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Applying for a Bowling Sponsorship

What You Need to Know Before Approaching Potential Sponsors

By

Bill O'Neill

Bill O'Neill is a member of the Hammer pro staff.

Photo courtesy of PBA LLC

Previous: Explaining the Perks of Each Sponsorship Tier

Ready to extol your virtues to the bowling company or companies of your choice? Before you go to them with an endless series of questions, review this article and learn more about what they want to see from you. The better you can present yourself, the better your chances of impressing a potential sponsor.

Talent Required

It’s no surprise you need to be a good bowler. Some general guidelines you’ll need to meet to stand your best chance at getting sponsored include:

  • Carrying a 220 or higher league average
  • Bowling in 2-3 leagues per week
  • Bowling in around 20 tournaments per year

As those three points illustrate, you need to be visible in the bowling community. Being a bowling-center or pro-shop operator is a nice bonus, as is being a bowling coach. If you devote a large chunk of your life to bowling, and have some talent to back it up, a sponsor will take a look at you.

Remember, they want their name out there just as much as you want their name on your shirt. If you’re a respected member of your bowling community, and your recommendations carry weight with your fellow bowlers, you look good to sponsors.

Personality

You need to fit well with your sponsor. If you’re a horrible human being, you may have trouble finding anyone to sponsor you. Assuming you’re a decent person, what’s your personality? With which brand does it best fit?

Much like people are hired into companies based on that elusive “fit” everyone talks about, sponsors want to make sure each one of their bowlers is a proper fit for the company.

What makes you unique? When applying for a sponsorship, make it clear who you are and why you’re worthy of a sponsorship. Personality is a huge part of getting sponsored.

Renewals

Sponsorships are reviewed annually. If you bowl a year with a sponsor and find out you’re not the best fit for your sponsor, or if they find that out about you, either one of you can decide not to renew. At that point, you can move on to another sponsor. These one-year deals are carried through every level of sponsorship, including the pro staff.

You don’t often see a lot of turnover (at least, not at once and not that you’ll notice on television) as far as a top professional leaving one company for another, but as the best in the world, they’ve found good fits with their sponsors and when the relationship is mutually beneficial, it will last for a long time.

How to Apply

There’s not much sense applying for a pro-staff position. If you are already on a pro staff, every potential sponsor knows who you are and will come to you. If you’ve been on a regional staff for a while and are gaining more notoriety, sponsors will talk to you about joining a pro staff. This is the highest level of sponsorship you can achieve, and to get here, companies will recruit you.

For regional or advisory sponsorships, you can apply. These positions are overseen by a company’s regional representatives, so you want to find and contact the rep in your region. They’ll know exactly how many spots are open in your area of the world, and what you’ll need to do to get one.

Some tips on how to stand out from the field:

  • Showcase your true personality and how it would fit with your desired sponsor
  • Make your accomplishments (such as your average and honor scores) easy to see and understand
  • Outline how many leagues you’ll join and how many tournaments you’ll enter throughout the year—show your sponsor you are a vital and passionate member of the bowling community

More Sponsorship Information

  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Bowling
  4. League/Recreational Bowling
  5. How to Apply for a Bowling Sponsorship

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