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How to get sponsored

 

Obstacle

Even a small mountain bike apparel brand adrift in the South Seas gets its fair share of sponsorship proposals.

None of them offering to sponsor us.

They come from keen individuals heading for stardom, offering to wear our kit for the positive association we will enjoy when they become famous.

Which is great, we like people to follow their dreams. Even if they are delusional, which they mostly are. We know, we had our own bike racing delusions before the last ice age.

Recalling my own trajectory from future champion to ex-bike racer reminds us to be polite when we decline most offers.

But once in a while we get a proposal that kicks off the right way and we pony up.

Thirteen years ago an email arrived that started with the information that the sender already owned a full complement of our products.

Note to future champions: that goes a long way.

And she had been using her Nzo gear on a self-funded downhill racing expedition to Europe.

Respect.

She liked the gear, and wanted to represent. We decided she was good fit, and got on board.

The gravity aspect of her career was pursued to its logical end without world domination, but subsequent world courier championships (arguably more complicated to win than downhill races) fell to her unique mix of bike-riding ability and literally, street smarts.

And she is still our mate.

We can’t put a number on the extra things we sold because of that fairly brief sponsorship arrangement, but we are pretty sure we got positive vibes at the time.

What I am very sure about is that when we get to ride together, like we did all day Sunday, our ex-team member is still in love with bike riding, and does it better than most people, including me.

Blurry photo at the top is our Sunday buddy demonstrating how to tackle an obstacle - blurred on purpose to protect her identity - not just because it was me behind the phone taking the picture.