Why Potential Sponsors Keep Turning You Down

We’ve written previously on how to acquire a sponsor and even how to keep a sponsor happy. Today, we’re going to discuss why the potential sponsors you’re talking to might be telling you “no”. So, without further delay, let’s dive right in.

  1. You’re too focused on yourself

Your request letter is all about the competitions you win. Cool. You win. That LOOK AT MEhonestly is amazing and should be something you tell your potential sponsors about. The problem arises when that’s all you talk about.

As we’ve said before, sponsorship is a two-way street. You’re asking someone to invest in you without giving them a real reason to. They want someone who will grow their brand. Instead of only talking about your awesome list of accomplishments, show them how you can promote them. Tell them about your social media activity, your YouTube channel, the work you’re willing to put in for them. Show why you’re a benefit to them.

  1. You STILL don’t know anything about their products

This one is annoying. When I was running an apparel line, I would get all sorts of sponsorship requests from people who had never bought a single product, or even hit the “like” button on any of the social media my product was on. If you want someone to sponsor you, show that you have a working knowledge 10455096_10204734633939294_3824563536465940696_nof their products. Don’t ask someone just because you saw them on Instagram.

When I started working with Reaction Nutrition, it was because I had already used their products and I liked them. Even had they turned me down, I would have continued to buy their products and recommend them to my friends. They agreed to work with me because it was obvious I wanted their brand to succeed, and I was willing to put in work on their behalf.

  1. You only want to put minimal effort out

Hey, you’re training all the time. Every chance you get, you’re on the mats or in the gym trying to get better. But does your presence alone justify someone in sponsoring you? Do you deserve a sponsorship because you show up to the gym in their gear?

Short answer: no. Long answer: noooooooo. If someone is going to take money from their company and give it to you (whether in the form of cash, tournament entry fees, or gear) you need to do something in return. Just wearing a t-shirt they gave you isn’t nearly enough. You need to be willing to go to shows, run a booth, post on social media, write articles for them, and find ways to make their presence stronger in your sport. The stronger your brand is in the sport, the more they are able to offer sponsorships.


It really boils down to you. If you’re not valuable, there’s no reason to sponsor you. Congratulations on continually winning tournaments. Sadly, even multiple time world champions don’t always get the sponsorships they deserve. You are more than your competition record. If you’re not willing to go beyond that, sponsors don’t really care.

Show that you have influence in your sport’s community, and show how you will leverage that to your sponsor’s advantage.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here