Sponsorship???

I am not the self selling type. I’d like to think that I do not boast, or exaggerate my skills, abilities or accomplishments. I do what I do because I am driven to do it. Constantly I see holes, places to improve, not perfection in need of reward. Yet I would like to think I am worthy of sponsorship. Not for my race results alone, because I am a professional bike mechanic, a passionate cyclist, a trail advocate, trail builder and maintainer, a true believer in the power of the bicycle as a tool of change, an instrument of joy, an outlet for crazy energy.

I haven’t really tried to get the bike industry to help me much in the past. I’d rather be anonymous, somewhat obscure, self supported, plain clothed. My own person, no debts, no alliances, no butts to kiss. It has worked, but the the thing is I like to race, in fact I just love racing bikes. There is a simple joy in trying so hard, giving everything you have to something you love. For years I have raced and raced and raced. Not every season is great, but I keep getting better, faster, smarter. Now I am really training, staying more focused than ever, yet with it my dreams keep getting bigger and brighter.

After a pretty good season last year and a head full of racing, I thought it was time to get some help from the bike industry. There are limits to what I can do. I work two jobs, I scrape by. Often forgoing races for the lack of money, gear, time. I could do more with some help, this I believe is a simple truth. So I put together a resume. It wasn’t easy for me to do, it really wasn’t. I sent it out. I hoped and dreamed that some folks would actually read it. Maybe see the true nature of a serious and dedicated cyclist in there. Seeking to push limits, inspire others, make a difference.

Tonight I got an e-mail declining my request for sponsorship. Have to admit it is a little heart breaking. I am thin skinned, sensitive and tend to take things personally.  Maybe I’m fooling myself, dreaming of being supported by the very industry I work in. Perhaps I’m a dreaming when I like to think that I could be a benefit in exposure and product testing. Is it time to brag about myself, talk shit about everyone else and create a buzz with such bravado?

Naw, I’ll just keep doing what I do. Race, Ride, Live and Love.

Would like to thank those that do support me and have helped me reach for my dreams, Griggs Orthopedics, Rock N Roll Sports and all my friends, all the near and far away inspirations that keep me wanting more and the Universe for all the challenges that keep it real. Thanks for all you do.   

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4 thoughts on “Sponsorship???

  1. Jefe, I know crap about race sponsorship but a little about marketing and a lot about sales. My relatively uninformed opinion is–
    First, realize you will be rejected far more often than offered some level of sponsorship, and it’s not personal, but just day to day business (I am sure you realize this but just keep banging away)
    Second, I would guess many if not most mid-level sponsorship offers revolve around a mutual contact of some sort. You may already be doing this–but perhaps you could pre-pick a sponsorship target that you WANT to represent. Some company or product you can proudly stand by. And then find your network link to said target. Small world in the bike industry—I am sure you already know someone who knows someone who works at/for your target etc etc.
    And once you find that network link work thru them to personally invite a review your resume and politely but firmly push for a phone interview. Make it personal–Let any and all see your passion and excitement about what you do and how perhaps a link can be made to your target’s company/product’s.

    • Marshall thanks so much for reading!!! So Honored! I read your Tour Divide Blog daily back in 2011 getting ready for the race can’t say enough about how much it helped me prepare. Really enjoyed your thoughts, demeanor, etc.
      I don’t crap about sponsorship either. Never really had any. I do get help from my bike shop and my Team, but not free product. I tend to wear stuff out, break bikes, etc. I raced a ton this summer did pretty ok, would like to race even more. But I went broke doing it. I think with a little help I could do even better. That’s my reasoning for trying this avenue….
      I like your ideas. Will ponder them some more.
      Thanks again for reading, truly honored!
      Jefe

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