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Thread: What does it mean to be sponsored by someone...

  1. #1
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    Default What does it mean to be sponsored by someone...

    No I am not drinking or on drugs and yes I intentionally started this thread knowing full well there are some harsh opinions out there. I am giving all admins the ability to edit this as necessary - but if its funny make sure I read it before you remove a post .

    This is a sore subject for a lot of guys and one that some guys just arent aware of. I promise to add more to this topic in terms of educating and helping guys look for sponsorship. I encourage any good healthy debate and thoughts - personal attacks are removed and anyone categorizing any angler in a negative light will have their comments deleted.

    Every few weeks there are questions regarding companies that produce fishing jerseys. People are always researching these for various reasons. So here are some thoughts on why some people get bitter over this topic.

    1st Group
    Some times a group like the VA Tech bass club are looking for jerseys to have a common look feel and presentation when fishing tournaments. They also represent the companies that support their efforts. Individual anglers purchase jerseys to represent the people that sponsor them. Remember sponsorship can mean a lot of different things. These usually include some form of the following:
    • Free product
    • Discounts on products
    • Assistance with entry fee's for tournaments
    • Assistance with covering travel expenses for tournaments or fishing shows

    2nd Group
    There is another group of anglers that are willing to promote businesses that they are in no way affiliated with at all - they don't get free products, they don't get help with anything. They purchase jerseys and place logo's on them which represents the brands they fish and like. Some times a bait company may give a club a donation and the club buys shirts or jerseys for each member and their logo may be predominate on that shirt.

    3rd Group
    Some times confused with the 2nd group - but these guys are the patch collectors - they want to come across as a "somebody" in the fishing community. Group 2 and 3 and sometimes group 1 can be hard to distinguish the difference if you dont know the guy. What gets some people worked up is that many guys in group work their butt's off for their sponsors while group 3 wants to pretend they get and do what group 1 does.


    Many people can usually determine if someone is just supporting brands as in the case of group 2 versus those in group 3 - some times its their ego's some times its the way they act towards others. I dont begrudge anyone from buying a fishing jersey and doing what they want - if someone wants to give a brand free advertising then who am I to stop them. To me I take the persons character, willingness to help others and honesty in to consideration - I tend to think some of the pro's who are truly sponsored can be a jerk. The jersey doesnt make the man and neither does a sponsorship.

  2. #2
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    Very well said Striper. You perfectly summed up why we have and wear jerseys. 2011 was the first year that anyone fishing any team tournament (where we all compete against each other to earn points) has to wear a jersey. Our jersey costs averaged around 80 bucks a jersey depending on what style people wanted. Some guys didn't like the idea of having to drop this amount of money to just fish the team tournaments but after the first couple tournaments, it was obvious it makes us look much more professional and promote who sponsors us. In addition, it provides promotion for the team itself and gets awareness out about college fishing and what it is all about. All of the bullet points Striper listed are true as well. The level of sponsorship from the different companies that sponsor us is huge. Some give us discounts on product or help pay travel/tournament expenses while others such as Stick Jacket give us free product, stickers, a banner, etc. JB Customs gives us great discounts on anything they build and are very willing to help anyone create whatever kind of rod they want built. And if you ever see any of us out on the water, come say hey and talk fishing. If you have any questions about any sponsors we have, I know just about everyone on the team will give you an honest opinion about their products because we have team votes on what companies we want to represent, not just lets get as many sponsors as possible even if their product is less than satisfactory.
    Last edited by kickin bass; 02-23-2012 at 04:31 PM.

  3. #3
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    In my case the only jersey I wear is in FOM events. I have bass cat on the jersey just in case we do win and that help covers me for the bass cat incentive bonus bucks. There are a few other things on it just to have stuff. The only reason I do were it is because Jim Sutton does have many legitimate sponsors that he needs to professionally represent. So we need to match as a team. Personally speaking and after having been sponsored by different rod, reel, and bait companies I like the freedom of being able to use any bait, rod and reel combo that suits my fancy anytime I want to. The only reason I would change my position today is for 1. A product I really and very strongly believed in and 2. It came with a substantial monetary value attached to it. What I have found to be true with dealing with sponsors in the past is that I took my commitment, expectations, and responsibility a lot more seriously than the sponsor did. They seemed to be more interested in how much stuff I was going buy in my next order than they were about hearing any ideas for product improvements, long term market share, or any other input from me. So I am happy right were I am.
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper



  4. #4
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    I am in the same boat as Jim, except a Nitro - I wear the Nitor jersey with MotorGuide and Mercury on it during qualifying tournamets for the additional contingency dollars. Feel the same as well about tackle sponsors - Think I'm gonna hold out and wait until they approach me and I'll decide if I want to carry around there name...
    Ranger Z520C Mercury XPS 250

  5. #5
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    I tried to get on Bomber's pro Staff... they said no.... go figure:Swear:
    Crank That Jank!

  6. #6
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    warrenton, virginia
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    Team Dirt is all you will see on my stuff.
    2013 Frog Only Tournament Winner
    2010 Tie for VA-Outdoors Angler of the Year
    2009 Caroline County Rotary Club Tournament Winner
    2007 Tuesday Night Classic Champions
    "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."

  7. #7
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    Brian hit the nail on the head. Way to go Brian.
    Sponsorship is a two way street in which both parties should benefit. The angler works hard representing the company, and the company will uphold theirend of the arrangement. What alot of guys dont understand is how hard the patch collectors make it for the guys that are truely trying to pursue their
    goals and dreams. A fisherman that does everything right has a hard time securing monetary sponsorship's from a company because 10 guys will fly their patches for free. I work hard, and try and fish harder and let the results speak for themselves. Please don't take this message as arrogance, as I have put my time in and continue to put work in.

  8. #8
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    1st I do have a Paycheck Baits and TW sticker on my truck cap... small ones on the rear window... I also do have Daiwa stickers on the 5" panels that do across where the 5" gps units would go in my boat... The truck stickers I put on because I like the stickers and if I am ever in need of help on the road maybe a passing stick would see them an help me? I dunno.... daiwa stickers are because it needed something there so the black panels didn't look so werid as my larger units are on RAM mounts...

    The only way in heck I am accepting a sponsorship from someone is if they literally pay my full expenses... Yes, full expenses... I am not going to pay an entry fee, pay for fuel and travel, fish tx's and hope I do good, and then go to a sports show and stand around and make you money for my discounted rods/reels or baits... I think it's a great position to be in if you own said companies, I think it shows your horrible at making wise fiscal descisions on your own....

    Most of the guys I know who proudly wear the patches, who are actually sponsored, only get discounts but must order a certain amount of goods each year to maintain their sponsorship?? WTF? lol.... Here is a 20% discount, but you must spend $500 a year and then go to sports shows or bps and sell our stuff? lol.... thats like working for negative dollars lol...

    It appears to me a lot of guys think having sponors will help them go pro? I also find humor in guys sending out resumes to get sponsorship... My thoughts are, if you are good enough, they will approach you, and that will get you the best deal...

    In my professional career the jobs I reached out for I didn't get as good of a compensation package... The jobs where they reached out to me, much better compensation packages..

    Basically, it's better to be wanted then to want......

    I also think to many guys try and persue this said "dream"... It's great to love fishing, it's great to have a dream, but realistically fishing pro is tough. I am personal friends with a Elite pro that is starting his 2nd year. He dominated his local scene and still does when he can fish there.... On tour he sucks... It's tough, to much back door assistance.... My friend wasn't a patch pirate. He fished hard, he did good, he financed his own venture.. He also left a $200k+ career as a commodities trader to be living in his truck and sleeping at rest stops because his tent ripped and he cannot afford a new one now.... He lost of his fiance' because he's never home and is super broke... He rarely sees his family... His cellphone even was turned off for a while putting him in a dangerous spot because he has to travel towing so much...

    To me fishing is for fun, it is my life though... I work to fish, I probably never ever will fish to work....

    In closing, they really are ugly shirts. Most of us have to much excessive mass to wear them too, as they are not form flattering. It's also commical as you would gather some rather odd looks in general public with your colorful pizzazie shirts.

    Though I do appreciate it... The patchies give me and my buddies something to giggle at...
    Last edited by Brian; 02-25-2012 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Personal attacks will not be tolerated...

  9. #9
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    I just ordered 3 shirts from the FOM. Only patch on them is the FOM logo. They actually sent me a email to confirm that I wanted them plain. If paid very well, and there are damned few products I would endorse if it somehow limited my fishing options I would allow myself to be sponsored....for pro's who depend on the sponsorships to eat, it makes sense....I have a LKA sticker on the back glass of my truck. That's it. I don't put anything on my vehicle that might cause someone to be motivated to do damage my property.

    I used to snicker at the jerseys then I realized it is the same as wearing a NFL jersey or a NASCAR shirt on the weekends. It is just human nature to want to identify with things you love. So as I sit here at the headquarters of Coke helping drive some business process initiatives to allow them to do some cool new things and last night had dinner at the Atlanta Athletic Club and head off to Germany on Sunday to meet a company we may partner with, I like having the work life balance I have and never want fishing to be a job.
    cheers,
    Steve

    2011/2013 St Jude's Charity Tournament Champion
    Bass East Big Bass Challenge winner of 11-12 and 12-1 hours.


  10. #10
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    One thing not mentioned on here is that MOST logos and patches are trademarked. They take great care on who wears them. For those trying to get sponsors look at step 2. Don't expect anything until you prove your self, ie. giving up a lot of your personal time to promote their product. And last but not least talk with companys whose produce you use. There is an interview process and you better know their product inside and out.

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