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What it's going to take...


fishing user avatardablaw1 reply : 

After reading through all of these posts on sponsorship wants, I am utterly amazed at the lack of experience by those seeking a sponsor.

Look, I'm not here to slam or degrade anyone at all..I think it is a good, red-blooded American dream for kids to see the professional anglers of today and want to be like them..When I was a kid I had baseball heroes and wanted to be just like them as well..

I also watched Bill Dance,Jimmy Houston,Roland, and the gang and always looked up to them..

I must say though that most of these kids, and let's face it they are kids, that are writing all of this stuff in here is so misguided..Not that there dream isn't wonderful, but to see the same thing over and over is amazing...

Most of these kids are 14-19 or so..on average..I know some are older, but keeping it general here..

At these ages I just wonder who has instilled in them that a major corporate outdoors company would even look at them..

As I look through these, 99% of them are lacking the one most important thing I would be looking for..And that is experience..I'm sure most of the young kids are fine young men, but without a list of consistent wins, top 10 finishes,squeaky clean backgrounds, and a knack for being able to connect with potential buyers of the products they are being sponsored by,I just don't see it happening..

Do any of you youngsters in here really believe that Mr. Van Dam, Mike Iconelli, of any of these other consistent touring pros got where they are by getting sponsored at age 14?

At 14, KVD was wanting to fish and catch fish and be the best he could be...What about Mike I...Same thing..These guys were never worried about being sponsored..They wanted to fish and perfect their craft, as you should want to..

If you stripped all the glitz and glamour from KVD or Ike, and put them in a 14' john boat with a zebco 202, they would still beat 99% of you boys, as well as most of us older guys as well, even if we had the fanciest gear..They can fish, bottom line, and that's what it takes...

If a Nascar driver does not win races at all, and doesn't ever finish well, how long is it going to be before his sponsors drop off the team and the driver is let go..And I'll bet if everyone was honest, you have caught yourself saying "How is that driver even have any sponsors left"..

Case in point is that you can have that 40,000 dollar rig, plastered in a boat wrap and matching truck and "Look" the part..But if your only on the podium to weigh in a few smaller fish every once in a while do you honestly think your going to get any corporate rep. to even look at you..NO..

I'm telling you first hand that unless you get some experience under your belt..Real experience..You know, the kind that comes with age...Then you are being foolish and wasting allot of your time,money,and energy on something that will more than likely not happen..

Like I said at the first of this post, all I want to do is feed these young men a reality check, and hopefully with positive support on here from some of the more experienced anglers, you boys can get through this..

And just so you know, because your probably wondering...No I didn't get burned fishing, and have enjoyed a life long passion for the sport as well as hunting as well.

I'm 44 years old, so although I do not have a world of experience like many of our veteran's in here, I have been around the block a time or two..Now, at 44, if I am able to discern between what is realistic and what is not in the fishing industry, and am willing to admit that I have much to still learn, don't you think that you young men can realize that to be successful in this economy you need to have the experience...Something many of us on here at our ages do not even have yet..

Life lessons are the things that need to come first..If you have a true passion for the sport, then hang tough, and let life teach you the rest..And maybe, just maybe, if you hold the long term desire to stay with it, then in time, and if your truly a good performer in the sport, you can be successful.

A man told me the following one day, while me and him were having an awful day of fishing in a pro-am tournament on Ky. Lake years ago...It was windy and we were having an awful day..

He paused and said:

A pessimist curses the wind...

A optimist waits for the wind to change...

But a realist adjust his sails...

That stuck with me through my whole life..I'm a realist, what, my friends are you?


fishing user avatarGrey Wolf reply : 

Most kids are just ignorant to the facts , some of them will eventually get it.


fishing user avatardablaw1 reply : 

I'm not sure if it's ignorance, or just the fact that most of these kids expectations exceed their skills...Not just fishing skills..But lacking life skills..

I'd be willing to bet that all us guys over 40 would NEVER post anything on a resume like what these kids are..Or for that matter even post a resume...We all know that if you really want to make it to the "Big time" you have to be able to put bass in the boat, and be a good steward and representative of the sport.


fishing user avataretommy28 reply : 

Here is my view of it as someone who will actively look for sponsors and take them if it seems good to me and a fair deal for both sides. I got to college, fish for my college, work 4 days a week. Even with all this it is about the $. I am willing to work for a company I feel strongly about and when it saves me money it makes it even better. So basically, it's all about the money, when it saves me money to do a little work for someone, fishing there lures and being able to fish more often. I feel it is all worth it. but that is just me. Am I saying it makes me a great fisherman because I have sponsor? No, i have a long way to go to be a very good fisherman. Does it really mean any thing about my fishing skill? No. all it means is im willing to work with them.


fishing user avatardablaw1 reply : 

Etommy28 said

"Even with all this it is about the $. I am willing to work for a company I feel strongly about and when it saves me money it makes it even better. So basically, it's all about the money, when it saves me money to do a little work for someone, fishing there lures and being able to fish more often."

After reading this I guess everything I just said fell on deaf ears and was a waste of my time to post.

I do like the fact that you are going to college, and working your way through school..And don't get me wrong, I'd rather have more money than less these days but if that is your main motivation then your missing the big picture.

Sucess has many definitions and many more faces..Just try not to get too wrapped up in money and sponsors that you forget why you are doing this. Good luck.

When I fished tournaments hot and hard years ago, I didn't have logos and sponsorships all over the place and neither did anyone I knew back then..We all fished to win and more importantly to enjoy the competition and being around friends. I saw many a patch laden shirts go home empty handed while the guy on stage with the check just had on a plain t-shirt and shorts..Don't let it rule you..If you are really that good and time is kind to you, you won't have to go looking, it will come to you..I don't know how to explain it in any more direct and simpler terms than that..


fishing user avatarBass_Fanatic reply : 

I understand exactly what you are trying to say, but I also understand what ETOMMY was trying to say.  What use is a sponsorship to me if it doesn't pay me money or products.  Why would I work for a sponsor with no reward?  The reason fishermen get sponsors is to get money.  Now, on the other hand, I dont think that a fisherman should focus solely on getting his sponsor.  I agree that over years of experience and schooling sponsorships will come much easier as you succeed in the fishing industry.  But, even then, the sponsor is there for money purposes.   ;)


fishing user avatardablaw1 reply : 

"The reason fishermen get sponsors is to get money."

Are you serious??? Who has instilled this in your mind..Ask,write,email, or whatever any of the top 50 pro's in the bass fishing industry and ask them what sponsorship means to them...then post your answers and there names here..You boys need a serious reality check..

I need to be more clear...Why does someone need to be concerned about sponsors at a young age, or if you are not a full time angler...If you are a full time angler that has no other income, and relies solely on the income from tournament fishing payday's, then yes, you should try to work towards sponsorships to help out with certain areas of the business. But if you are like 90% of the rest of us that are weekend anglers, anglers that have a limited budget and fish a few here and there, and do not place in the money consistently, then sponsors are really not needed..

What I am taking from all of this is that many younger anglers are putting the cart before the horse..The infatuation that your generation is having with glitz and glamour of sponsorship, as opposed to the rest of us that worry about locating fish and getting them in the boat, is amazing to me..

I have seen this shift in many sports nowadays, the high tech generation relying on everyone else instead of themselves..What ever happened to busting you but and saving money to buy what you need and be self suffiecient?

Although all you younger guys will think I'm just rambling, my generation knows exactly what I'm talking about and has seen this coming for some time as well..

I wonder if you took all the high tech off of your boats, and went out with nothing but a paper map and at most a super sixty to locate drops and structure, could you do it...Do any of you younger guys even know what a super sixty is? Googling it or looking on your iphone doesn't count...

I'm done for now..Time to go shoot some doves..Still use my old 870 I have had since i was a kid, and I reload my own shells...Back to basics boys..back to basics.....


fishing user avataretommy28 reply : 

im not going to argue, I understood exactly what you said. I dont have to agree! if you look back you are not the first person to day this. My whole deal is very simple, I spend a ton of time fishing, and I really dont see the problem with getting sponsor who can help you get to fish more.


fishing user avatarNateFollmer reply : 

I have to agree with tommy on this one. But I'll take this a step further. I treat my 'sponsorships' (which are all field staff positions at the moment, so I don't consider them 'sponsors') like a job. I'm working for a discount for their products. If I promote their product and do well then I get a promotion, just like I would with a job. I don't expect anything free from ANY company I promote because honestly, I don't have a lot to offer them (1 measly website about fishing isn't much to offer a company).

I promote the heck out of Quantum and Strike King and I'm not even affiliated with them in any way. My point is, if you make a good product, I'll promote it. If you want to give me a discount in return, I'm all for it, but if you make a junk product and want me to promote it with the promise of free stuff and all that jazz, forget it.

I will agree with you dablaw that a lot of my generation feel they can just ask for stuff with nothing in return, but I'm sure every generation has their bad apples.


fishing user avatardablaw1 reply : 

Tommy I will say that it seems like you work a little harder than most and I commend you for that..Just try not to forget your passion for fishing and one day pass that along to your kids..I have 3 sons of my own so if I seem like I'm being a pain in the butt with fatherly advice, then I guess I have to take it..My boys are 22,17,and 16 so I'm looking at it from the what I would say to them..You'll understand all this one day..Jeeze I sound like an old fart..

Nate- I feel like you "Get it" more so than most and I admire that..You are not just looking at the world through rose colored glasses and that's a good thing..

But what a mess alot of these kids that are posting in this section are going to be in if there mind set doesn't change..Their going to be in for a rude awakening, and I hate that for them..It hurts to be let down and without a doubt many of these young men will be..

BTW I limited out on doves today in about 30 minutes..O what fun that was...Now if I could just do that with 4 pound largemouths huh...


fishing user avatarNateFollmer reply : 

dablaw I know where you're coming from. I think people just need to make their mistakes. I know I see alot of people trying to get these people to see the industry for how it is, but most of them just won't listen. Sometimes you need to let the kid put their hand on the stove before they learn ;) I wish everyone would be more careful though, especially since we've seen some scammers emerge!


fishing user avatardablaw1 reply : 

Agree X2..One thing I am sitting here wondering...If there were no sponsors and no glitz and glamour, no cameras...just a bunch of guys going out to see who could catch the most fish and win the tournament, would any of the these sponsor seeking kids even show up..I hope more kids read this and not just a few..David in Murray,Ky.


fishing user avatarevrgladesbasser reply : 
  Quote
Agree X2..One thing I am sitting here wondering...If there were no sponsors and no glitz and glamour, no cameras...just a bunch of guys going out to see who could catch the most fish and win the tournament, would any of the these sponsor seeking kids even show up..I hope more kids read this and not just a few..David in Murray,Ky.

Your wasting your time.... anyone under the age of twenty-five can only be reached by text, facebook, or myspace. And everything must be written in slang ( ex: how r u? tru dat), otherwise it will not be fully comprehended.

And if your trying to tell this generation they are not entitled to anything and everything they desire, you will meet much resistance.

Hard work... another dying American tradition.


fishing user avatarBass_Fanatic reply : 

I think I was misunderstood.  I am not arguing the fact that people, or kids, look to sponsors for free stuff without putting in the work first, but I am saying that what good would working for a sponsor be if you got nothing in return.  I am not sponsored, I am not looking for sponsors, and I will probably never be sponsored.  I go out and prefish and then fish tournaments and sponsorships never cross my mind, but if I were to come by a sponsor, I would only take it if it were going to help me out.  Why would I take on more of a workload and not even get entry fees paid or a discount on some products.  Makes no sense.

Now lets put all that behind us...when are we going dove hunting?? ;D


fishing user avatardablaw1 reply : 

I went dove hunting and for 4 days we smoked em..10-15 guys and girls limited out everyday..Now back to this subject even though I suppose were supposed to leave it behind us..

Hey old guys....Anyone seeing a trend here or am I just an idiot???

It's like talking to a wall huh..signed, and old guy too...


fishing user avatarGrey Wolf reply : 
  Quote
I went dove hunting and for 4 days we smoked em..10-15 guys and girls limited out everyday..Now back to this subject even though I suppose were supposed to leave it behind us..

Hey old guys....Anyone seeing a trend here or am I just an idiot???

It's like talking to a wall huh..signed, and old guy too...

You are not an idiot but you are definitely beating your head against the wall on this subject.


fishing user avatarroadwarrior reply : 

If you go back far enough in this section, we have some threads

written by sponsors that explain the whole process in great detail.

Maybe I'll dig a few up and post them again.

"What it's going to take" is a plan, lots of work and some success

interacting with businessmen. Then what about the fishing part?

Every pro I have met became a very good fisherman before they

really focused on the dough. Work on your fishing skills and your

people skills and money will find you!


fishing user avatarCaptain Obvious reply : 
  Quote

Your wasting your time.... anyone under the age of twenty-five can only be reached by text, facebook, or myspace

I'm a young guy under 25 and your reaching me.

I made the mistake of asking for sponsors here a few years ago at the time I had no idea about how it worked.

I have learned a lot and will keep on learning. But I disagree that the top 50 pros don't have sponsors for money. Every interview I've seen the pros always say that sponsors allow them to do what they do.

I agree with RW, worry about the fishing and people skills and sponsors will "find you"(meaning that they might be willing to look at you).

But when they do come don't say "This is not about the money, I love to fish so much I'll just do it for free".

In other words don't plan to make money, but don't turn it down when its offered to you. 

Love of fishing is what makes you get up at 4 in the morning and drive thousands of miles to get to different lakes and then fish for 8 hrs in the freezing cold. Sponsors allow you to do that.Love of fishing doesn't put gas in the tank or food on the table.

Just some thoughts from a human who can't understand anything other than tru dat or h r u. ;)

Capt.O


fishing user avatarhelms83 reply : 

I completely agree with and understand what you are saying David. I'm about to be 27, started bass fishing in '07, and was unable to fish again until this past summer. My focus is solely learning how to fish. Then I want to compete, not for money, but to be the best. I don't care to be sponsored, and have no desire to be.

But I also agree with Tommy. If you're going to do the work, get what you can for it. Just like any job or promotion you receive; it's no different. If it's there, take what you can get.

But I do agree, alot of the younger generation are more worried about sponsors and money without being a 'fisherman.' If the younger generation focused on fishing, sponsorships would naturally come; let them find you, then you get almost anything from them.


fishing user avataretommy28 reply : 

wow, this is a first, people agree with me. yall make it interesting ill be on the water tomorrow and in the woods this weekend. Opening weekend of bow season I love this time of year(minus the high being 95 on sat.)


fishing user avatarCarrington reply : 
  Quote
After reading through all of these posts on sponsorship wants, I am utterly amazed at the lack of experience by those seeking a sponsor.

Look, I'm not here to slam or degrade anyone at all..I think it is a good, red-blooded American dream for kids to see the professional anglers of today and want to be like them..When I was a kid I had baseball heroes and wanted to be just like them as well..

I also watched Bill Dance,Jimmy Houston,Roland, and the gang and always looked up to them..

I must say though that most of these kids, and let's face it they are kids, that are writing all of this stuff in here is so misguided..Not that there dream isn't wonderful, but to see the same thing over and over is amazing...

Most of these kids are 14-19 or so..on average..I know some are older, but keeping it general here..

At these ages I just wonder who has instilled in them that a major corporate outdoors company would even look at them..

As I look through these, 99% of them are lacking the one most important thing I would be looking for..And that is experience..I'm sure most of the young kids are fine young men, but without a list of consistent wins, top 10 finishes,squeaky clean backgrounds, and a knack for being able to connect with potential buyers of the products they are being sponsored by,I just don't see it happening..

Do any of you youngsters in here really believe that Mr. Van Dam, Mike Iconelli, of any of these other consistent touring pros got where they are by getting sponsored at age 14?

At 14, KVD was wanting to fish and catch fish and be the best he could be...What about Mike I...Same thing..These guys were never worried about being sponsored..They wanted to fish and perfect their craft, as you should want to..

If you stripped all the glitz and glamour from KVD or Ike, and put them in a 14' john boat with a zebco 202, they would still beat 99% of you boys, as well as most of us older guys as well, even if we had the fanciest gear..They can fish, bottom line, and that's what it takes...

If a Nascar driver does not win races at all, and doesn't ever finish well, how long is it going to be before his sponsors drop off the team and the driver is let go..And I'll bet if everyone was honest, you have caught yourself saying "How is that driver even have any sponsors left"..

Case in point is that you can have that 40,000 dollar rig, plastered in a boat wrap and matching truck and "Look" the part..But if your only on the podium to weigh in a few smaller fish every once in a while do you honestly think your going to get any corporate rep. to even look at you..NO..

I'm telling you first hand that unless you get some experience under your belt..Real experience..You know, the kind that comes with age...Then you are being foolish and wasting allot of your time,money,and energy on something that will more than likely not happen..

Like I said at the first of this post, all I want to do is feed these young men a reality check, and hopefully with positive support on here from some of the more experienced anglers, you boys can get through this..

And just so you know, because your probably wondering...No I didn't get burned fishing, and have enjoyed a life long passion for the sport as well as hunting as well.

I'm 44 years old, so although I do not have a world of experience like many of our veteran's in here, I have been around the block a time or two..Now, at 44, if I am able to discern between what is realistic and what is not in the fishing industry, and am willing to admit that I have much to still learn, don't you think that you young men can realize that to be successful in this economy you need to have the experience...Something many of us on here at our ages do not even have yet..

Life lessons are the things that need to come first..If you have a true passion for the sport, then hang tough, and let life teach you the rest..And maybe, just maybe, if you hold the long term desire to stay with it, then in time, and if your truly a good performer in the sport, you can be successful.

A man told me the following one day, while me and him were having an awful day of fishing in a pro-am tournament on Ky. Lake years ago...It was windy and we were having an awful day..

He paused and said:

A pessimist curses the wind...

A optimist waits for the wind to change...

But a realist adjust his sails...

That stuck with me through my whole life..I'm a realist, what, my friends are you?

Dale Earnhart Jr?  he never finnishes well lol


fishing user avatarpeters_skeeter reply : 

I'm a 26 year old bass guy that knows nothing about sponsorship or that whole business end. Although I think I know a little about networking and timing, which involves way more than writing down a small list of achievements and a statement of what you can do for a company on a resume. Everybody wants that $100,000 wrap deal that will set them for life so they can tour the country fishing bass tourney's.

My approach to a sponsorship would be to start out small, real small. First get to know the people that you buy your gear from, as a person. Marina's, tackle shops, restaurants, auto parts stores, insurance agency's, people that you interact with every day, not someone you talk to online or on the phone.

Get some wins under your belt locally. Create the network with in that smaller community. Then when the timing is right, approach your "connections" as a way they can further market their business. You should make them feel like you are doing more for them than they are for you!

I meet a guy that some how got a NAPA auto parts store owner to pay for all the entry fee's for his schedule for the year. Not much, but it was a start, and a heck of a good start if you were paying $100 a week for a tourney.

Everybody wants that instant gratification, like you're owed something. Set a statement for who you are and what you represent first, then the rest will come a little easier than just asking for hand outs.


fishing user avatarslonezp reply : 
  Quote
wow, this is a first, people agree with me. yall make it interesting ill be on the water tomorrow and in the woods this weekend. Opening weekend of bow season I love this time of year(minus the high being 95 on sat.)

I'll trade you the 18degrees we have this morning.


fishing user avatarslonezp reply : 
  Quote
If you go back far enough in this section, we have some threads

written by sponsors that explain the whole process in great detail.

Maybe I'll dig a few up and post them again.

"What it's going to take" is a plan, lots of work and some success

interacting with businessmen. Then what about the fishing part?

Every pro I have met became a very good fisherman before they

really focused on the dough. Work on your fishing skills and your

people skills and money will find you!

And if anyone has seen Ike or KVD give a seminar you'll understand that these guys live to fish. The amount of fishing knowledge these "superstars" possess is incredible. There is no substitute for experience.

My 20 year old son also wants to be a pro. OK fine. When it comes to taking every step to become that pro he's a little lazy. I can't count the # of times I hear "Dad, we need sponsors." My response to him is "We need to spend more time on the water. Just being 'in the money' isn't going to cut it. We need to win." It's just an immature mentality and I don't mean that in a derogatary way. He sees a guy we compete against with a 300hp Gambler wrapped and sponsored and wants to be that guy. Well that guy places all the time. It's not the boat that catches fish it's the experience with a little luck thrown in.


fishing user avatarfishfordollars reply : 

Consistently Catch Fish & Place Well

Present yourself Well

Be Humble

Be Able to Move Product If Given The Chance

Your sponsor problems are over.


fishing user avatarDTack reply : 

Work harder.  Want to learn how to become a pro?  Look up Takahiro Omori and that will give you an idea of a path...  Ask yourself if the sacrifices would be worth it.  I'm definitely part of a "younger" generation and I HATE the fact that everyone around me seems to say they "love" this or that they "want" that. 

Work Harder.


fishing user avatarBass Junkie reply : 
  Quote
  Quote
Agree X2..One thing I am sitting here wondering...If there were no sponsors and no glitz and glamour, no cameras...just a bunch of guys going out to see who could catch the most fish and win the tournament, would any of the these sponsor seeking kids even show up..I hope more kids read this and not just a few..David in Murray,Ky.

Your wasting your time.... anyone under the age of twenty-five can only be reached by text, facebook, or myspace. And everything must be written in slang ( ex: how r u? tru dat), otherwise it will not be fully comprehended.

And if your trying to tell this generation they are not entitled to anything and everything they desire, you will meet much resistance.

Hard work... another dying American tradition.

You have a point, but give the kids some credit. I know several young men who work their tails off, every day they have a chance. If they don't have work scheduled, they go find it. They are true, honest, hard workers, and deserve what they get. I'm hoping this isn't just an Ohio thing, and am willing to bet that many young men work just as hard as they do. The reason most don't is that they have things given to them. Just my opinion-

                                                           Bass Junkie

(Bt thy do txt.... LOL)


fishing user avatarfarmpond1 reply : 

I'm jumping on this discussion a little late.

The issue, it seems, is whether a young person should "waste their time" trying to be sponsored when they haven't shown themselves to be "good investments."  Not to fault young people (I was one once) but the fault generally lies in the fantasy that young, inexperienced people will be place in positions of great responsibility (and compensated accordingly) with little or no practical experience or a track record.  It just doesn't work that way.  And it shouldn't.  If I could, I'd borrow the energy and enthusiam of young people and combine it with the experience and wisdom of seasoned veterans.  But barring that, I'll always pick an experienced person who has clearly demonstrated their "worth."

Having said this, my advice to young people is that you should not give up.  You (young whippersnappers) just need to keep on keeping on until the reach the ranks of veterancy.  And if you love what you do, the wait won't seem that arduous.




2021

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