What Big Brands Look for in Athlete Relationships


If you are trying to figure out how to get fishing sponsors and you haven't had a chance to listen to the Fishing Business Podcast with Matt Ozawa, you need to put that on your list with a star beside it.  

 Matt is the Engagement Marketing manager at Toyota – one of the finest brands in the world.  And they didn’t obtain that lofty status by being slackers in the marketing world.  They build excellent products and they are excellent marketers of those products.

Which is where we can learn from them.  YOU are an excellent product.  And I want to teach you how to market yourself well. We can always look to those that are doing it the best and learn from them….no matter the category, skill or talent. 

If you want to find sponsors for fishing, there is excellent, high level advice here for you.

 One thing Matt said that has resonated with me was his answer when I asked him what Toyota looked for in relationships with athletes, personalities and celebrities.

He had three main keys.


1 - Authenticity.  You hear this word a lot in the marketing world and it can be a little intangible sometimes.  But I then authenticity means people trust you.

It’s hard to put a finger on exactly how you cultivate authenticity but developing your Know, Like, Trust factor is developing authenticity. Letting people get to know your personality and what’s important to you helps with the Know, Like, Trust factor and that translates into authenticity in your space.

2 – Character.  What do you stand for? Are you a role model for anyone? Do people look up to you? Do you gave integrity?

We all know what character is and it’s one of the keystones of endorsements.   In fact, Rick Clunn says integrity the most important thing he wants to be remembered for in fishing.  Think about that.  Here’s a guy who has achieved just about everything there is to achieve in the sport of fishing and he is most proud of his integrity.

3 – Personality.  Are  you likeable? Can you engage with consumers both in person and in the media.  Hmmmm…I’m seeing a trend here.  It’s the Know, Like, Trust factor again. 

All these qualities are imperative in a personal brand that a corporate entity would trust with their reputation.  Keep in mind…when you are sponsored by a brand, they are trusting you with their reputation whether they are giving you free product or $100k a year. 

Your responsibility back to them is the same regardless of what they are paying you….to represent their brand in a way that never disappoints them.  And if you develop these qualities of Authenticity, Character and Personality you will be ahead of the game in delivering to your fishing sponsors because people with Know, Like and Trust you. 

Plus, you’ll be a good person. And that matters.


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