For many athletes, sponsorship is often a goal to help justify their efforts, dedication, and sacrifices that they put forth to get to the top of their sport. In disc golf, sponsorship has been a very active topic of discussion. Individual sponsorships, at certain levels, have been around as long as competitive events and tournaments have, but the offering from sponsors is steadily increasing. It’s positively an exciting time to be a disc golfer!
The disc golf sponsorship model has evolved to a point where players are now signing multi-year contracts while earning a modest living with a monthly salary, touring vehicles with gas and hotel accommodations paid for in addition to common benefits like discs and gear. This is becoming the new normal and it’s only the beginning.
What exactly is sponsorship?
Sponsorship comes in many forms. For many years, disc companies supported the players with a yearly disc allotment, apparel stipend, performance bonuses, tournament entry fees, and travel reimbursements. For a majority of disc golfers though, it was typically limited to just free discs and apparel. The best disc golfers earned rights to production run signature series discs that gave them a royalty for every disc sold and additional marketing opportunities.
Other disc golf sponsorship opportunities are available from the various other apparel, bag, and shoe companies. Even local disc golf shops commonly offer sponsorships. Those contracts or agreements can also vary from a monthly salary with all of the product that they need or just a product only sponsorship depending on the size of the disc golf related company.
How do I become a sponsored disc golfer?
It’s important to know that sponsorships aren’t just handed out for nothing and actually depend on the individual.
The greatest thing you could do to get noticed is to put yourself in the best spot to be noticed. The biggest tournaments is where you’ll gain the most exposure, but don’t forget about local sponsorships to get you started. Once you start to finish toward the top of the leaderboard, you’ll start to make a name for yourself. Companies will notice this. You never know who is watching.
Competing at the highest level is just one way to get a sponsorship. There are many who are sponsored that play locally or regionally, but are great ambassadors for the sport and for the sponsoring company.
Although important, it’s not always about skill level, but more dependent on how much passion the player has and how much of that passion that they are willing to dedicate to disc golf and their sponsor.
Sponsorships are earned, not given
Serious sponsorships by major companies are typically awarded to male and female professionals in the Open division and rightfully so. These players are the best in the world playing against the other top players in the world.
The larger sponsorship support is given to the top players based on their constant larger tournament appearances, consistent top finishes, massive fan support, sizable social media following, and a great, marketable player personality. Being strong in those attributes will increase your value as a top player.
There are other levels of sponsorship that are designed for those who are upcoming talents on the disc golf course. Companies understand that not everyone is going to be traveling the country, or the world, and showcasing their product.
Brand ambassadors absolutely have value as regional representatives promoting certain companies and products. There are a lot of players trying to get involved with many companies at the ground level, not for their player rating or performance on the course, but for their strengths in positive promotion of the brand. Even at this level, things are earned based on past performance and efforts.
Being sponsored is not just about what that sponsor can give to you, but also what you provide for that sponsor in return in the form of promotion and exposure which all comes down to producing more sales in the long run for that sponsor. Sponsorship is, and never will be, a one-way street. It must be something that works for everyone involved.
Above all else, it takes persistence and passion to truly love what you do and do what you love!
Team Discmania Sponsorship
Companies like Discmania want to support those players that positively support them by encouraging their ventures and aspirations to get to the top. If a player has the ability and determination to prove that they are one of the best, then sponsors will seek them out for future support and possible contracts.
The Discmania Combine is an excellent way to demonstrate your skills in a throwing discipline event testing your abilities on putting, approaching, driving (distance, accuracy and speed) along with a challenging round of disc golf. It’s a great way to see how your proficiency and execution stacks against a competitive field of players showcasing their talents. This is the best way to land that coveted Discmania sponsorship.
To become a sponsored member of Team Discmania, you also have to place well in tournaments throughout the season. We’re always watching the leaderboards.
We also love to see an active social media presence, continuous excitement for the sport, and sharing it with those around you. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about the sport, inspired by possibilities, and looking to spread the word about awesome products and the tournaments that they attend.
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— Avery Jenkins