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Some of you probably already know about my friend Kevin Jagger. I mention him here and there because, well, the guy is filled with knowledge and ambition. A speed skater in Calgary, we are both going for the same goal - to reach the podium in 2014.
Kevin has gone the extreme route and literally quit his job as a full time banker to become a speed skater and train full time. Not all of us can do that (nor would I recommend it!) but the chance he took is going to teach us all some valuable lessons. You see, Kevin never had money saved up to do this. Maybe to get started yes, but he decided he was going to take his business and financial knowledge to start to earn sponsorships and have others help fund his way through training.
Me and Kevin Jagger, in Calgary:
I got to meet Kevin out in Calgary during the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, and his passion about this began to show even more. Not only does he want to do this himself, but he actually wants to help other athletes along the way. Chatting with him about the sponsorship he's earned so far (enough to fund his entire season) really got me excited to get on the same page and start earning some of my own. I've had it on my "to do" list for a while, but like most, we sometimes don't know where to start. This is the reason why Kevin started Podium Platform.
To understand more, here is how Podium Platform is described:
"Podium Platform is an online resource for athletes looking to find out more about sponsorship, funding & self marketing. Providing content that arms athletes with the skills to build their own platforms, enabling them to reach the podium!
One of the greatest challenges facing amateur athletes is the lack of available information surrounding athlete sponsorship. The majority of media outlets covering sports sponsorships focus on team and event level arrangements. Podium Platform focuses on the athlete level - committed to sharing the stories behind the sponsorships. Not just what company sponsored which athlete but how the sponsorship came about, what the company is offering the athlete and what the athlete has committed to the sponsor."
Since starting the website there have already been posts such as How To Use Your Twitter Background to Recognize Sponsors, Promote Your Blog and Example Sponsor Kit | USA Bobsled & Skeleton. Podium Platform breaks down things that might seem complicated to begin with, and gives examples of things we can do step by step to help market ourselves better.
The cover of a sponsor kit:
Kevin's Twitter background:
To help me get started Kevin suggested I break down my costs to train yearly, which if I could do everything I wanted it would come out to roughly $30,000. For me that includes:
- A sports psychologist
- A personal trainer
- A skating coach
- Ice time
- Parking and fuel costs
- Nutritional supplements
- New equipment and sled parts
Right now there's no way I can afford to spend $30,000 a year on training. I use stuff until it wears out, I don't have a skating coach yet, and I'm just getting started with the psych. But if I were able to afford it all, that's where my sponsors money would go.
I find Podium Platform a valuable resource for any of us looking for support. I see stuff coming up on here on a regular basis and know that it will be a tool I will use to help myself gain the support I need. I recommend checking out Podium Platform yourself and see what you can find that will help you out in your own quest towards the podium!