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If you read my last article, I discussed supplement sponsorships and how to put yourself on the radar to be considered for one. If you didn't, check it out. At the risk of repeating myself, allow me to just repeat myself for a moment. If you want a sponsorship, be someone who people want to associate with and have some integrity. Be someone who companies would want to hire, would want to work with and would want to be represented by, regardless of your "success" in your chosen sport. Nail this and you're set.

As far as what it means to have a sponsorship, no two companies are exactly the same in what they will provide or expect from you. However, from speaking to quite a few in this area, I've noticed many similarities.

Free Stuff

Ah yes, the best part about being sponsored—the perks of free supplements and swag. When sponsoring an athlete, companies will almost always have two main tiers: amateur athletes and professional athletes. It's pretty common to see both of them receive the equivalency of $250–500 a month in free products. I won't lie. If you ask me, that's pretty friggin cool. Think about it—$500 in supplements every 30 days! Most athletes I've spoken to say that it's so much stuff that they can't even go through it. Piles upon piles of glorious supplements lining your cupboards, closets and pantries for days!

On top of that, you'll get loaded up on any apparel that the company may have sporting their logo (you'll obviously be expected to wear only their brand from here on out). In most cases, this is where the freebies end for the amateur athletes. When you get into the professional ranks, that's when you start dealing with monetary contracts ranging from $25,000 a year to six figures and up. (But chances are, if you're reading this, you aren't Tiger Woods and you won't be cracking the big times any time soon.) Professional athletes or very high profile amateurs will also be paid for photo shoots for magazines, internet ads and—if you're lucky—posters and supplement box covers. At this level, you can usually count on having part of (or all) your competition expenses covered as long as you provide receipts.

Some athletes are compensated based on social media activity. This will usually involve sponsored athletes who have a fan base on Instagram in the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of followers and are generating over 1,000 'likes' per post. In this case, if you're making a set number of posts (say six a week) and those posts are generating a set number of likes (say over 1,000), you'll get compensated. The more likes that you can generate per post, the more you may get compensated for. You'll probably move up a level and start getting your shows or competitions paid for and beyond. So if you haven't figured it out yet, you probably never will—social media is everything.

Hook grip won today #i'llbebeback #deadlifts #doughnutsanddeadlifts #elitefts #squatterdude

A photo posted by Casey Williams (@thecaseywilliams) on

So what will all this cost you? Once you've signed, what will you be asked to do? This basically boils down to generating social media posts, meeting yearly competition requirements and working trade show booths.


Social media posts:This, like anything else, will be agreed upon at the time of signing. You'll usually be looking at 1–6 posts per week containing a graphic of the company product(s) or a picture of yourself using one with a quick blurb "shouting out" the company and specific product. This could also include training video clips, blog posts and log updates on the company's website.

Competitions: When you sign with a company, they will usually have you commit to competing a certain number of times a year. For the most part, this will be an 'out of your own pocket' expense, so make sure you're fully aware of your commitments and budget. If you can't fulfill your duties, you most likely will eventually be dropped, making it harder to get picked up in the future by a different company.

Trade show booths and product demos: This one is pretty simple. In most cases, you will have an obligation to work trade shows and do in-store product demos. Yup, babies and kissing hands may not be the most glamorous part of the gig, but if you're a social person, you may enjoy it! Trade shows can be a great place to meet new and interesting people, connect with fans and just get out from behind the screen and actually interact with the company that you represent.

Related: How to Get a Supplement Company Sponsorship


So that's it, right? Nothing else to it? There's one more thing to cover: conduct. As a sponsored athlete, you need to remember that in the public eye, you are "on." Many people have the feeling that when they're on their phones or sitting behind a screen, they are somewhat private. Whenever you're posting, whether it's about the supplement company or just personal stuff, you are still representing your sponsored company.

This can mean different things depending on the company you work for, but generally, it's pretty simple. Present yourself on social media and at competitions and appearances in the same manner as you would at work. Of course, this could mean stifling who you think you are, but it also means watching how you interact with friends. If your friends are liking or posting things about opposing companies, you may need to go as far as not liking or commenting on these posts. Every company will have different "rules" when it comes to code of conduct. These rules could even include how you're dressed in pictures and how much skin you show. Just make sure that you're fully aware of this as you enter into an agreement.

Oh, and by the way, if you get more stuff than you can use yourself, don't try to sell it or give it to your friends. That's just asking to get your butt booted quickly.