Was it a struggle getting sponsored?
I wouldn’t call it a struggle but it’s definitely not easy to get sponsored. Obviously you need to be an active & successful competitor, but I think the most important thing to do is to stay active on social networking outlets (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook) and build your own personal identity that attracts brands & companies. Make the company want to be apart of your journey.
Can you tell us how you went about getting sponsored? Did they approach you or did you approach them?
Basically I found brands who created products that I liked and supported and I started to build a connection with the owners. Some I actually met in person and others I stayed in contact with via the internet. I never actually asked for any of my sponsorships as I was lucky enough to build solid relationships beforehand and then the companies invited me onto their team.
What was the process like when getting sponsored?
I think the beginning of the process starts with creating a relationship with the owner of the company you’re trying to become sponsored by or somehow attracting their attention. Once you have their attention, you need to prove that you are worthy of their sponsorship. This can be done by winning tournaments, creating a fanbase, staying active on social media, etc. If you feel like you are worthy enough for a sponsorship, I think you can then ask in a professional manner. Send them an e-mail or message that clearly states what you can offer them, what you plan to achieve, and what you expect from them. If it’s meant to be it’ll work itself out.
What was the hardest part?
The hardest part when dealing with sponsors is making sure that you keep the relationship professional. If you become too friendly and personal with a company, talking “business” could get difficult.
With the knowledge of sponsorships you have now, what would you go back and change when applying for one?
There’s not much I would change when looking back at my sponsorships. I’ve been extremely lucky with Moya Brand, Gi-Soap, & Sambazon. They understand my goals and have been awesome in helping me achieve them. If I could offer any piece of advice, I’d recommend that you and the sponsor agree 100% on what you expect from them and what they expect from you before you accept their offer. Have everything talked about so there is no confusion down the road. Also I’d like to add don’t sell yourself short. Only entertain offers from companies that you support and you know that’ll be able help you achieve your goals.
Was it difficult getting sponsored?
I think as far as getting sponsored I never really tried hard or was that guy that always asked and asked for an opportunity to get sponsored. I think if you work hard people see it and if they like to sponsor you it works.
How did you go about your sponsorship?
My sponsor right now is Storm Kimonos. I met the main guy Dean at the IBJJF Long Beach Spring Open in 2012 they had a booth for my professor Andre Galvao and also the Mendes Bros. We met each other there after I fought. And then we started talking more when he stopped by the academy sometime after.
What was the process like? Were there contracts or a verbal agreement?
They pretty much gave me a contract what I was gonna get and what they expected, and that was pretty much the entire process haha.
What was the hardest part about the contract?
There’s not really a hard part just about coming to an agreement and making sure both sides are happy
If you could go back and do it again, would you change anything you’ve done in regards to getting sponsored?
I wouldn’t change anything really.
How long have you been sponsored?
A year or so.
You feel like your sponsorship came because of your tournament results?
Yeah at first there were few who helped me.
How is being sponsored, do you have many obligations to fulfill?
I think not. My only obligation is to train more firmly to get good results and hence popularize the brand that supports me.
Was the sponsorship process difficult?
Yes, to get a good sponsorship it is very grating, but I thank God today I can say I live Jiu Jitsu.
Did they approach you or you approach them?
Actually they were the ones who approached me after my brother and I won the Worlds last year.
What is the hardest part of being sponsored?
I think there is no hard part … As I said and just keep training and winning competitions to keep the sponsor happy.