If you are an OCR athlete who is serious about attracting your first sponsor or adding additional sponsors, you need to think about yourself as a business. Businesses must develop a brand identity or image that appeals to consumers. They must know how to reach their audience, be heard and be seen - the right way. They must deliver valuable products or services that meet the needs of the people who buy from them. And, they must maintain consistency with all of it.
The challenge for most athletes is finding a way to be authentically who they are, while at the same time, ensuring that the image they're projecting is one that will grow and engage their audience and increase the likelihood of attracting sponsors. Brand Development is where it begins for you as an OCR athlete.
As an athlete you didn't likely enter OCR with a professional understanding of how to use social media to build a fan base, speak to potential sponsors and fulfil sponsorship requirements. However, your social media is THE platform through which you do 99% of your non-training, non-racing athlete work. It's where people will go to follow you, engage with you and get to know you. It's the first place potential sponsors will go to see your following and create a first impression as to whether or not you'd be a good fit for them as a sponsored athlete. And, your social media is the primary channel through which you will fulfill sponsor requirements.
In the world of sport, where athletes make money from sponsorship and endorsement deals, the size and quality of your following matters, as does the message you are sending to your audience. Social Media Management is your second point of focus as an OCR athlete.
Developing yourself as a competitive athlete has taken thousands, if not tens-of-thousands of hours of concentrated work. That amount of work has allowed you to perform at a high level and has earned you the attention of potential sponsors. Representing an athlete brand is like training and competing as an athlete in one respect - it takes a similar amount of training, experience and time to become good at it. You are expected to be good at what you do as an athlete - you are not expected to professionally manage and represent yourself as an athlete.
Your third point of focus as a high-level OCR athlete is partnering with the right representation - a group that has the experience in contract negotiations, expertise in the unique sport of Obstacle Course Racing, and connections to businesses that are interested in you as an OCR athlete.