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Conner MACHINE Gibbons
02-05-2011, 11:43 AM
Ok so 2011 season is on me. First comp in expert brought me a Bronze in no gi and silver in gi. I know I don't get it. I'm way better in no gi. I think I get warmed up and thats why I keep doing so well in gi. They should start doing gi first and no gi second.LOL.

I think everyone knows my goal for 2011, to be number 1 in the nation for naga Kids division. Looking at how I finished last year, and what I plan on fighting this year, I found a problem in my goal. Getting to the top is about consistancy. Making it to medal rounds for the points and competeing as much as possible. THIS IS THE PROBLEM. I need to compete more. The guys that beat me for National title, didn't win more than me . they competed more.

I shared this with my dad. He pointed out that we make every tournament within 10 hours driving distance of us. Any more would mean we start flying which means alot more money than the ton he already spends on me.LOL. I know he is behind me a million percent to make my dreams of being a MMA Superstar come true. But this is what he told me about competeing more.

He said he could look to get sponcers for me, and do really well, but he is all about life lessons.LOL. If I want to hold onto a dream of a MMA superstar. Fighting is only part of it, I need to be a smart buisness man. He reminded me of one former world champion boxer I met a few years back { I won't give his name} But he is a name that is still known today as one of the all time bests. He made millions when he was fighting. His suit was 20 years old and to small for him. My dad gave him money for lunch because he hadn't eatin and didn't have a cent on him. That was a life lesson from dad that day, he said never let anyone be in control of your carear, destiny, or money.....or risk ending up like him.

So that brings me to this. I need to find some sponsors to be able to make some more match's. Looking for any advice my 10th planet family can give. My dad said he would help and guide me, but he won't do it for me. He says, to pick my strong points and sell them to a buisness or group that would bennifit or profit by what I'm doing.

I have a couple idea's he said were a good starting point, but he said it would be ok to ask for suggestions......so thats what I'm doing.

HELP !!!!!!!!! Any thoughts or ideas ?????

Robert Kipness
02-05-2011, 12:36 PM
First big guy, it's sponsors. Second, if you go on the sherdog forums there is a topic in the grappling section on sponsors. Hillary Williams gives a great explanation on how to get sponsors and how to approach them. You should check that out, she is a world champion and knows what she's talking about.

Emir Mehovic
02-05-2011, 12:49 PM
Well i would say it would be easiest to get sponsered by brands that sponser the bjj even you compete in, so maybe for like naga you might want to go talk to kipp kollar and tell hima little about yourself and that u want to get sponsered...for example if your ranked like in the top 10 for kids in the country than you might want to tell him that, and ask him how you can get sponsered..you could talk to kipp at the naga events or just add him on fb and message him, he would proablably know how you can get sponsered...so pretty much you just have to ask around, tghe best people to ask would be your coaches and people who run the tournements that you go to, again if your ranked top 10 in the country for kids your deffinetly gonna want to tell them that, Good luck with getting sponsered Conner

Emir Mehovic
02-05-2011, 12:51 PM
This is kipp's fb http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=798010594

Conner MACHINE Gibbons
02-05-2011, 01:26 PM
HaHa Robert, your right. Thats one of the things I will count on my dad for. To proof read everything I plan On sending out.LOL.
I know its hard to beleave by my spelling..........but I'm pretty smart, in advanced class's. I just suck at spelling. Drives my teachers crazy.lol.

Thanks for the tip, I will ck it out.
Thanks Emir , your right Kip would have some ideas for sure .

I'm trying to think of some non traditional outlets.

I was thinking something like the priceless master card comercials. Remember those ????
It would go something like this


Custom Jiu Jitsu Uniform, 180 dollors
10 years of Jiu Jitsu lessons, 12000 dollors
Winning the UFC world championship title via Rear Naked Choke................ PRICLESS.

Now you have to think of this with the related video. Show little kid in his first uniform, He would have to look like me but younger.lol

Than to me, Training for the jiu jitsu lesson's section.

Last, find a lookalike for me at about 25, choking a dude out with cage in back ground. Maybe a real reff from UFC doing cameo stopping the fight. I think Herb Dean would do it.lol.

That was an idea for sponsorship........ I think big. Now who wouldn't think that would be an awesome comercial ???LOL.

Jason Hyatt
02-05-2011, 02:25 PM
I really can't speak about jiu jitsu/MMA sponsors in particular, but I have a little experience with music sponsorships (I made my living as a drummer while I was in RT school. Made a decent living at it too.). To that end, I'll be phrasing most of this as a musician, not a fighter.

The first thing to remember is mindset: What is their motivation for sponsoring you and how can you demonstrate that you meet their needs? Everybody would love to have a company pay them to play for them (or compete as the case may be) but that's not what companies are in business for -- they are in business to sell product. They don't give out discounted/free gear (that's what most music sponsorships start with) just because you're awesome. You are an advertising vehicle. Why are you MARKETABLE is the question in their minds.

Now with jitz/MMA whether or not you are marketable is in part going to be a function of your record but that's not all of it. Do you make time to talk with the kids/spectators/etc after the gig? Are you personable and engaging? Can you serve as a role model for others? Do you have a base of students who are likely to listen to your input? Would someone coming up look at you and say "I wanna be THAT guy!" I can't say for certain with MMA sponsors, but with music sponsorships what a company is looking for is not necessarily the next prodigy. What they want is someone who believes in the brand, uses the brand regardless of sponsor status, and is or has the potential to be visible to at least a segment of the demographic they market to. If that sounds like a walking advertisement that's because that's what it is.

Don't take the shotgun approach; especially early on. You'd be surprised at just how small gear communities are. If you're visible enough to be looking around for sponsorships, somebody's heard of you. If you start shopping all of the brands out there for a deal they absolutely will know. That gives them the impression that you'll jump ship as soon as a better deal comes along -- and it serves as a warning to them that you don't really believe in the product. When you get to be big enough to not care and you have sponsors throwing themselves at you that's fine, but right now you really, really don't want that. Again, you're a walking ad. An ad that doesn't believe in the product isn't going to be a very good sales rep. Why would they waste their time and money on you when there's a lot of other guys who DO believe in the product?

In the end, sponsorship is about developing a RELATIONSHIP with a company -- a mutually beneficial relationship. You already know how a sponsorship would benefit you and so do they. You need to show them how YOU benefit THEM.

Conner MACHINE Gibbons
02-05-2011, 02:36 PM
Jason that is almost word for word what my dad told me.lol. He says no matter what they say to your face, its still a buisness.
No one is going to sponsor me unless I can show , it would be profitable for them.

I have to be able to use these supermodel good looks, golden locks and endless charm someway.LOL.

John Alighieri
02-05-2011, 03:20 PM
Jason is spot on!
Think of yourself as a walking billboard. Companies want visibility. You can provide that by wearing their clothes/patches/put a link on your website/ drops their names if you get interviewed etc etc.
If you ever fight in MMA that would be wwwwaaaaaaaaaay easier to get sponsors than jiu jitsu. (For jiu jitsu you're most likely to get sponsors that are already in the jiu jitsu circuits rather than outsiders. There's no money to be made for them. Jiu jitsu competitions are too small marketing wise) BUT MMA that's a different story with the UFC and Strikeforce getting more and more mainstream a lot of random companies are keen to jump on the opportunity to sponsor someone (you're a kid and you're going good in competitions which is a big plus, it makes you a bit different than the average MMA fighter look at the Ruffo brothers)

Being unique makes you a better product lol Like Jason mentioned you need to see your sponsorship as a relationship they want something from you and you want some cash from them (which is gonna be hard to get, companies tend to give away gear rather than cash)
You gonna have to hustle BIG TIME son! Get a solid sponsorship letter and send it to every company that you can think of ( remember you need to fit their target audience: energy drinks, clothing companies, gi manufacturer, supplement shops, gyms)
Search for big companies they usually have a sponsorship budget that they have to spend but you have to make sure you time it right. Most of them only offer sponsorships at the beginning of their financial year after that it's a no go.

Jason Hyatt
02-05-2011, 03:33 PM
I forgot to say also: You've got enough highlight reel vids and such, don't be afraid to put together a promo spot as part of your package. No more than 30 seconds (think commercial spot!) of your best video plus some film of you training wearing/using the gear in question. It doesn't necessarily have to be your best wins, but the highest quality/best looking footage is important. Be creative and inventive, but remember that you are selling yourself -- don't be too rude, crude, or whatever. You don't have their sponsorship yet; you'll have time to prove how "edgy" you can be AFTER you've landed the deal. If you can show them that you are willing to work hard marketing yourself and can do an effective job of it, you'll be showing them why an investment in you is worth their time and money.

This was something my very last band never quite got: Small record labels only have so much money to put into things like development. If I'm a small label owner and I have $5000 to invest in developing a new band, I have a few choice about what to do with that money. Let's say I'm looking at two bands. One of them has GREAT music, but they don't play out very often, when they do they have a decent crowd but they don't draw very well out of town because they don't really market themselves very much. They have an online presence, but there's no "buzz" about them. Band number two has good music, but not as good as band #1. The thing band #2 does have is a marketing machine. These guys are ALWAYS playing someplace new and they always come back in 3-4 months. They never play a show without selling at least a couple of CDs and a t-shirt or two. They are all over the internet and their fans like to talk.

Which band am I better off putting my money into? Sure the first band has better music, but I have to SELL that music. If they aren't willing to sell themselves, why should I? Now that second band... I can put them in the studio with a great producer and make their good music the best it can be. And I know that they will work their asses off selling it because they've already got a track record of selling. The first band is going to be a lot more work for me as a label owner. I want to make my investment back and I have no reason to believe they are going to do the work necessary to make that happen. Which band are you? :)

Conner MACHINE Gibbons
02-05-2011, 04:50 PM
You guys are right on the money for conversations my dad and I have had about this. Agreed me being 12 and only just starting to climb the ladder of success is a uphill battle when trying to figure out how I can turn what i have into travel money. And I hate my dad for always being right.LOL. He is in a buisness that he could have made some calls and got enough money for me to hit a few more tournys, BUT he wanted me to be part of it....make me think. He tells me you respect things more that you earn, rather than stuff that is givin. He wants me to earn my sponsors. And he's right I have put a ton of thought and work into this already.

Tell me what you guys think about this, It fits right into what you guys are saying. I had already thought I could work Jiu Jitsu for gear and things like that, but I want to be able to hit more tournys. I want to face as many people as I can in a year....and try to beat them. I can't get a plane ticket by trading a gi for it.LOL.

My idea is, I need to sell company's on my dream. Join me on my journey, From competeing at this level with jiu jitsu (because thats all I can do right now) But the hook is the bigger picture. My standup is still my bread and butter, way more dangerous than my jiu jitsu. But at my age right now.... I have no place to show that off.

I will be a world champion some day. Thats a fact....... I will not let anything stand in the way of that. I need to find a sponsor that knows this isn't some 12 year old talking Sh@t. Anyone that has met me and knows my goals, never question the fact , i will find a way to make this happen. I need a sponsor that will buy into that journey with me. From kid with a dream to champion, with all the ups and downs inbetween. I think it would work for a sponsor, i just need to zero in on what company/product that idea would suit best.

So thats kinda my idea at this point, find someone that beleaves in my dream and follows me as a climb my way to the top. Do you think I'm on track or would I be better off making cookies and selling them at a bake sale.lol.

Mike Dewitt Jr
02-05-2011, 04:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL8uCz60Q7s&sns=fb

Conner MACHINE Gibbons
02-05-2011, 04:56 PM
P.S. cookies was my first idea.lol. My dad just looked at me and said......Think bigger.LOL.

Thanks Mike, i watched that when I first started thinking about this.

It really is if we are going to give you money......how are you going to make us way more money then we gave you.

Thats the big trick to figure out isn't it????? especially when your 12.LOL