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Athlete Handbook

Whether you’re an individual athlete, team, beginner, or professional, you are welcome to create a campaign and share your story on SponsorFrenzy. We know that you can all be successful if you put the effort in and include all the elements that we are about to discuss.

At a glance, every successful campaign has the following:

  • An eye-catching cover photo showing the athlete in action, or showing the team together.
  • A video and story that clearly explain your campaign goal, your previous experiences in this sport, and footage of you competing or training.
  • Rewards that contributors will receive when the campaign is over.
  • Updates that keep contributors and followers informed about your progress, results, and experiences along your journey.

Ready to run a successful campaign?

Let’s dive into the details :



Step 1

Creating your Campaign

Every SponsorFrenzy campaign should have the following:

  • A Campaign page with a video or photos and description that clearly explains your Goals for the Campaign
  • Rewards that Sponsors will receive when the campaign is completed
  • Updates that share the creative journey as the campaign comes to life

1.Choosing your cover picture

It’s easy to tell people not to judge a book by its cover, but in reality, we very often base our reading choices on esthetics. The same goes for campaigns!

Grab a contributor’s attention with a stunning action shot or an inspiring team picture.

Your picture should be:
  • High-quality and high resolution
  • Attention-grabbing

2.Writing a title

After being drawn in by your awesome cover photo, a potential sponsor will then read your title and decide whether they want to read on. First impressions count, so make sure your title is interesting and accurately reflects your campaign goal. People want to make a difference in your life now, so make sure your goal is relevant and realistic to your current situation.

3.Share your story

So you’ve hooked the crowd with your cool picture and catchy title, but you need to show them who you are and what you can do. Use your video and description to clearly communicate why you’re running this campaign and what you will accomplish with their support. This is your chance to inspire potential sponsors and get them excited about joining your journey!

Here are some tips from one of our successful campaigns:

Video:

Your video doesn’t have to look professional, it just needs to tell your story in an honest way, and look like you put effort in. Don’t try to sound like a commercial, just be yourself, and tell your story as it really is. This allows potential sponsors to get to know you, trust you and identify with your story.

We’ve found that a good video can increase your chance of success by 300%. In a good video, you should:

  • Introduce yourself – who you are, how long you’ve been doing your sport, what your biggest accomplishments are
  • Speak to the camera and let people see your face
  • Explain why you’re crowdfunding and why you need that specific amount
  • Showcase your skills – footage of you training or competing
  • Be creative – people are more likely to share it if it’s interesting, entertaining, or funny
  • Last no longer than 2-3 minutes
  • Upload it to Youtube or Vimeo and ensure that it is public (if it’s private, it won’t play on your page)
Take a look at these videos if you want a bit more inspiration:

If you’re not sure how to make a video or upload it to Youtube or Vimeo, check out our step-by-step guide

4.Choosing a Language:

Since the majority of your contributions will come from your first circle (friends and family), it’s best to write and record your video in your mother tongue, or the language you use with them.

Since SponsorFrenzy is a crowd-sponsoring global platform, which allows you to share your story with people around the world, we also suggest having an English translation of your text and English subtitles in your video. You can read more about choosing a language and adding subtitles to your video, in this blog post.

5.Deciding on duration

Did you know that the length of your campaign could greatly affect your chances of success? SponsorFrenzy team has found that the most effective campaigns run for 30 to 45 days.

Here’s why:
  • Momentum: your campaign should be long enough to generate buzz, but not long enough that people forget about it.
  • Engagement: the longer your campaign, the harder it is to keep people interested
  • Urgency: knowing that your campaign is ending soon creates a sense of urgency for the sponsor – they are more likely to contribute immediately, before it’s too late.
  • Focus: running a campaign takes a lot of time and energy, so the longer you spend campaigning, the more time you’re taking away from your training and the less focused you are on your sport.
Now that you know what the ideal length is, you need to think about when to start and end your campaign. There are a few items to take into consideration for this decision:
  • It can take up to 5-10 days to receive the funds once your campaign ends.
  • If you do not need the funds before your event, we recommend utilizing the buzz around your competition to get more media coverage and rally your sponsor throughout. Fans enjoy being part of your success while you’re competing, therefore running your campaign during one of your events can help boost your results.
  • If your campaign picks up momentum towards the end and you think it would benefit from running longer, you can send us a message requesting to extend your campaign, and we’ll be happy to set that up for you.

6.Calculating a funding goal

Sponsor Freny uses an all-or-nothing funding model. If your campaign doesn’t meet its funding goal, no money changes hands. This is great for athletes because it minimizes risk. Meeting your goal ensures that you’ll have the funds you need to compete and deliver rewards to your sponsors.

Benefits of having a realistic goal:
  • They seem achievable - People like being part of a success story.
  • When people contribute, they will feel like they made a significant impact on your life, even if it was a small contribution. With positive feelings towards your campaign, they’ll be more likely tell their friends about it.
  • Sponsors will trust you – they will understand that you’re not trying to steal money, but that the money has a real, legitimate purpose.


How do you set a realistic goal?

1) Estimate a budget: make a list of every possible expense relating to your sport and your campaign – from training and travel, to packing and shipping rewards. Add them all up. You now have a rough budget and a very good starting point for your funding goal.

2) Think about your reach: SponsorFrenzy is a great place to share your campaign with a global audience. That being said, most of your donations will come from your friends, family and community, so your goal should be based on your network size. Your should be able to raise 30% of your goal in the first week, just from your close friends and family, so you need to know how much support you can really expect from them.

3) Give yourself a buffer: When your campaign is over, the money you raised will be subject to SponsorFrenzy administrative fees (18%) and Wepay processing fees (2.9%)+$0.30, so we suggest setting your campaign goal a bit higher in order to account for these.

Here’s an example of how to make that calculation:
  • Sports cost: $900; Rewards cost: $100; Fees: 18%
  • Amount needed to cover costs: $900 + $100 = $1000
  • Goal (accounting for fees): $1000 x 0.18 = $1,180
If after doing that math, you think that your goal seems unachievable or so high that it may scare people away, then we suggest breaking it into multiple consecutive campaigns. Between campaigns, you can, and should, update your athlete page to keep your fans engaged, informed, and ready to contribute to your next campaign.

7.Rewards

Rewards are offered to sponsors in exchange for their donation.

Campaigns that offer rewards tend to be more successful than those that do not. Rewards offer a way for the athletes to form long-lasting relationships with their fans, they make the contributor feel valued for their donation, and they help you spread the word about the campaign (if they’re interesting).

The more creative you are with your rewards, the more buzz you’ll be able to generate around them. We provide some templates, but we suggest tweaking them a bit to make them your own, and adding a description of what that money could help you buy: equipment, travel, coaching fees, lodging, etc.

Here are a few types of rewards you can offer:
  • Tickets to the event.
  • VIP pass.
  • Your Name on (your name can be a race car/T shirt/ helmet)
  • Shout-out: A public shout-out and thank you message on your social media channels.
  • Souvenirs: Sending or bringing back an item or postcard from one of your sports-related travels, such as a competition abroad.
  • Crafts: handmade items you can send to a contributor, such as a knitted hat or scarf.
  • Experience: An opportunity to train with you or see you compete.
  • Merchandise: Clothing, equipment, signed photographs or posters
  • Visibility: an opportunity for sponsors to put their logo on your gear or clothing, have you participate in promotional events, and so on.
  • If you already have a sponsor, they can offer products you can use as rewards.
  • Don’t forget to add pictures in your rewards section!
Pricing rewards:

Would you pay $100 for someone to say thank you on Facebook? I didn’t think so. Try to price your rewards fairly and strategically, and offer many price ranges. Remember that typically people contribute $25, so offer many rewards around that or a little bit higher to encourage people to contribute a bit more.

8.Sponsors

If you already have a sponsor, you can add their logo, link to their website, and description to your campaign page to give you more credibility.

If you acquire a sponsor during your campaign, go ahead and add their logo! The more, the merrier! In one of your rewards, you can even mention that you will showcase their logo on your campaign page.

Your sponsor’s logo will also appear on your athlete profile. You can delete and add more sponsors at any point.

9.Receiving payments

In order to receive the funds you raise, you’ll first need to set up a Wepay account. Don’t worry, Wepay is free and provides secure online transactions!

If you already have one, then you simply need to provide us with the associated email address when you fill out the campaign form. If you don’t have one, click here to create one.

Our policy is to send you the funds within 5-10 days after your campaign ends, so make sure to take this into account when you decide on the end-date of your campaign!

10.Preparing for early momentum

Most successful campaigns raise 30% of their funds in the first few days, from their close friends and family. These immediate donations are essential because they give your campaign credibility, and make people feel comfortable contributing. Early momentum can also be leveraged for marketing and press, which in turn will bring in more donations.

To create this early momentum:
  • Before going live, ask all your friends and family to donate and share within the first 1-3 days
  • Keep track of who committed to donating and follow-up with them when you launch
  • Share the preview link of your campaign and ask people for feedback before going live. Not only will you have a better campaign when you launch, but people will feel more committed to it since they helped you from the start.

11.Strategize

Early momentum is key, but keeping that momentum up throughout your campaign is just as important. Before launching, take some time to think of a strategy to keep people engaged.

Start by collecting pictures and videos of you training, competing, or receiving awards. Once you have a collection of media, you can then decide when you would like to share them and how.

Step 2

Running your campaign

1. Launch

When your campaign goes live, send the link to everyone in your first circle (close friends and family) and ask them to be the first to donate and share your campaign. This will help you generate momentum.

Follow-up with personal emails, phone calls, Facebook messages, or better yet, do it face-to-face! This increases the chance that they will contribute and makes them feel valued and appreciated!

Remember to write a short description of your goal and your rewards, and include a link to your campaign in your online messages. This will be helpful when they want to share the information with their friends.

2. Spread the Word Online

Once you’ve shared your campaign with your first circle, it’s time to share it far and wide! Lucky for you, SponsorFrenzy provides you with many tools to help you do just that!

Emails

Emails are the best way to reach your supporters, and the SponsorFrenzy email tool makes this really easy! In the “Promote” tab on your campaign, you can send emails to your close friends and family, your extended network, and the media.

This section is broken into 3 tabs: Close Friends and Family, Other Friends, and The Press.

Close Friends and Family

In this section, you can import the contact information for your first circle, then write them personalized messages about your campaign. If you’re not sure what to write, we provide templates that you can edit. They will receive an email that will bring them to your campaign, where your personalized message will pop-up for them (and only them).

This personalized touch shows how much you care about your first circle and how much their support means to you.

They will receive an email 5 times throughout the duration of your campaign, which will stop when they donate. With our dashboard tool, you can keep track of how many emails they’ve received, when they donate, and you can stop sending these emails at any time.

Other friends

This section is where you import the contact information of your acquaintances, family friends, old classmates, club friends, fellow athletes, old coaches, and so on. Though you may not be very close with them, they’d be happy to know about your athletic opportunity and tell others about it.

We provide templates for you to edit, and the emails will be sent 5 times throughout your campaign, but unlike your close friends and family, the message will only appear in their email.

The Press

Reaching out to the media is a really great way to spread the word about your campaign, give you credibility, boost your momentum, and it’s good for your athletic image. We suggest contacting your local newspapers, magazines and TV stations about your story and your campaign. They’re often happy to do a short piece on an aspiring athlete in the community.

We provide tips about how to contact the media in our campaign creation process, as well as templates and a tool to track who you’ve contacted and whether or not they responded.

Tips for finding journalists:
  • Take a look at your local newspapers, magazines, tv shows, and see who covers stories like yours (sports-related or human interest mostly)
  • Make a list of the names of the journalists who cover your sport in your area
  • Do some digging to find contact information: check LinkedIn, company websites, Twitter, etc.
Tips for contacting journalists:
  • Either introduce yourself as an expert in your field or pitch your campaign as a story (it adds something new to the sports, reveals something new about your career, your attempts to do something you have never done before…)
  • Provide pictures and material to build trust, reveal your past experience, show how hard you’re working, and show the importance of your goal
  • Find an angle and explain why your campaign is part of a bigger story
  • Add that this is a time-sensitive story and the journalist needs to take action before your campaign ends

2. Sharing on social media:

Announcing your campaign on your social media channels is a great way to reach your extended network. Right after you go live, use our share buttons to post a link to your campaign on all of your social networks. You can keep track of how much your campaign is being shared throughout your campaign too.

Though not everyone has the money to contribute, they all have the ability to share your campaign. Reach out to some of your friends with the most followers on Facebook or Twitter, and ask them to post about your campaign (and of course include the link). You can try creating a unique hashtag that your friends can use when they post about you as well!

3. Facebook event

You might be posting updates on your Facebook wall every day, but that doesn’t mean people are seeing them! SponsorFrenzy has found that the best way to make sure people know about your campaign and see your updates is to create a Facebook event and invite all your Facebook friends. Be sure to include a link to your SponsorFrenzy campaign, as well as a description of your rewards and your goal.

Not only will they receive all your updates, but it also provides them with a way to give you feedback and encouragement. Don’t forget to add a link to this Facebook event on your campaign!

4. Sport Associations

Your local, provincial, and national sport organizations are the perfect mediums to amplify your crowd-sponsoring efforts. Write them a quick email to let them know about your campaign. Remember you have an amazing story, people want to hear about it. Also ask them to use their resources such as social media, their website, and newsletters to help you spread your campaign. Remember to always be polite and respectful.

3. Spread the Word Offline

While sharing online is a great way to build awareness about your campaign, face-to-face communication is still one of the best ways to get more funding. When you take the time to explain your campaign to someone in person, they feel more connected to you and your goals, and are more likely to sponsor. This doesn’t have to be complicated, it can actually be fun!

Here are some ways to spread the word:

1. Organize a dinner or get together

We’re not talking about a big fancy party, but inviting some friends and family over for dinner when you launch your campaign can go a long way. Take some time to introduce them to the platform and show them your video you worked so hard on!

2. Tell your coach, club, gym and team

These are people you see all the time, and they see how hard you’ve worked and how far you’ve come; these are the people who want you to succeed. They would be happy to spread the word and sponsor.

Ask your club or gym to mention you in an email to all club members and other members in person. If you’re a coach, tell the athletes you train; they love being a part of your journey and feeling like they made a difference. You can also print out posters that you can leave at your training facility or club.

3. Engage your parents

Your parents can be one of the biggest resources in your campaign. They’re your number one fans, and what parent doesn’t love talking about their child to their friends. What’s more, is that your parents’ friends actually have the means to sponsor you (unlike some of your Facebook friends). You can print out posters or flyers that they can hand out, or send them an email with the link to your campaign that they can forward to their friends, colleagues and extended family.

4. Deliver rewards personally

Instead of sending rewards, try delivering them in person during your campaign. This makes the sponsor feel appreciated, forms a bond between you and your supporter, and makes them a more loyal fan. Do you know what loyal fans do? They spread the word! Be sure to take a picture of you and your supporter with the reward and post it on your campaign as an update.

4. Updates

Updates are an important way to drive new people to visit your campaign and keep sponsors informed about your progress. Tips and Tricks:
  • Use our update box to share photos, videos and messages with your supporters. Our tools allow you to post these updates on Facebook and Twitter, and send them to your supporters by email.
  • Post frequently (at least every 5 days) about your your travels, competitions, results, rewards, progress or more. Bring your sponsors along for the ride. The more connected they feel, the more driven they will be to help you succeed.
  • Find a theme that you can post about each week - this will create loyal fans who check back frequently. For example: create a weekly video tutorial about a subject related to your sport (training, nutrition, tips and tricks) Record a thank-you video update from time to time. People like seeing your face and it gives you an opportunity to highlight the financial aspect of your campaign.

5. Promote your rewards

You took the time to come up with creative rewards, now use them to encourage people to visit your campaign by talking about them on your social media pages.

If possible, start sending out rewards before the end of your campaign. Sponsors are likely to share their rewards and experience with their friends, which will be great publicity for your campaign. You can ask your sponsors to send you pictures of themselves with the reward so you can post it on your campaign as an update!

You can also add rewards at any point in your campaign to generate more buzz. Go into the “Sponsors” tab during your campaign to see which rewards are most popular and try to create improved versions of those rewards.

6. Show gratitude

When you get a sponsorship donation, you will get an email notification with the name of the sponsor that donated. If you’re not already friends with them on Facebook or Twitter, go find them and add them. Next, write a public thank you message to them by tagging them in by name (don’t forget to include a link to your campaign).

Not only is this a great way to give your sponsor the recognition they deserve, but it also helps increase awareness about your campaign. Your message will appear on their wall so their friends will see your campaign, which may lead to a ripple effect of sponsorship.

7. Getting a corporate sponsors

Having a SponsorFrenzy campaign can actually make it easier for you to find a corporate sponsor. If you’ve been sharing your story and contacting the press, then you’ve probably created a buzz around yourself and your campaign and have generated a lot of visitors to your page. This is the type of visibility a sponsor looks for, but you need to show them why it’s worth it for them.

In your rewards, offer different options that companies of various sizes would be interested in. Here are some examples:
  • $500: Put their logo on your SponsorFrenzy campaign and athlete profile, as well as do online promotions for them.
  • $2000: put their logo on my training outfit, personal website, SponsorFrenzy campaign and profile, equipment bag, and do online promotions.
  • $5000: Put their logo on your race car, personal website, SponsorFrenzy campaign and profile, equipment bag, put a banner in your school/gym, do promotional events and promote online.
Next you need to bring these rewards to their attention. Write an email or go to a company in person and explain your campaign goals, why you’re the right person to sponsor, what benefits they would get and so on.

Note: You can add as many logos as you want on your campaign page and athlete profile.

Step 3

After your campaign

1. Fulfill rewards

Once your campaign is over, you need to thank your sponsors and send them the rewards they requested. It’s best to send them in the first 2 weeks after your campaign ends in order to maintain a relationship with your fans and keep their trust.

In the “sponsor” tab, you will see a list of all the sponsors and what rewards they requested. In this table, you can keep track of which ones you’ve sent and you can contact your sponsors if you require more information (size, address, etc.)

2. Collect your money

SponsorFrenzy will send transfer your funds to your Wepay account, 5-10 days after your campaign ends. You can then connect your bank account to your Wepay account and transfer the money between accounts.

3. Continue campaigning

Having a successful campaign will not solve all your funding needs. We know that you will need more the following season or year, and we encourage you to launch another campaign, but we suggest taking a 3-7 month break between campaigns (unless your goal is really low). People need to feel like you’re contributing to your own goals and not just living off what they give you.