12, March, 2019

In my real job I get approached regularly by riders wanting sponsorship. As I am on both sides of the fence, I find it interesting how people go about this. I’ve been extremely fortunate over the years to be sponsored by some great businesses and at times, the amount of sponsorship I have received has far outweighed (in my opinion) my status as a rider. Some of these relationships were for a set time period (as an example I was sponsored by the amazing Windsor Park Stud for my training costs in the lead up to the Olympic selection trials in 2011) but for the most part, these relationships were long term and only concluded when geography put an end to the benefit for both parties or businesses changed hands. So what made these relationships so successful? The key word here is relationship. People buy off people, not businesses. You can have the best product or service in the world, but if the connection is not made, then you won’t sell it.

My early sponsors were my feed company and the stockists of my gear, both of which I had a long-term relationship with as a consumer, long before I approached them for support. They knew me as a loyal customer, someone who truly believed in their product and was already supporting and promoting their brand. It doesn’t matter how successful you are, or what your social media following is, if you aren’t committed to that business already, you’re not going to provide the sort of exposure that a brand needs to increase its market share. Yes, success helps with your exposure and following, but it’s your integrity and passion that makes people believe in you and what you say. I know that when I’m looking for a product to fulfil my need that I’m much more likely to take the recommendation of someone who is passionate than to purchase based on the smiling face of a superstar in a slick advertising campaign where I’m pretty sure that a substantial amount of cash has changed hands. I’ve heard too many stories of people who endorse one brand while in reality using something completely different – even to the point of changing tabs on saddlery. Our own sponsored riders are mostly up and comers, not because we don’t have some very high-profile teams using our product, but because these less established riders have the integrity and drive that fits our philosophy and they also really, truly believe that it works – they’d be promoting it and recommending it, even without our agreement. Just as my current sponsors are a brand I’d support anyway. Keyflow Feeds quite simply produce the best feed available; their commitment to quality and research stands them head and shoulders above anyone else.

In short, if you’re looking for support and sponsorship, take a look around your yard. What are the things you can’t live without? Which businesses do you already have contact with? What can you do to help promote them? Remember people buy off people – look carefully at your outgoing contacts – clients, owners, trainers, friends and of course your social media profile. Our sponsored rider & brand ambassador rotation is currently full, but if you’re going to contact me, know that the first question I will ask is how long you’ve been using Epiitalis Forte gel, how and why you started using it and what results you’ve been having. If you can’t answer these questions, there is no foundation.

A woman putting a saddle on a horse



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