This is an extract taken from the eBook ‘The Ultimate Guide to Getting Sponsored in BJJ’. To buy your copy click here.
It was a typical sunny afternoon in Rio. Tanned girls in tiny bikinis walked along the sidewalk chatting into mobile phones, and muscled guys bombed through slow moving traffic on skateboards. We sat there at the corner cafe watching the world go by, talking about everything from our training with guys like Terere and De la Riva to the things we missed most from back home.
The conversation turned to jiu-jitsu gis. I’d just been sent some new kimonos by a European fightwear company, and I was in the process of getting my old ones together so I could donate them to a social project that taught kids in a favela.
“Man, I’d love to get some new kimonos,” said ‘Moz’. “All the ones I’ve got are grey and nasty and they look terrible. I feel bad even wearing them to tournaments!”
He stopped to take a sip from his coconut water and I knew what he was going to say before the words even came out of his mouth.
“I’d love to get a sponsorship deal but I don’t think anyone would want to sponsor me.”
Moz had done something pretty incredible. He saved up money and quit his job as a teacher back in England so he could move to Rio and train jiu-jitsu for an entire year. He was training daily with the legendary Fernando Terere and lived in a nearby favela. Everything he did was focused on training and competing. He was one of the hardest-working guys I had met during my three-and-a-half years living in Brazil, and he’d had plenty of success on the competition circuit.
He’d been mixing it up with the toughest guys on the Brazilian competition scene for close to a year, picking up plenty of medals along the way (including a purple belt gold medal in the no-gi Brazilian national championships).
Moz is a smart guy and damn good at jiu-jitsu, and yet he still had doubts that anyone would consider sponsoring him.
“I didn’t think that sponsorship was really a possibility,” he says. “I just assumed it was for the highest level of competitors.”
He had the competition results. He had the social media know-how. But he lacked confidence in himself.
Because he’s a naturally low-profile, humble sort of guy, he took some convincing but I told Moz that he had the qualities any BJJ brand would look for in a sponsored athlete. Enthusiasm, an interesting story, a blog that he kept regularly updated with crazy stories from Brazil, and competition results. All he needed was to go out and ask for some support, but he was too shy to do so.
The White Belt’s Dilemma: Nobody Loves Me
Nico was in her own words a ‘lowly white belt’, and she would always bemoan the lack of sponsorship opportunities for athletes struggling to get started. She couldn’t imagine anyone ever wanting to invest in someone who was a beginner in BJJ.
A crossover competitor from kickboxing with an eye on a professional MMA career, she had been smashing the white belt divisions on a near-weekly basis while training daily with some of Brazil’s top UFC fighters at the famous Nova Uniao gym.
Her Facebook and Instagram pages were full of pictures of her on top of podiums and hanging out with recognizable stars from jiu-jitsu and the UFC.
She’d convinced herself that she had to pass some kind of point before she had earned the right to ask for sponsorship in BJJ or MMA. When I asked her what that point was, she couldn’t describe it to me. Was it at blue belt? Black belt? She didn’t know. She just felt she wasn’t there yet.
Like Moz, Nico was an avid user of social media and she kept a blog that described her experiences meeting and hanging out with famous names. There was no shortage of people liking her photos and reading her blog, and I explained to her that this was as important as the many gold medals she had won.
Self Belief: The Secret Weapon in Getting Sponsored
What both of these struggling grapplers lacked was faith in the idea that they were viable candidates for getting sponsored in BJJ.
The simple mistakes people make when trying to get sponsored are easy to avoid if you follow the methods outlined in the eBook – from making yourself attractive to sponsors while crafting a professional public image, to developing your profile and creating an audience, negotiating deals and fulfilling your obligations… Everything’s laid out in black and white in the book. It’s not hard when it’s all written out in front of you.
The most important factor in how to get sponsored in BJJ is that you need to believe in yourself.
Like Rocky famously said, “If you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth!”
Self-confidence is one of the keys to getting sponsored, but of course it needs to be grounded in reality. If you can actively demonstrate your value to a sponsor then even the most timid of grapplers can succeed, and that’s what we show you in the eBook.
Step by step, we describe how to identify potential sponsors, how to write professional business emails, how to negotiate deals and how to maximise your relationships to ensure a long and fruitful sponsorship.
The simple fact is that if you don’t try, you’ll never get anywhere. But if you try well, your chances of success are much, much higher.
Putting it into practice
So what about Moz and Nico? Well as they were friends I gave them both advance copies of the eBook. 24 hours later a message from Moz dropped into my inbox. It read: “Thanks so much bro! I did what you suggested in the book and I’ve got a guy sending me a bunch of kimonos!”
There was nothing preventing Moz was getting what he’d always wanted – he just needed to take the right steps. As soon as he did, he got a bunch of free gis, clothing, rashguards and more.
As for Nico, she went from an unloved white belt to getting free clothing and training gear from one of Brazil’s largest fightwear manufacturers AND a kimono sponsorship from a very well-known gi brand!
“You were right, I should have done it a long time ago,” she said.
For most of you out there it’s not your tournament record that’s preventing you from getting sponsored. It’s not your belt colour, your number of Facebook friends or anything else. The only thing stopping you from getting sponsored is YOU.
If you’ve got the desire to get BJJ sponsorship then we show you exactly what to do to get sponsored in BJJ – our methods are proven to work and any sponsorship you get will immediately pay for the value of the book many times over.
How to Get Sponsored in BJJ
When you buy the eBook ‘ The Ultimate Guide To Getting Sponsorship in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ‘ you will also receive free email templates to use for writing to sponsors and a database of contact details for over 140+ BJJ brands across the world. PLUS interviews with sponsored grapplers from blue to black belt and even big-name brand owners who tell you what they look for in applicants.
At just $14.99 you’ll easily make back your investment with one single sponsorship – click the pics below to buy your copy now.