Getting Sponsors: BJJ Life
If you watch BJJ videos and clips as much as I do, you are bombarded with images of gis and rashguards covered in sponsors. If you are anything like me, this is both motivating and annoying. Most of the videos come from people at Worlds or Pans or whatever. Black and brown belts that look to make a decent living just doing grappling.
You see their gear with BudoVideo patches and ads for all kinds of Acai s***.
Sometimes even blue belts have them, which is just down right aggravating. It's not exactly easy for Midwest grapplers to get out to the coasts for the major competitions.
The point of these posts will be to help grapplers with the sponsorship woes (should they be interested at all) and to steer them toward reliable sponsors that actually back you up as opposed to the horror stories you hear about sponsors that refuse to pay up.
I’ve spent more than a little time researching sponsors and I’ve come about the single inalienable truth about the business that I want to share with you all (ones that I will repeat in each article just to drive the points home).
1) No one gives away anything for free.
This is probably the most important and overlooked of all the sponsorship requirements that are overlooked with grapplers, and probably with MMA fighters too.
I blame MMA. We’ve all seen the banners and the shoutouts and think that for whatever reason, these sponsors are just willing to throw money and/or products at competitors. It’s an easy assumption to make, as any assumption is. The fact is that sponsors are really paying for the exposure. So the bigger the show, the bigger the sponsorship deal.
The reality of it is that these are businesses out there to make money. And you don’t make money by giving it away. You need to earn it for them. You need to be on the message boards, forums, social media, whatever, pimping their gear.
Got a youtube channel? You better be pushing their gear and making it look good.
If you want your performances to stand for themselves, you better be getting gold at big events. Forget local shows, unless you are at them constantly. If you cannot make money for the companies that you want sponsorship from, then you have no value.
The real problem is proving your worth. But that varies by company so I’ll get into that more with each individual company.
First up: BJJ Life (www.thebjjlifestyle.com)
These guys are my favorites for a few reasons.
First, they sponsor grapplers first and foremost. They even advertise it, which isn’t exactly common.
First of all you need to sign up for the BJJ Legion (http://www.thebjjlifestyle.com/BJJ-LEGION.html), offering 10% off gear just for signing up and incentive bonuses if people use your links to buy gear.
After you sign up, you participate in “missions” to help spread the word of the company and make them more public. This is their way of actually helping you to realize the importance of exposure. And the more missions you complete, the more exposure you get them, the more gear they hook you up with.
I, particularly, love them because they hook us up with swag to give away at our MTT Submission Only tournaments. Always an awesome thing in my book.
On top of all that, they have really cool gear from t-shirts to some sick gis and rashguards, gear bags and anything else you might need on the mats and in competitions.
Did I mention they are locally based? Good old Milwaukee, Wisconsin. How can you not want to support that?
These are also the guys that put on the Combat Corners grappling events, so come on! How many more reasons can I give to prove this is a good company?
If nothing else, take a look at the page and sign up for “The Legion”. Even if you don’t want to make the effort to do missions, you get the discount and emails letting you know of their semi-regular all-day specials (some for some crazy savings).
In the end, these guys are probably one of the easiest and most proactive sources for BJJ sponsorship you are going to find.
Make sure to check them out at www.thebjjlifestyle.com
Also check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BJJLEGION