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Make an “Impression”
 
By: Doug Cavin

 

What sets you apart from other anglers looking for sponsors? Believe it or not, it could be something as little as your posts on a fishing forum or e-mails you send to your buddies.

How can this affect your chances of getting a sponsor? It is called an impression. Every time your name comes up and someone sees it, it creates an impression. Every time you put your sponsors’ names and logos in front of a potential customer, it creates a positive impression.

According to Secret Weapon Lures president Joe Haubenreich, “In order to grow, our company needs branding, and that takes multiple, high-quality exposures. Anglers must see and hear our name at least seven times before it even registers as a company worth investigating, so our professional staff is helping us to get our name out before the public.”

For example, I posted on my blog 39 times in 2007, which was viewed 1270 times. I posted 239 times on Futurebass.com forum. I went through all the forums I use, MySpace profile views, YouTube and every other site I used this year. 54,098 is the total number of items out on the Internet related to me.

Multiply that by 10-20. Why, you ask? If I make one post and 10 people look at it, I’ve just made 10 impressions. Some of my posts this year had as many as 200-300 views, but to be conservative let’s go with ten.

I posted my fishing résumé on ultimatebass.com, too, and it has been viewed over 11,000 times since October 2006. That’s 11,000 more impressions that I’ve made for my sponsors.

Here is another big number for you: 216,000. That is the projected number of page views by visitors to my personal website and forum in a single year.

So if you add views of my Web posts and profiles, plus page views for my personal Website, I can offer a company just over three quarters of a million chances for people who share my interests to see their name and/or link on the Internet alone.

Every magazine article that features you and your sponsors or that you write offers opportunities for more exposure. North American Fishing Club did an article about the Take a Soldier Fishing program I run. If you add in that magazine’s 3.4 million readers, it increases my total impressions per year to 4.15 million.

Having sponsors’ logos on your tournament shirt, boat and tow vehicle adds in a few million more impressions throughout the year. How do we get there?

Traffic reports for your area can be used to estimate the number of impressions you may expect while driving down the road. Or, you can just conduct your own informal study. Count the number of vehicles passing you in both directions per minutes as you drive down the highway. For me, that’s about 50, including city and country interstate travel. In an hour, therefore, 3,000 vehicles pass by. If my Suburban and boat are wrapped in eye-catching designs, that’s 3,000 people, potentially, on whom I’ve made an impression even assuming only one person per vehicle.

How many hours per year do you drive? I drive my Suburban 15,000 miles a year. At an average highway/city rate of 30 miles per hour, it takes me about 500 hours to drive those miles, so each year my wrapped boat and vehicle account for 1.5 million highway impressions (500 hours x 3,000 impressions per hour).

In addition, I fish fifty tournaments a year… some large, others small. On average, 150 people per tournament will see my wrapped boat and vehicle and the logos on my shirt and cap. Throw in all the other anglers and boaters who see Suburban parked at the ramp or my boat on the lake, and that’s easily the same number again. I figure that tournaments add 15,000 impressions to my total.

Even when I’m eating and sleeping, I’m at work for my sponsors if I park my boat and vehicle close to high-traffic areas where passers-by can see them. The market average billboard in Dayton , OH gets 32,540 views per day at an average cost of $3500 per month. A company will pay $42,000 to get approximately 11,877,100 impressions per year. Think of your rig as a floating, rolling billboard for your sponsors.

Say I park in front of a restaurant for an hour. Imagine how many drivers pass by and see my sponsor’s logo and message! Wrapped boats seem to always draw a crowd, too, especially at shopping centers and tackle shops. My rig is parked in high-visibility areas at least 10 hours a day, 365 days a year. So if it gets even half as much as a typical billboard (16,270 per day, or 678 per hour), that works out to be 2.47 million impressions (678 impressions per hour x 10 hours/day x 365 days/year).

Adding sponsors’ links to the signature line in your e-mails can contribute even more impressions. I send out an average of 12 emails to anglers and people in the sportfishing market each day. My sponsors are listed below my name. In a year, that’s 4,380 targeted impressions.

If you do seminars at fishing retailers and tackle shows, add those in. If you’re a guest on an outdoor television or radio show, toss those in as well. I did two radio interviews this year where I promoted my sponsors, and each one reached 10,000 listeners, so I’ll factor in another 20,000 for those. I will work eight tackle shows this year and will talk to or at least be seen by 10,000 at each one. That’s another 80,000 targeted impressions – ones made on people whom my sponsors want to reach. Toss in ten seminars at 100 people in each for another 1,000 high-quality impressions.

The below chart shows the estimated impressions I will make for 2008 based on the above figures.

Source  Impressions
Internet                                                  750,000
Magazine articles                                3,400,000
Highway                                             1,500,000
Tournaments                                           15,000
Parking near high-traffic areas              2,470,000
E-mail signatures                                       4,380
Radio                                                      20,000
Tackle shows                                           80,000

Seminars                                                  3,000

Total                                                   8,242,380

We began by posing this question: What sets you apart from other anglers competing for sponsors? The answer is the number and quality of impressions or exposure that you can offer.

Imagine two anglers with identical résumés. Everything about the two appears to be the same, but one offers eight million impressions and the other angler doesn’t even mention what kind of exposure he can offer the company. Which one do you suppose will be offered a sponsorship package?

The angler who can offer the exposure they need will most likely get the nod. Haubenreich said, “The amount of exposure the angler has to offer is one of the most important factors in our decision on who we sponsor.” 

Take the time and do the research, and the next time you submit a resume to a company, make an impression.