I get requests all the time for people asking to join my team.
I also get people asking me whether or not they should take an offer they received from x or y company.
The answer 95% of the time to both hypotheses: no.
Sponsorships are extremely glorified, as people see it as a recognition of achievement. Although I don't think sponsorships are bad at all, I think that people often times rush into a sponsorship. A good sponsorship will provide(in the perspective of a player):
- Yoyos for you to use comfortably.
- A label for you to be under.
- An environment to be fostered under.
Let's dwell on these points.
It doesn't take much to make a yoyo nowadays, pay x amount of money to design for y specs, and have it machined at z shop. However, really understanding what separates a good yoyo from an excellent yoyo is critical. On stage, no one wants to be worrying about equipment. A yoyo that you settle with is never something you should be using. Because of such, I don't think that joining a company whose yoyos you haven't been using is a good idea.
Once you join a team, you become associated with the team name. Regardless of who you are as a person, the "stereotype" of the brand you are under will undoubtedly be casted onto you. Ask yourself then, is this brand the right image for me? Or is it something that I'll walk away from and regret?
Finally, an environment to be fostered under is something that people often overlook. You could join a solid team, with established players, and learn from them, or you could be the head honcho of the team. I believe personally that a solid core of players, with an "academy team" would theoretically be the best method for fostering talent. My point is, everyone wants to be the best, but only one can.
What do I think is the most important thing from a sponsor perspective?
- Someone that is reliable on all terms.
- Someone that makes me want the yoyo they are using.
I think that communication is so key to maintaining a healthy relationship. Being able to communicate in their native language is something very important. If you are sponsoring a foreign player, keeping them happy is much harder because not only are they further away, but you must also account that they might not understand everything you're saying.
At the end of the day, sponsorships for a sponsor perspective are purely for advertising. No matter how good someone is, I always ask myself, "do I want that yoyo that he is using?" If I do not, they are not a candidate.
I hope this first post was insightful about how I view sponsorships, as someone who has made the mistake of taking a sponsorship as soon as I was offered it, and as someone who has sponsored people.