates a dynamic means of sharing your athletic story and brand, while connecting with other community projects.
As sponsorship professional Jacynthe Simard expressed in her post on contacting potential sponsors, do your research, engage in your community, and continually develop contacts as they could become future sponsors. Finding a unique way to express your value, so sponsors can see the benefit of investing in you, will increase the chance of landing a successful partnership. Real has found an avenue to share his art in a way that benefits not only his endeavors as an artist, but supports Joshua’s pursuit as an athlete.
There is no limit to the type of sponsorship athletes can pursue! Make contacts and add an element of creativity when pitching your story to potential sponsors.
Do you have a unique sponsorship story? We would like to hear how you have creatively shared your athletic story to connected with sponsors.
Related read: Joshua Riker-Fox’s sponsorship kit, outlining a comprehensive analysis of his athletic expenses and required revenue.