Whether you are a product or service based business, sponsoring a rider is a great marketing tool and will help to get your name out in to the equestrian world. Some of the orders we receive at Team Equestrian are to kit out sponsored riders and we have put together a bundle based on the most popular items that are sold for this purpose.
Qualities to look for in a sponsored rider/brand ambassador.
If you are going to part with your hard earned cash to give someone something for free, you will need to make sure you will get something in return. What type of person should you be looking for?
Likes your product/service
Active on social media and/or equestrian events
Can offer something in return (photography, introductions to a large number of new customers, a professional service)
Shares your values
Understands the goals and aspirations you have for your business
How to choose a sponsored rider.
Here are some of the ways you can select a sponsored rider
Use a friend, relative or someone from your yard - you already know these people well and they will be really enthusiastic about supporting your business.
Run a social media competition - this can increase your following and you can set certain criteria to make sure your sponsor will be able to support you.
Approach an existing customer - this person has already purchased your product or service so they already like it and support you.
Post in local Facebook groups - finding someone local may save on postage costs and give you an introduction to a local market
Choose someone who regularly engages and supports your social media accounts - are they always commenting on and sharing your posts without asking for anything in return?
When you set up a social media account for a business, be prepared to receive lots and lots of messages from people asking to be sponsored. BE VERY WARY OF THESE!! They will quite often be chancing their luck asking for something for free and you will get very little in return. I have a standard response that I send out to these people "Thank you for your interest, I only support existing customers and supporters of my brand who have engaged with me and shown me over a period of time that they will support me". You could also send them the link to this blog and podcast by Rhea Freeman which may help them with more success in the future.
What should I give my sponsored rider?
As well as providing them with your own products/services, Team Equestrian has put together a bundle for sponsored riders based on the most popular items usually selected by businesses for this purpose. It includes a base layer, saddle cloth and ear bonnets. We will add your logo to both sides of the saddle cloth, on the chest and sleeve of the base layer and on the front panel and ears of the ear bonnet. Both horse and rider will be able to show off your business name for just £80. There are no other costs and your logo will be set up ready for any other items you may need to be embroidered, saving you even more money for the future. You can add more items to this bundle if your budget allows or contact us and let us know what your budget it so that we can put together a bundle to suit.
What to expect in return
You should set out clear expectations with your sponsored riders/brand ambassadors. You may like to put something in writing and include a time period for the agreement or a get out clause for either party. It is reasonable to expect regular social media posts with your social media tagged and your branded clothing worn at events where your name will be seen. Ask your riders for copies of the images they post to social media so that you can post them to your own page and use them for promotional material. If you are sending several items to your sponsored riders/brand ambassadors then it would be helpful to keep a log of this so you can see if each item is promoted by them.
A good partnership between rider and sponsor can be a very rewarding experience for both parties. However, both rider and sponsor should put in equal effort for the maximum benefit.