There are athletes who are actively making a name for themselves and there are those who are not. Social media is key, but social media alone won't do the trick. When looking for sponsors to work with, it's very important that you look beyond making a few grand a month, and be sure that you're getting exposure. If you're a Kentucky-based athlete, you must understand that there's a lot more to planet Earth, than Louisville and Lexington.
It always amazes me how few athletes realize their time is limited. Most athletes only have a handful of years to make their mark. Unless you turned pro in your early 20's, time is not on your side. You need to do everything in your power to put yourself on the map.
I have been working with social media, promotions, and brand development for nearly a decade. I speak on a daily basis to some of the brightest minds in the fitness industry. I like to think I absorb a good bit of that knowledge and one of my biggest goals, is to help athletes I care about; however, as the old saying goes, you can drag a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
Sponsors are great, but they have their agenda. As an athlete, you need to have yours as well. If no one knows who you are in TX, CA, NY, and/or South Florida, then YOU need to get on the ball. Kentucky is a great place to live, but it's hardly on the fitness industry map. For most people, KY is hillbilly country, so being a star here, doesn't do much for you in places that dominate the scene. That being said, if you're not even getting the superstar treatment here, then you really have problems.
Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about; maybe I land all these jobs and maybe my star keeps rising because I have really good hair - or - maybe it's because, I do. I would hate to see a superstar have nothing to show in 2-5yrs. Once you're no longer useful, rest assured, you will get dropped. Businesses are profit-driven; they're not [really] families and they're most certainly not charities. We have some big stars around here, folks like Chauncey, Kevin, Benquil, Myka, Kendall, Jodie and a few others. I hope all of these folks really, truly, make it.