And the form read:
“By completing and signing this form, I acknowledge that I am a sponsored shooter of a local archery pro shop/store or that I am a sponsored shooter of an archery manufacturer.” Well, that won’t work for me.
There are a lot of archers that I compete with who have layers of manufacturers’ support. Just the other day a buddy of mine posted on Facebook that he is a factory sponsored archer. The company he now represents gave him a shinny new bow. He’s free to fill out all sorts of forms to gain additional discounts on equipment.
Once, I asked a bow shop if I could be one of their shooters. There was a meeting, we talked, hands were shaken, backs slapped and compliments exchanged. The shop owner agreed to make me one of his bow shop sponsored athletes. A fancy bowling shirt with my name displayed was practically in the mail. In return I promoted the shop, sung the owner praises, and wrote about his glory.
Aside from that one meeting I never heard another word from that shop unless I happened to be there with money to spend. The fancy shirt never materialized. I suppose one needs to be truly an elite archer to don the shirt of glory and marketing. Apparently, the top shop, its heroic owner and the associated bow company providing equipment had second thoughts about yours truly.
Sure, I’ve played the gather a sponsor game and even collected a few. They never amounted to anything real so I thanked them all and said goodbye.
I am now discount free, I’m a full price man. Thankfully, archery is a whole lot less expensive than triathlon or cycling.
Sponsorships are nice when they’re real. It is great to feel like you’re part of something. Of course, you’re willing to contribute, but before you sign any dotted line, make certain the benefit and detriment are mutual. Otherwise, you really are just another customer.