How to Gain a Climbing Sponsorship


Original Post
Mulligan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 120

I was just wondering if anyone had any useful information or tips/ suggestions on how to get a climbing sponsorship. I am not entirely interested in getting a sponsorship, just curious.

AdamB Bunger · · Chattanooga, TN · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,040

Brown-nosing could be a place to start. If that fails, climbing ability is always a good fallback. Oh, wait, you said useful information...

Evan S · · Erie, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 275

Be a really really good climber, and show up a couple pros at the local gym. If there aren't any pros at your local gym, move somewhere that there are. If you're not knocking off high letter 13's with regularity, I doubt anyone is gonna be interested in sponsoring you. Sorry, that's just the world we live in now.

eliclimbs · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 20

Try this article written by Dave Macleod
http://onlineclimbingcoach.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-to-be-sponsored-climber.html

Lee Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2003 · Points: 615

One thing not mentioned in Dave Macleod's article: I used to get gear purchased for me by an aviation company. I already had a good business relationship with them and knew them all very well. I once sent them a couple of pictures of me on a mountain displaying their logo. They started buying me clothes and other gear upon which they embroidered their logo and company name. It was great swag and I never really even asked.

Go to TNF, Patagonia, Marmot etc. websites and take a look at the sponsored climbers on their teams. It should give you a pretty good idea of what level you need to be competent on to gain a sponsorship.

Hank Caylor · · Glenwood Springs, CO · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 200
Evan Simons wrote: If you're not knocking off high letter 13's with regularity, I doubt anyone is gonna be interested in sponsoring you. Sorry, that's just the world we live in now.
Actually, a personality goes a loooong way. Lots of strong dorks can crank hard, but how many can make eye contact, represent a product or even hold a conversation with buyers?

The most popular selling climbing shoe is not for elites, it's for beginners(by a huge margin).
Most cranksters think that underwear hanging out of their jeans and screaming through the blue tape route will work. Sponsors tend to think differently.

Find out how you can most help the sponsor you would like to represent, and give them an upside for you making this happen for them. Just a thought.
Evan S · · Erie, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 275

True, disclaimer: don't ever listen to anything I say, I am completely full of shit and write things absentmindedly while bored at work. Thanks for your understanding.

Also.. climbing for a cause can be a great way. My father has multiple sclerosis and received many sponsorships and lots of gear for climbing big peaks in South America, Alaska, and volcanoes in Mexico. No one gave him rock gear for cragging around Boulder like he still does, and I would not take this approach just to nab swag, but it is a legitimate way to be "sponsored."

Evan S · · Erie, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 275
Evan Simons wrote:, and I would not take this approach just to nab swag,
Sometimes you have to quote yourself to defend yourself. Of course you shouldn't abuse this avenue. I'm a little offended that you even took it that way. Oh, and MS isn't lethal, just horribly debilitating.
Jeremy H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 250

I work for prAna and in the past I worked for Arc'teryx, La Sportiva, and a few others so I have been around a lot of the sponsorship programs. If you really want to get sponsored you have to have a reason for the companies to want you. Do you climb really hard, or head up a climbing program, are you visible in the magazines etc. Once you have an angle you should contact the companies you would like to represent and ask who is in charge of their sponsorship program. Send them an email with your climbing resume and a note of why they should sponsor you. Also a lot of people go to the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City to meet people from the different companies in person. One thing to remember, in this economy one of the first things to get cut from the budget is the lower level sponsorships. Hope this helps.

Good Luck!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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