At the moment I have no sport affiliations aside from my local club, Ace Apache. Ace Apache is based at the Ace Hardware in Social Circle, Georgia. Primarily, I see the club as a well-coached organization focused on the community youth. There aren’t many adults wearing an Ace Apache logo kit during tournaments aside from the Ace Apache coaches and me.
The younger folks on the team are frequently donning a kit for competition displaying their sponsorship associations. For example, Elite signs many of the younger archers and those athletes wear the Elite apparel during tournaments. Still, the Ace Apache logo uniform is frequently seen on the backs of as yet un-recruited youngsters.
In the past I played the sponsor or “ProStaff” game. That game is a marketing program were adults festered about for discounts on gear. If an adult is selected those quasi-sponsorships require (of me) quarterly reports, booth duty if that selected adult is competing at an event where a sponsor had a booth and devotion to their gear. Much of what a “ProStaff” placement offered sounds like fun. I was happy to agree until the benefit versus detriment became too one sided.
Last year I didn’t make an attempt to regain another year’s worth of discounts. Only one company continued and continues to recruit me as a sponsored athlete. Their offers were too egregious for me to accept.
The persistent potential sponsor is happy to sign me up if I promised to spend X amount of discounted dollars on their gear. There is a discount, but there is also a required dollar amount of which there is no way I’d spend my money. As such I am unaffiliated.
Another sponsor explains in their ‘contract’ I must use their equipment and that is to be the current year’s model. I do use their gear. But I’d have to buy their new gear even though I have their older, perfectly good, gear. There would be a discount.
In some cases it comes down to not what you know rather who you know. Or, in the case of sponsorship, not altogether how well you perform as an athlete in archery but who is your contact within an organization. I don’t know anyone of the insiders who might offer a helping hand.
A friend of mine that does have in inside connection with one of my ex-sponsors and did get a great deal from them. The company, now one of his “sponsors”, loaded him up with nearly $1000.00 (retail) worth of their goods. No purchase required. Sweet!
(You immediately think, “Well, he’s probably better at archery than you are.” Nope.)
Needing some new archery stuff I’ve studied the cost – dang! Since I don’t know anyone on any inside who might help I suppose I’ll have to fester about for a discount.