You'll never guess what's one of the most common question backpackers ask me. It's not a gear question or a food question or my favorite place to backpack. It's "How do you get sponsors?"
So to help answer that, I'll paraphrase JFK...
Ask not what sponsors can do for you, ask what you can do for your sponsors
The CEO of GoLite said that I was the first person to ever send him a sponsorship proposal with the section called "ROI" (Return On Investment). That shows that often times people don't consider that companies want to get something out of the experience beyond just the feeling that they're helping someone who needs help.
That's normal: most people don't toss money to beggars, but are more likely to give to street musicians who are providing a service (i.e., entertainment). When you seek sponsors, don't be a beggar - offer something in return for the donation.
Write a 1-3 page proposal. In your proposal, try to answer these questions:
Four more points about getting sponsorship
Getting sponsorship isn’t as glamorous as you might imagine, but it’s still an honor, assuming you love the company that is sponsoring you. It’s also not easy to obtain, so be persistent, start with the small companies first, and then as your accomplishments increase, go after the big companies. Good luck!
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