What makes for a truly standout sponsorship?

Corporate sponsorships are a little like romantic relationships. The more you have to convince yourself it’s a match, the less it probably is. Which is why it’s been such a pleasure to work with my most recent sponsor, Artengo | Decathlon. Enthusiasm for their brand aside, everything with them has felt so easy, real, and natural—just like the right relationship. (I think that comes through pretty clearly in the vlog of my first visit to see them, which you can check out below if you’d like. We have a good time, eh?) 

Of course, I’m not naïve. Sponsorships are incredibly important for any public figure, and it’s not always easy (or smart) to say no, no, no. I think I’ve been pretty good about working only with sponsors I genuinely like, support, or at least find interesting. But, to be totally honest with you, I’d be lying if I said the cheque hadn’t helped boost my enthusiasm at times. (Hey, I’m human.)

But regardless of the product or service itself, when it comes to sponsorships, for me, three things can really help make the difference. 

  • Level of communication. (The more, the better.)
  • Personal involvement. (Sponsors, let me be part of the creative process! Public figures, actually make time for the meetings! Better yet, go hang out with the team for a day.)
  • The human aspect. (Trust, care, and authenticity between sponsor and sponsored always comes through. See attached video 😉)

These three factors are why it’s been such a pleasure for me to work with Artengo | Decathlon these last few months. Some interactions with brand teams make you feel like just a face on a banner; a walking billboard. But Artengo and Decathlon have been true partners, putting their trust in me to take risks, really involving me in the design of the racquet and colors of the apparel we created together, and—crucially—having my back all throughout the time I’ve been injured and off the court.

I don’t know how other people in my position feel, but for me, it’s so much more satisfying to feel like you’re bringing real insight, expertise, and added value to a sponsor versus just your follower count or notoriety. In short, Artengo | Decathlon teams, you guys rock.

And if you wanna see what we’ve been working on, here’s the link!

Until next time,


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