It is no surprise that sailing an Olympic Campaign is expensive and that it requires the athletes to do a lot of fundraising to compete at this level
Some athletes engaged in an Olympic Sailing campaign take the approach that money is money and so they go to the lowest hanging fruit to fund their campaign. While this is a relatively simple and quick approach to raising the money you need to run an successful campaign, some think it may dilute the value of sponsorship for teams and athletes. Because of this I have taken a different approach to our fundraising program.
I have made a conscious decision to only work with companies and brands where I can provide mutual benefit. Companies who understand the nautical and athletic nature of sailing and who see value in both the athletes and in everyone who enjoys both the lifestyle and the sport itself. Being selective on who I represent gives me the ability to deliver more value to my supporters while it gives the sponsors clear and undiluted exposure to my fans and the general public by being able to use me as a unique and individual talent to promote their brand and products. My fundraising activities are more exclusive and intently direct than most.
As a young athlete, I am part of a generation of active and affluent consumers who tend to be specifically loyal to brands who deliver quality products, active service and demonstrate an understanding of who we are and what we expect in the products and brands we live with. My generation is unique in our relationships with brands and in our shopping habits, but we are also strong in our opinions and value loyalty and dedication to quality over time. This is probably why I tend to be more selective in my fundraising about the companies I am willing to represent but it also drives me to be unique to my approach and provide more value than simply offering exposure on my boat and in the media that our generation relies on almost exclusively.
Traditionally athletes offer their sponsors branding options on their boats and clothing and they will mention them in media coverage they receive. This is great but somewhat limits the company in the exposure they receive to the sailors, their competition and the fans who are at the regattas or read an article after the event. My approach is much more dynamic, giving the right company this exposure but also giving them access to me. My thoughts and ideas, my time and energy and my ability to connect with my generation…with your customers both directly and indirectly in your advertising, public events, in-store signage, print, online, and video resources to drive excitement, increase referrals and demand for your products both short-term and over our lifetime.
Exposure on my boat is simple…
Imagine having your logo and marks on my sails, hulls and even on my pickup truck as I haul the equipment from one yacht club to the next around North America each year. But that is just the beginning. Because I understand that this sport (and my age) offers a unique opportunity to gain and to keep loyal customers associating with your brand, I will work with my title sponsors to develop a program that utilizes me, my sport and my entire campaign to give you more value than you will receive anywhere. After all, our relationship will have to be symbiotic in it’s nature for it to deliver the value we are all looking for. So that means that we can work together to find ways for me to promote your brand and products in a unique and direct way that creates impact and drives specific behavior from your target market.
Imagine, offering items that are designed to give buyers the thrill of flying across the water at 20+ knots on my Olympic Multihull. Or utilize some my my equipment that already has your branding on it (sails, rudders or daggerboards or even a mast) as part of an in-store display to get people to imagine the wind blowing through their hair and the spray cooling them off on a hot summer day at the point of purchase! I would even work as a spokesmodel promoting your brand at events or to groups of any size. Need a model for an advertisement or catalog? What increase in impact would you receive when those same customers see me in your ad and then open an email or direct message from me talking about your products? How effective would it be when I send a txt message out to all those customers the day a new ad appears or catalog ships? What would the reaction be to inviting select customers to come out for a sail with me at various locations around the country?
I am selective about the companies I work with, but that is a huge advantage to those who I end up representing, those that support my campaign for Olympic Sailing Gold. I am not over-exposed but I am a known entity within the nautical and related segment of my generation. That can be powerful when partnered with the right brand to deliver impact in my athletic pursuits and in the demand for your products both immediately and over time as they see the loyalty and determination that both of us have to each other’s success.
If you are a dynamic and energetic brand who values young, hard working, dedicated and inspirational athlete in the nautical arena, you should know that I am actively fundraising and that this is the right time for us to talk. I can deliver a much stronger impact that you expect and can work with you to develop a program that provides value far beyond anything you would expect from a simple athlete sponsorship/endorsement deal. We should talk today.
If you are a company or connected to a company who understands athletic fundraising or can benefit from supporting a young and captivating athlete with his future in the forefront, I would love to speak with you any time.