Sponsorships in the hoop world seem to be much more common than you would see in other sports or activities, and these sponsorships work differently than your standard company sponsorship arrangement. There appears to be a great interest in how these bonds come about, so here is a little information to help you decide if a sponsorship is right for you.
Who is involved in the sponsorship?
There are two parties involved in a hoop sponsorship, the company and the artist. The “who” involved in these transactions are as diverse as the hoop community itself. The company can be anything from hoop makers, jewelry crafters, flow clothing seamstresses, and more. The artist is a flow artist having one or more important qualities. Sponsored flow artists are people who have honed their craft and have a following in the community or they are members of the community who have great networking skills.
What is the sponsorship all about?
Every sponsorship is different, so the terms change based on each individual connection. Typically each sponsored hooper is given a coupon code for a discount on the company website. Anytime this code is used, the sponsored hooper gains credit towards products of their own. Most sponsorships also come with a set amount of company merchandise they will be given in order to create flow videos.
While the products are a great benefit, there is much more to a sponsorship. Sponsorship teams are not only the company and the hooper, but also a connection between the shop owner and the artist. Just like any relationship this bond is based on trust. The company is trusting you with their brand name and puts the company reputation in your hands, trusting not only your skill but also how you hold yourself as a person while representing the shop. The artist trusts that the company will treat them with respect and honor all agreements. In most cases there is also the benefit of having fellow sponsored artists. While you may never meet your fellow flow artists in person, you are all part of a team. This team works together to not only promote the shop but also to inspire each others to new creative lengths.
Where do sponsorships take place?
Most sponsorships take place in the virtual world. You commonly see sponsored hoopers advertising for their shops on their personal social media pages such as instagram and Facebook. Facebook groups such as Hula Hoop Shop Directory or Infinite Circles are often filled with talented artists handing out their personalized codes. This is typically done to entice new hoopers to purchase a prop from their sponsors shop.
Sponsorships can also be seen in the “real” world at festivals or flow fests while artists show off their prize flow toys. The idea behind this is that there is a large amount of consumers in one area that are all within the target market for flow props.
Performances are also common for sponsored hoopers. Specialized performances allow for a wide variety of people within one audience to be exposed to the sponsored hooper, the shop, and the shop’s products.
When do sponsorships happen?
Sponsorships can happen at any time, and the terms are set by the shop itself. When a partnership begins between a company and a flow artist they typically agree on a one year term.
Why do sponsorships exist?
Each party has their own agenda and the idea behind the arrangement is mutual benefit. The company is seeking to have content such as videos displaying their product and promotion of the company on the artist’s social media and/or during performances. The artist is looking for promotion and/or recognition of their skills through the company’s social media and for the financial benefits of lower cost or free products from the company.
How do sponsorships come about?
There are two ways in which the company and artist create a bond. Either one party (the company or artist) seeks the other out and approaches them with an offer or the artist applies for a sponsorship. A company will post that they are seeking artists to sponsor and will ask for a sample of their art, some information about the artist, and links to their social media page. From there the company will choose which applicants they choose to sponsor.
Each sponsorship is different, some wanting an artist to meet many different requirements in a broad range of criteria, others that require much less. The bond between a company and an artist is a complicated relationship, but a relationship that is mutually beneficial to both parties. There are many factors that determine a good sponsorship relationship, but it all comes down to is trust. The artist needs to trust the company to support them and their abilities, and the company needs to trust the artist with their brand and reputation.
Author: Jill Janosek