You can get sponsored in mountain biking by getting a strong social media presence as a freeride mountain biker. Winning local, national, and international races also put cyclists in the spotlight to get approached by sponsors. Alternatively, you can join a mountain biking team that already has sponsors.
Getting sponsored in mountain biking is considerably different from what it was in the days before social media. Brand deals used to be attributed on a competition basis. Winning local races used to get the first sponsors. Winning national races used to get more sponsors. International results used to bring the biggest line of sponsors for a mountain biker.
Today, this is still in place but still different through social media. An average mountain biker can get more sponsorships through a solid social media presence compared to a very good mountain biker without a social media presence. Here are a few common methods of getting sponsored as a mountain biker.
How To Get Sponsored Mountain Biking
Get a good social media presence
Getting a social media following is the easiest way of getting sponsorships in mountain biking. A strong Facebook and Instagram following also leads to stronger personal brand identity. A large number of YouTube subscribers is better, however. The popular video-sharing platform offers monetization options in itself.
Create YouTube videos
Creating interesting popular mountain biking YouTube videos is the easiest way of getting sponsored as a rider. Good videos with great filming and good editing tend to get a lot of shares. These popular videos tend to get the most views which also gets the attention of sponsors.
Create distinctive content with an action camera
Distinctive content can involve filming mountain biking rides in unique locations. This often involves filming gear that isn’t too expensive. An action camera or a smartphone camera is up for the job for those new to this world. Having a dedicated cameraman also helps make the videos stand out.
You can attach your phone to your bike with this attachment:
Cycling on YouTube seems like a saturated market. However, unique content is often the one that gets the most loyal viewers and plenty of subscribers. For example, videos on how to fix and maintain your mountain bike still represent a great niche within the social media world of cyclists. New bikes are released each year and learning how to put these together and how to fix common issues is a skill that only the best riders have.
Tell a story
It’s often important to find a personal identity in the world of YouTube content creation. With so many vloggers getting into mountain biking it can seem a bit difficult to become memorable. Sponsors are typically interested in associating their brands with mountain bikers they resonate with. A person that is a bit creative can be associated with new bike brands and bike part brands.
A skilled rider can often be associated with established bike gear brands. A rider with a poor online reputation or with an affinity towards scandals or click-bait titles might not resonate with some brands.
Update your channel frequently
Getting started on social media is just the beginning. You need to post frequent videos to build a personal brand, similar to what freeride bikers used to do in the past. Frequent quality posts get a lot of attention and sponsorship deal is often tied to an entire video if not long-term cooperation.
Get a following on Instagram
Instagram is a good alternative platform mountain bikers used to get in front of sponsors. The platform also requires building a following to get a strong personal identity brand want to associate with. One of the perks of having a large following is brands often contact you for sponsorships. The days of approaching potential sponsors are numbered in the social media world.
Share gear and brand information
Both YouTube and Instagram are platforms bikers can be present on at the same time. Photos and videos have their place in the online world. Short clips on Instagram also have the potential of going viral or getting many shares. This is ideal for quickly getting in front of potential sponsors.
Join a team
Joining a mountain biking team that already has sponsors is also a good way of getting monetized as a good mountain biker. Teams always get sponsorships by results and reputation. Teams with the best sponsors are teams with the best results.
Making your way up often means transitioning from small teams to elite teams. New mountain bikers are often best by joining any team and slowly climbing in the rankings and eventually moving to larger teams.
Win local and national races
Sponsorships used to be awarded on a basis of performance or merit in the mountain biking world. Magazines, bike manufacturers, bike parts manufacturers, and other bike gear brands only used to sign top performers.
Winning local races might get you discounts at the local bike shop. You might also get free merchandise from some brands by winning races in your area. National competition results bring the best sponsors.
However, winning national races also involves facing better competition. The results in sponsorships are also superior, however. International mountain biking events tend to get the largest sponsors. Many of these competitions are televised which means they get considerable media attention. Sponsorship deals are very common for almost all mountain bikers participating in international races.
Approach a potential sponsor
The final method of getting sponsored as a mountain biker is by approaching potential sponsors. You should have some credentials when doing this, however. Good race results are a place to start. A strong social media following is a close alternative. Sponsors get approached all the time and mountain bikers need to stand out from the competition as much as possible.
Almost all large brands have their public relations representative. This helps you get contacts for the people with decision power for each brand. A good way of approaching a sponsor is by first using their products to gain either results or social media following. This shows your personal story with the products of the company which gives credibility to the brand.
Approaching sponsors can be an unsuccessful task if you lack the credentials of results or online reputation. This means there are almost zero chances of getting a sponsorship deal without these credentials.
Getting sponsored as a mountain biker is easier with the advent of social media. Your online presence can get plenty of sponsorships from bike brands and even other brands that aren’t directly connected to the mountain biking community.
One of the best parts about building a social media presence first is that oftentimes brands start contacting you once these online channels get sufficient traction. This allows you to focus on mountain biking instead of chancing bike brands.
A good YouTube presence is ideal as a mountain biker as the platform pays you per view. Sponsorship deals are a bonus in this case. A large Instagram following is also ideal for sponsorships. Many sponsors contact mountain bikers directly on social media which can improve instant communication with the brands.
The pat of sponsorship through mountain biking performance tends to attract the best exposure for top sponsors, however. Winning national and international races is required to get the best sponsorship deals.