Getting Sponsors: UR Fight Gear

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If you’re looking for walkout shirts (for MMA or grappling), the first site your should visit is http://www.urfightgear.com.

I know, it seems a little early in an article for me to be a shill, but it seems that only the first line or so of any of my posts appears when I post in social media, so I figured I should get that part out of the way.

Of course, that doesn’t make it any less true.

Getting sponsors sucks. So much so that even the idea of it in my head creates simultaneous feelings of contempt and excitement. Enough so that I wish I were writing this at night so that my impulses were more socially acceptable.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it, you won’t get sponsors if you can’t provide something. You simply need to prove your worth, either by exposure to their company or actual sales of their products.

Well, most sponsors.

URFightGear.com (www.urfightgear.com) has taken this usual situation and turned it. At least a little, but we’ll get back to that.

First is the idea that signing up gets you printed walkout shirts (highly sought after items for fighters of all experience level). And why not? You can’t help but feel a little special when you see people wearing a shirt with your name on it. It feels nice, kind of cozy.

The problem is, that many companies that print t-shirts require minimum orders, which means that fighters need to put up their money first and buy X number of shirts, then hope to sell enough of them to at least break even for the purchase.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have friends, so that prospect scares me.

Enter UR Fight Gear.

By getting sponsorship through http://www.urfightgear.com (click on the “get sponsored” tab and fill out the application, wait for a phone call, have a chat, do a few simple facebook tasks) they will print up the shirts for you, make them available on the site. All at no cost to you.

The sales of the shirt go through the website, and you get credit for each shirt sold, which you can put toward getting discounted gear. There are also sales contests that go on within the company that can add to the swag. Again, this is a “quid pro quo” situation that is outlined and set up for you with little effort required.

Here’s the big thing that http://www.urfightgear.com provides for you, particularly  you ammys and grapplers out there with no sponsorship experience: exposure.

Not only website exposure and assistance with other things (like marketing and design), but also a look into what it takes to get sponsored and what you need to do to maintain and get other sponsors.

The contract with this company is renewable and contingent only on the facebook requirements, a pic with you wearing your walkout shirt, and wearing the walkout shirt to your next fight (if you don’t, you have to pay for the shirt, otherwise the shirt is free).

Even if all you are looking for is walkout shirts, you aren’t going to get a better deal that through this sponsorship. You have no financial obligation and you have some control over the appearance of the shirt. It doesn’t get much better.

Did I say that I had a shirt available on the site?

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Well, I do, so maybe you should go check it out.

Don’t act like I’m better than this. I drink Budweiser…and just about anything else you put in front of me.
If nothing else, should you even be remotely interested in getting a sponsorship, if you have a fight coming up, if you think that you might want to have a fight coming up, if you have a bjj comp coming up or if you just want to check out some sweet looking gear, I recommend you take a look at http://www.urfightgear.com and see for yourself what is available for the little guy that doesn’t get Muscle Pharm or Shoyoroll calling them up about sponsorship.
You might just find a good company what support really is.

 

Caged Chaos at Canterbury 3 Results (09/20/13)

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I wasn’t there. I watched the stream, mostly. Some might have parts of play-by-plays, some might have just the results. I don’t know.

Frankly speaking (because we all know how rarely that I speak frankly, so I need to preface it) I’m kind of in the middle of a couple of things and I’m baking chocolate chip cookies. That’s not a euphemism, I am actually baking cookies. They are light and delicious.

They also go great with Tecate beer.

Whiskey goes great with beer. You can see where all this is going and thus, ideally, understand how I might not give more than a sentence of snarkiness to any given fight.

So, I guess that leaves us with the fights themselves.

Mike Verbeke defeated Tom Krenzel via submission due to strikes at 1:36 of the 2nd round

Jason Wong defeated Robert Confer via TKO at 2:13 of the 2nd round

Might be the first time I’ve seen a fighter not put on any Vaseline before the fight. And it clearly did not help.

Sam Nelson defeated Mackiel via unanimous decision (30-27 across the board)

…this one was ugly, at least on one side of the cage. I mean U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi. Sometimes I watch fights and have to ask, “Do you actually want to be a fighter?”

Nate Rubins defeated Dale Walters via submission due to rear naked choke at 2:30 of the 1st round

…I guess that 0-10 record was well earned…or should I say 0-11? No bottom cross sides guillotines! How many times do I have to yell that at my computer screen?

Jason Huntley defeated Sam Khom via submission due to triangle choke at 1:26 of the 2nd round

Nice triangle. What? I can be positive sometimes. And I like BJJ.

Ash Majok defeated Dustin Murphy via unanimous decision (missed the scores)

Props to Majok for the constant submission attempts, equally, props to Murphy for surviving and keeping his head til the bell.

Charles Anozie defeated Raul Rodriguez via submission due to Marcelo-tine at :18 of the 1st round

Holy f*** that was fast! If I didn’t know better, that was a BJJ match with a fastest submission prize, not an MMA fight. And you knows I loves the marcelo-tine.

I’m out of cookies, but the whiskey is still flowing strong, I may not bother with any more commentary. Snarky is one thing, but I’m trying to grow as a person.  Or something stupid like that.

Marc Renville defeated Sam Hernandez via submission due to triangle choke at 2:30 of the 2nd round

Renville’s a tough f***er. Not sure he actually breathes air with as deep as the 1st round guillotine was on him. Props to Hernandez for his own survival skills. I counted at least 5 solid submissions he escaped before the end.

Steve Moore defeated Logan McPadden via unanimous decision

Dalton Albrent defeated George Spears via unanimous decision

It’s getting dark here. Lots of fights + my couch + my liquor shelf = something creative and funny that I’m too drunk to think of now.

Jesse Armbruster defeats Thomas Rawson via KO at 1:16 of the 3rd round

Cameron Gilliam defeated Lydell Miller via TKO at 2:16 of the 1st round

Melvin Blummer defeated Donald Williams via submission due to guillotine at 3:38 of the 3rd round.

Been waiting a while to see a Blummer fight. Nicely done.

Codie Kahler defeated Mike Zimmer via submission due to triangle choke at 1:56 of the 2nd round.

Kid’s a freaking beast. Quickly becoming my favorite fighter to watch.

Ben Smith defeated Jordan Fass via unanimous decision.

It is so late, I’m just going to take a little nap. If I miss anything, I’ll play catch up in the morning.

Nick Compton defeated Matt Veal via split decision.

Okay, I admit it, I fell asleep while they were walking in and just finished this article at 7:45am on Saturday. My head hurts, but my breath smells like cookies…so I guess that balances out.

 

Getting Sponsors: BJJ Life

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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.

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Did I mention they are locally based? Good old Milwaukee, Wisconsin. How can you not want to support that?

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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?

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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