Making it big is every aspiring fighters dream, everyone wants to make it in the UFC.
Mixed Martial Arts is a relatively new extreme sport, having started in the United States in 1993. It has grown massively ever since and is now considered part of mainstream sports.
The first step towards becoming a recognized MMA fighter is getting sponsored.
Here at Die Epic, we will release a multi-part series on how to get sponsored as a mixed martial artist.
There are fundamental aspects towards understanding the process of how to get sponsored in MMA.
A sponsor is a company that supports a fighter through financial means or products in exchange for promotion of a brand or product.
A company can provide workout gear such as mouth pieces, gloves, shin guards, protective cups, head gear; clothing such as shirts, board shorts, rash guards and compression shorts; supplements such as pre-workout prep and post-workout recovery drinks; or pay for training, travel, lodging, food, or other expenses.
In exchange a fighter promotes and represents the company or brand at events such as work outs, press conferences and fights.
The most important thing to remember as a fighter is that fighting and all related activities are YOUR JOB.
TAKE. IT. SERIOUSLY.
This shouldn't even have to be said, just because you don't wear a suit and tie to work doesn't mean you don't have to be professional about it.
A sponsorship is a way of getting paid, so it must be treated as a serious business transaction. If you seem like a joke, you will be treated as one.
Think about it from the company's point of view: Sponsoring a fighter is a risk for a company, the fighter is a representative of their brand: an embarrassing performance or illegal behavior can tarnish a fighters reputation and that of anyone related to them.
A fighter must prove that they are a low risk, high reward investment in order to get sponsored. You are asking for money and assets, make it worth their time.
If your email is email@example.com, no company will take you seriously.
If you provide your phone number, and your answering machine sounds something like: "Yo, Yo, Yo This be yo' main dawg Tristan up in this BIATCH, leave a message MOFO" You are probably not going to get sponsored.
If you are asked to do a follow up interview in person and show up thirty minutes late sweaty from training in a stained tank top and flip flops, you can forget about anyone taking interest in you as an athlete.
Stay tuned to Part 2 of The Big Leagues: Getting sponsored in Mixed Martial Arts where Die Epic will discuss how to seek out, convince and deal with sponsors.