Sidekick Boxing

Do Sponsorships Work?

Sponsorship’s are one of the most talked-about subjects in combat sports. It is a great way for a fighter leveraging more money doing what they love. And a company can get more exposure and potential sales for their business.

But, are sponsorships good and do they work?

in this blog post we will dicuss sponsorships and how they work.


What is a sponsorship?

A sponsorship is a partnership agreement between businesses or brands and high-level and well-known fighters with large social media following involving the promotion of the brand, a product, or a service.

For a professional fighter, they have to train for hours nearly every day, that it makes it difficult to have a full time job. It also can be costly funding their nutritional diet and travelling for the sport, that a sponsor can really help cover these costs.

A companies advertising can be very expensive, so investing in an athlete is a very cost effective and rewarding way of marketing. It is a way of getting recognised within the sport. Also, If a fighter has a very good reputation, that credibility will get filtered through to the company.

So, Do Sponsorships Work?

In order for a sponsorship to work it has to be beneficial to both parties. A fighter will expect to see a regular income and the company would want a return on their investment.

Its no good if a fighter is reeping in the rewards for extra cash, yet their sponsor is not seeing anything in return. Just like a fighter can’t just receive a free t-shirt but their sponsor is generating tons of sales.

To understand what sponsorships work best, It comes down to an agreement that works for both parties, but that’s what sometimes can be difficult to establish.

For instance, a fighter may be at a very high level in the sport, get great exposure, yet they may not influence other fight fans to pay for their sponsors goods or service.

The best type of company to collaborate with a fighter would be a business associated in combat sports themselves. This is because both parties are targeting the same audience.

Many fighters sometimes get sponsors from local building or scaffolding companies, but this generally only works when the fighter is still fighting locally.

So what are the best sponsorships?

As mentioned it works best when both the fighter and sponsor are in the same industry. This could be a boxing equipment brand, a custom mouthguard company, or a sports nutritional company.

If a fighter is seeking multiple sposnors, it is important not to get any who are conflicting with each other. This will not only devalue someone’s endorsement but both companies won’t be happy they’re promoting a competitor.

How much should a sponsor get paid?

We all see the amount of money fighters like Anthony Joshua make in the boxing scene, but in most cases thats quite unrealistic. The amount a fighter should get paid all depends on a few factors.

  • Their level – A champion fighter has dedicated their lives to get where they are in their career. A company must appreciate that and consider it in what they choose to pay them.
  • How popular they are – They may not be at the highest competitive level but if they have plenty of fans and give lots of exposure, this definitely will make a sponsor happy.
  • How much they promote the company- Some fighters may think just by wearing a company t-shirt at a weigh in they are doing enough for their sponsor. But with the amount of content being published each day on social media, it is a good idea and go that extra mile and be active on social media. 

To consider what a fighter should get paid is to also determine how many products they would influence selling.

For example, let’s say we offer a monthly salary of £1000 to a fighter, and our best-selling boxing gloves are priced at £50. In order for the company to cover its costs, the fighter would have to generate sales of 20 or more orders per month.

Tips for sponsorships:

In a previous blog post ‘How to become a sponsored fighter’ we shared some pointers to be a good sponsor.

  1. You should be exciting to watch. Everyone remembers an action-packed fight. With exciting fights comes more exposure.
  2. You should be a good spokesperson to represent our company. As a sponsored fighter, you are also assuming the role of a brand ambassador. Prove that you can positively promote a brand by promoting yourself and building a solid following.
  3. Be a role model inside and outside of the ring. It’s easy to get behind someone that others look up to. It’s also easy to work with someone who is respectful and humble.
  4. Be active on social media

Daniel Knight, the owner of Sidekick Boxing has had over a decade in sponsoring fighters and he had this to say:

As much as it is great to sponsor fighters and be a part of their journey, it can be make or break whether a fighter provides you a return on your investment. With the fact their are lots of brands on the scene, sometimes a sponsor don’t have the influence for their fans to purchase your products. It is important to get fighters who really show their passionate about the brand.

Final thoughts

Sponsorships are definitely one of the best ways for advertising for a company, and also brilliant for a fighter to bump up their earnings.

When the partnership is successful for both parties, it’s just like the saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Building a long-term relationship is even more rewarding, especially when you’re part of a fighter’s journey.

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