The economy is rising like a big kingfish under a live bait and perfect timing to catch your sponsors for both products and monies.
According to several surveys, fishing consistently ranked in the top five when outdoorsmen were asked what outdoor activity they participated and enjoyed the most. However, when reading a few of the surveys, I questioned the results. Particularly when one survey reported that Americans enjoyed bowling over fishing, which ranked fourth in the survey. Yet another survey ranked bowling as the least enjoyed recreational sport. However, in many of the surveys, fishing was either right on top, but always ranked in the top five. Further doubts as to accurate results surfaced when yet another survey included stretching as an outdoor recreational sport.
Also results varied depending in what part of North America the survey was taken. For example a survey taken in Canada ranked fly fishing over golf. While in Florida, fishing was ranked as the most popular outdoor sport, true! Outdoor recreational sports generate some 800 billion dollars from sales and services annually into the economy, also supporting some seven million jobs. Recreational fishing alone generates some 40 billion dollars in sales and services each year!
Fishing is almost always ranked in the top five of the most popular outdoor recreational sports according to most surveys. Americans also spend more money on fishing than many other outdoor activities. With the huge popularity in fishing, it would seem that businesses should be more than willing to sponsor your SKA fishing team and sell more of their products!
Visibility simply is the biggest tool for attracting sponsor dollars, plain and simple. Visibility comes from a variety of different forms with television leading the way. Other forms of visibility include fishing tournaments, magazines, newspaper, radio fishing reports, the Internet and a variety of advertising which could include billboards, fliers, boat wraps, towing vehicle wraps and having sponsor logos on your tournament clothing.
Often overlooked by many fishing teams, supplying local fishing reports with your fishing success is an excellent beginning point for landing sponsors. Many area tackle shops supply fishing reports to newspapers, radio reports, magazines, television and more importantly, their customers. Word of your fishing success is then more likely to produce television coverage, which is by far the best type of visibility for your fishing team.
When an outdoor television company plans to film a fishing show that will showcase your home kingfish waters, the first thoughts that come to the TV fishing personality is to contact a local bait and tackle shop. Once the contact is made, the owner will more than likely recommend the fishing team that has enjoyed the best results while both fishing their home waters and distant destinations. Obviously the right recommendation will hopefully produce a great TV fishing show where the viewers, sponsors, TV show, and tackle shop owner will all benefit.
Keeping this in mind, your best shot for major sponsors almost always begins with local fishing related businesses and media. It is extremely important to keep an ongoing relationship by sending e-mails, stopping by for a chat, or mailing information of your team’s success to key local fishing related businesses. They are without a doubt your very best opportunity in securing sponsors for your SKA kingfish team.
Visibility for sponsorship also comes from outdoor writers that are more than willing to cover how your SKA team either won a highly competitive kingfish tournament, or placed high in the standings. Unfortunately, some teams are simply not willing to tell the truth concerning their secret winning kingfish tactics. Many writers are also seasoned fishermen and can tell up front if the kingfish team is sharing with him the correct information. Writers are also responsible to their readers for supplying the correct fishing information. So if you wish to appear in ink, be prepared to tell the truth and nothing but the truth!
While in many cases, I have found that fishing teams are certainly better off by supplying the majority of the truth and leaving out small tidbits they would like to keep secret. Outdoor writers are looking for new stories and techniques to not only write about, but to attract more readers for their publications.
An excellent tip here would be if you caught your winning kingfish while fishing deep with a new Cannon Magnum 10 STX tournament downrigger, you could report to the writer how the faster rigger ball retrieve allowed your kingfish team to clear the cables and gear in time to avoid cutting your kingfish line. Not only would the writer be pleased to write about the newly designed Cannon downrigger that interests his readers, but more importantly the product that he is writing about would also benefit by advertising right next to his article.
Now you have a situation where everyone involved benefits, including the outdoor columnist, the reader, publication, advertiser and the fishing team with new sponsor dollars, or products.
Working with your local marine dealer to promote their products is also key to securing sponsors for the 2012 SKA kingfish season. Marine related companies will need to justify sponsoring your SKA kingfish team with either visibility, or the ability for your team to generate sales through your local marine dealer and on at least a regional level and at best a national level as well. Local marine dealers are always looking for fishing teams to use their products with excellent success. Needless to say, when a fishing team is successful, the local marine dealer will now have an excellent selling pitch to sell his products. The marine dealer will then pass on the great news to the marine product manufacturer, giving your team an excellent starting point for sponsorship.
Have a resume ready to give to your prospective sponsor with pictures of your boat, motors, equipment, and fishing team members with a complete resume. Also, be willing to accept a sponsorship at any level, which will normally grow in the coming years. I would also recommend working with sponsors that have an excellent working relationship with other fishing teams and more importantly, has a successful product.
During the past few Southern Kingfish Association kingfish seasons, there has also been a growing number of kingfish teams that are their own sponsors. And why not? Competing on the SKA tournament trail is an excellent way of showcasing a wide variety of products that may not be related to the marine industry.
Captain Vaughn Ford heads up team Reel Thrill hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina. Also in big letters on their boat and fishing apparel includes Bone Suckin’ Sauce, a family barbecue sauce that was developed by Vaughn’s father, Phil Ford. Also fishing on board team Reel Thrill is wife Kim, son Graeson, dad Phil, Ryan Brazill, and Derek Ennis.
The popular SKA kingfish team travels from Raleigh, North Carolina to many of the popular kingfish ports while proudly displaying their family barbecue sauce on the side of their kingfish boat and on their fishing apparel.
During the 2010 Southern Kingfish Association’s National Championship held from Fort Pierce Florida, Team Bone Suckin’ Sauce took top honors in the 23-foot and under division. The following publicity from their huge tournament achievement instantly brought a large amount of interest in their Bone Suckin’ Sauce. To visit Bone Suckin’ Sauce, go to http://www.bonesuckin.com.
Team Ocean Isle Fishing Center has also gained a tremendous amount of publicity while competing on the Southern Kingfish Tournament Trail while showcasing their family business. The McMullans, father Rube, sons Brant and Barrett own and operate Ocean Isle Fishing Center located in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.
Team Ocean Isle Fishing Center amazingly reeled in a repeat win at Biloxi. Two stud king mackerel weighing 54.70-lbs and 48.43-lbs. for a first place aggregate weight of 103.13-lbs. in the Open Class. Obviously, returning to Biloxi after winning the 2009 SKA National Championship with a record breaking 74.10-lb smoker and topping a very competitive field of Open Class kingfish teams, attracted a lot of attention to their OFIC kingfish team and Ocean Isle Fishing Center marine business. To visit OIFC go to http://www.oifc.com.
Pro Marine also has two SKA kingfish teams captained by Kevin Dellane and Kevin Hannon that showcase the marine outboard engine company Pro Marine. They are truly experts when it comes time for both rigging outboards, and replacing outboard engine components. Visit http://www.promarineusaonline.com. Pro Marine is also another great example on how SKA kingfish teams can showcase their own businesses.
Dave Workman Jr. is without a doubt recognized as the all time king when it comes time to promoting both sponsors and your own business. Workman began his SKA fishing career by winning three Angler of the Year titles, which led to a variety of fishing and marine related sponsors. Dave Workman’s success eventually led to one of the southeast’s premiere tackle businesses, Strike Zone Fishing, with locations in Jacksonville and Melbourne, Florida.
“Competing on the SKA tournament trail definitely gives me an opportunity to showcase my marine and fishing related business,” Dave Workman, Jr. said. “It also allows me to communicate with fishermen and find out their needs, which helps me tremendously in stocking my stores.”
For more information visitwww.strike-zonefishing.com.
Obviously there are a growing number of SKA kingfish teams that are showcasing their own products and companies. A rising economy also gives hope to sponsor dollars and products from marine related companies as well.
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