We go off at a bit of a tangent and discuss sponsorship.
We are going off at a tangent this month and talking about darts sponsorship. We figured that with all the practice you had been doing some of you must be thinking it's time to give the BDO or PDC circuit a bash? All joking aside earning a living from darts is a dream for thousands of players but the biggest stumbling block to getting on the road to darting stardom is money!
We have opened our minds as to where to source some advice to achieve this, just as our first piece of advice to you would be to open your minds when it comes to who and how you approach potential sponsors. We have raided the Twitter feed of Brighton Fringe who were advising acts on how to promote themselves. Savethestudent.org were offering advice on CV's and marketingdonut.co.uk on how to gain sponsors.
1. The first thing to get your head around is that any sponsorship is not just about you. You need to work out what the benefits are for the company or person you are looking to for money. Depending on their objectives the reasons can be entirely different. With this in mind start a list of who may be interested and equally importantly why might they be interested.
2. You also need to be clear as to what you are looking for (money, advice, kit) and how the sponsorship will be used after you have secured it. You should also jot down what each sponsor on your hit list can offer you. If you were approaching us for example we could give you all three of the examples. Your local pub for example could only realistically give you the money.
3. Sell Yourself - We get sponsorship requests every week, imagine how many the mainline darts companies receive? So, just like if you were applying for your dream job when you know lots of others will be too, how can you stand out from the crowd?
4. Make the effort to find out who you need to contact in the organisation you are contacting and personalise your email. In your email explain who you are, what your ambitions are on the oche and why sponsoring you could have mutual benefits for the company you are approaching and yourself. Keep it short though.
5. Add a darts CV. There is loads of advice online about writing a CV, you just need to adapt it. Include your details, social media accounts, your darts career so far as well as what you are doing now whilst waiting for your big break. If you want to stand out why not send a link to a video blog that explains who and what you are and where you are hoping to head?
6.Give people time to respond! We get Facebook messages asking for sponsorship. 24 hours later the person messages again with this ??. What does that say about the person requesting sponsorship and why would I want them representing my company?
7. Social Media and Things-Companies will welcome you being active on Facebook or Twitter, but only if it is positive. Companies openly admit that they check out the social media accounts of potential employees, darts sponsors will do the same. Sponsors will have different levels of tolerance but the golden rule is to keep your social media presence professional. If you are looking to be a professional darts player why not start now with how you sell yourself online?
With that in mind, change your sexyjohn180@whoever email address to JohnR180@. Just like mastering darts, it's the small tweaks that can make the difference!