Sponsorship... I bet that 90% of you clicked on a link that you saw somewhere on Facebook saying 'Sponsorship' that brought you to this post. A lot of you probably haven't even heard of my business before now - well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but no, I'm not looking for someone to sponsor. I want to talk about the subject of sponsorship though. 

Whether you are personally sponsored, have applied for sponsorship, are a business who does sponsor,  looking to sponsor someone, a club that has a received sponsorship or are just someone that wonders how it all works - I hope that this is the article for you.

I myself have given thousands of dollars worth of products to clubs over the years. I get at least one email a day asking for donations - as much as I wish that I could say yes to everyone, evidently, I'm not a millionaire and I can't. The idea of sponsorship is business promotion, not just to give away free stuff believe it or not.
For all these thousands of dollars worth of donations, probably to over 50 different events, I have received 4 thank yous after the event. Yes, 4. That's from either the club or the recipient of the prize. One barrel race I sponsored, the recipient even got a photograph printed of herself with my logo photoshopped into it framed, along with a lovely thank you card. Only one Club that I have donated to has sent me a certificate of appreciation. 

This article is not a 'poor me', I don't do it for the thanks, but I do however do it to promote my business. 

Applying for personal sponsorship
Do NOT send a Facebook message saying 'do u sponser'. I think that if I went through my inbox I would have         over 100 message spelt exactly like this.
Learn to spell my business name - it's written everywhere! It's not Bucking Good or Buckinggood 
Make an application that stands out from the rest. When any business advertises for sponsorship opportunities,     trust me, there are going to be hundreds! It's not a 5 minute job to put an application together. I see obtaining               sponsorship as a job, you are their travelling, walking, talking ambassador. Let them know what you can offer them!   I know myself, I give around $1000 worth of product to each member of my team per year. And they work for it, not     only on social media, but how they present themselves, the way they carry themselves in & out of the arena & how       they promote me. I'm very blessed.

I'm going to say that unless you are at a jackpot, almost 100% of the time, the money that you win at any given event is - yep, you guessed it - SPONSORED! Someone gave their hard earned cash over for you to compete for. Thank them. It really is as simple as reading the event program - it will tell you exactly who sponsored your event. If you don't know how to get in contact with them, Google it. A letter or card of appreciation sent in the mail, in my opinion, is always nicest, but even a quick email, call or Facebook message would do the trick. 
Never ever complain about a prize. I've seen it done & it isn't classy. If you're good enough to win an event, you are good enough for people to look up to. We need to be a new generation of competitors who show the next one how to behave and perhaps we will attract more sponsors! Enough said. 

Clubs looking for sponsorship
You're on a committee - you need a pat on the back and a bottle of rum for even signing up for that. I've been there, I've done that. It's HARD work and it seems to never stop. But your sponsors are the only way your events go ahead. 
Set your sponsorship letter out well. I know personally, I like the letters that offer different levels of sponsorship. Ie; Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze each with a corresponding dollar amount. In return, what you will offer us as sponsors. Even things such as a free meal ticket or something that seems trivial to you, can go a long way towards sponsors feeling appreciated. 
Follow up
After the event is over, I know it can be easy to say 'phew, glad that's over!' But a quick thank you letter to sponsors will make them a lot more likely to support you the following year. And make sure that you encourage your members to in turn, support those sponsors & thank them as well. 

I could waffle on for a long time about this issue, as it is something that I am passionate about. I love supporting clubs, but I also love my business. Myself, no matter if I win, lose, or draw, send a letter of thanks to the sponsors because if they didn't support the event, it wouldn't have happened.
So, in short, if you need a new horse rug, think if a rug business sponsored the last draft you went to. 
Win the bullride last week? Send them a letter thanking them for the money they put up that is allowing you to get down the road to the next one. 

Would love to see anyone's comments or thoughts on this and personal experience.
Happy Friday & safe travels to wherever the road is leading you
Sammy x.