SPEEDSKATING INDIVIDUAL SPONSORSHIP - NICOLE BEGG So how do we go about the very contencious subject of gaining sponsorship, when we are a non - Olympic sport at present, with a public perception that, we are deemed as a minor sport. Well first of all the correct environment within your country helps, New Zealand is a...
SPEEDSKATING INDIVIDUAL SPONSORSHIP - NICOLE BEGG
So how do we go about the very contencious subject of gaining sponsorship, when we are a non - Olympic sport at present, with a public perception that, we are deemed as a minor sport.
Well first of all the correct environment within your country helps, New Zealand is a proud sporting nation, especially with the All Blacks,along with their traditional sport of Rugby, were eliminated in the quater finals of the World cup. Then the Swiss beat N.Z. in the America Cup Yachting, we lost the World netball championship to Australia, then two of our other traditional sports Rugby League and Cricket also did not succeed in there World Cup competitions.
So the public & sponsors are looking for other winners to support, as they feel let down particularly by Rugby their National sport being humiliated. So first lession is if your Countries major sport does not live up to expectations & you are successfull, the environment is right,for high profile sportspeople from other sports to seek sponsorship.
Being in a minor sport & creating a high public profile is not easy. You need to cultivate some media friendly people to your sport, supply them with regular stories & quality photo's.
By doing this regularly in 2006 Nicole Begg had 48 stories in the local media, in 2007 4 times she made Front Page headlines & photo's, being a World Champion & the famous Nude Pictures.Plus winning the Sportsperson of the year award.
Its one thing being a World champion, then doing a series of poses to offer a sexier image, for our speedskaters for the Sports Insider magazine, with the idea of Coni Atther, that we get 10 top skaters to show that skaters do have good bodies, but the reaction caused by media World wide & started on Marcello Bresin's website created havic.
The sport of speed skating had never ever received so much publicity Worldwide & traffic closing down many websites, as the server could not keep up with the volume. TV news in Argentina, response from Chile, that they had better, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, England, Europe, Oceania the story was picked up Worldwide, but as Nicole said, you see a naked women, but in every photo you also see a set of Inline speed skates.
After iniatially sharing her photo's to the skating fraternity for free, people Magazine in Australia & Playboy USA paid for pics, to do a story. The top weekley N.Z. Truth, which ventures a bit on the slezzier articles particularly with Nude women, wanted to do a big story, we were able to stipulate, that the sport of speedskating & Nicole had to be portrayed in a good light & positive manner,or there would be no photo's, so they agreed & done as requested.
In the hotbed of womens speedskating, Nicole was able to win another World title in Colombia with winning the 1,000 meters track, 3rd in the 10,000 points / Elimination & Marathon, she was well known by all the New Zealand media at this stage, live radio interviews back to New Zealand & requests for T.V Shows all bombarded her, with initial enquiries from sponsors. Up to this stage SPARC the N.Z. government sports Agency & her team WIC team sponsors, Bont Skates & Jesa Bearings had been her only support.
But the major breakthrough came when Nicole got 3 major prime time live Interviews on Television,
Close Up, Campbell Live & Breafast Show all provided her with good time, infact 18 mins all up of prime time Telivision on the main New Zealand channels. Nicole was able to show that she could present herself well & talk well. So the public & potential sponsors eaw not only a World Champion & a nude pin up, but someone who could represent them in public as well.
So very important if you are seeking sponsorship,to increase your chances, brush up on your appearance & practice your speaking, while under pressure, as many sports people look great,perform great, but fail miserably in Interviews, in this area you have to be confident & interesting.
Since the T V appearances in New Zealand Nicole has picked up different forms of sponsership from 7 different sources, apart from her Bont & Jesa team sponsorship in 2008.
They Cover a wide range of businesses.
Kia Motors New Zealand, through Bob Driver Timaru. ( New Kia Cerrato for use, With name & Photo)
Lifetime Financial Security N.Z. Ltd. Insurance for car.
SPARC - the New Zealand sports funding agency for Senior World medalists.
Thai Restaurants - www.thaifood.co.nz ( An ex skater running a chain of 9 South Island resturants with Nicole on the cover of all the Menues & we support World skating champion )
Skins New Zealand - Training equipment, will use Nicole on Posters.
TriFour Technics ltd.- Uvex Helmets & Glasses, THUASNE Therapuetic aids & womens sports support underwear.
With the thai resturant & Kia motors car having ongoing photos & advertsing in the public eye, the profile of the sport is gaining much more recognition, something that must happen, in order for us to fullfill our desire for future Olympics.
But catching most attention has been the car, (as per the photo) The story about this is interesting & goes to illustrate how you must present yourself well in public, no matter what. The Kia N.Z. Timaru dealer Bob Driver an ex Cycle racer, was last year watching a cycle criterium race in Timaru. Nicole Cycle races 2 to 3 times per week back home in the off season. She was in a race with Men & some top N.Z. ladies, Senior champions & World junior medalists, Bob saw this small young lady continue to attack the men on the hill each time & was most impressed. After Nicole won in Colombia he contacted Stu Piddington, the Timaru Herald sportswriter, for Nicoles contact details. Stu who has been responsible for giving speedskating a much higher media profile New Zealand wide, set up the contact.
So he was impressed that Nicole was enthusiastic about ideas of what she could do, to also help his business, as he had a top sportsperson from a much more high profile sport than skating ,just drop off there credentials & only interested in what the sponsor could do for them. That person missed out on their support. So remember to attract & hold sponsors its a two way street, no matter how much they contribute, its usually part of there Advertising & promotion budget, if they advertise on TV & in the media, they expect to get a return, if they sponsor sports people its the same.
A nice shot of Nicole skating beside the car, with the sponsor driving, her name, his name & Kia all clearly visible,on the main sportspage of the Timaru Herald, then Nicole doing the car up, for an Ocean theme for the Christmas Santa Claus parade through the main street of Timaru with Nicole & Tina skating beside the car gave the sponsor great coverage.
Conducting Learner skate sessions, with World champion teaching learners, giving the Xmas Decorations & trimmings from the car, to the Childrens hospital, speaking & presenting awards at two School end of year break ups, plus speaking at Lions club, ensures that your public profile remains out there.
Such is her sporting Profile & celebrity status, that a Country sports carnival, with multi sports,including athletes & cycling, is paying her $500 appearance money, to be at the event & promote some skating races, so as they have a high profile celebrity sports person present.
To build such a profile is not easy, you need to appear & not just when it suits you, In August Nicole was very ill with a virus & confined to bed for 3 days, we nearly withdrew her from going to the World Championships, as things were not looking good. While most leading World contendors dodged Beil WIC event as it was within 2 weeks of the Worlds, she got out of her sick bed competed finishing 2nd, after attacking a long way out from the finish.
At the World champs she had a very hard programme competing in 9 events & only missing the 200 meters road T/T. Finishing with Gold & two Bronze, plus the overall & doing it very hard without a team mate. While many others were complaining of being tired & needing a rest after worlds, Nicole to help promote & support the sport at the request of Sandro Morandin, went & competed in all 7 races at The Padova Grand Prix, winning 6 of the 7,including a marathon. The next week we travelled to Pontarlier France as there was a tough FIC marathon race with hills that Nicole won.
Then the following week she split up the field to win the tough Mainz WIC Race, then in Berlin instigated a major break leaving the top Colombians out of the picture & after doing a majority of the hard work was 6th. She has thus proven, she is not just a Photo pic girl.
So if you can package yourself, as presentable, a very tough & fair competitor, not afraid of hard work, with the ability to be comfortable & confident in front of the media, with the support of a good manager, in our sport you can attract sponsors.
On www.bonttv.com both the Campbell Live & Close Up Nicole Begg TV Interviews, can be seen.