I came across an inter view of Dave Mercer on World Fishing Network today. While Dave has some valid points in the video, I would like to argue one point he made. See Video Here
During the video he talks about how it doesn’t take a sponsor to become successful. That it is the chicken and egg argument.
He is right, there are good points for both sides of the argument. If you have plenty of money and can spend every day on the water honing your skills, then yes. Success is likely to come before the sponsors. If you are financially strapped, making sacrifices in your life for the sake of fishing, the only time you get on the water is when a buddy invites you, or you are in a tournament, then yes, the sponsorships make success possible. The money you get from those sponsors afford you the ability to spend more time on the water. They afford you better equipment. They take some, if not all, of the stress money brings to your daily life away so that you can focus on fishing and being a better angler and brand ambassador for those companies that believe in you, if only your determination and passion for the sport, enough to afford you those opportunities.
I agree, whole heartedly, that it is a job. A job that begins before you ever get that company to sign on the dotted line. Your job, is to promote their brand and increase sales. If you don’t do that for a company, then you are not doing your job.
I am lucky enough to be on the prostaff of some pretty amazing brands. I have not, yet, reached a point where I get paid by those companies. I haven’t even reached a point where I get products from those companies. I am low on the totem pole where it actually costs me to have these sponsors.
I get a discount on their products and for that discount I am expected to drive me sales to their door. I’m not very good at it yet, but, I am trying to learn and do anything within my means to promote those products, including purchasing products and handing them out to people as “free samples”. While it costs me money that I don’t have, I do it in hopes that one day I will become a sizable enough of a factor that these companies are not only willing to pay me to represent their brands, but, actually want to.
I know the struggles from the other side of the argument that either Mr. Mercer. Some of us need those sponsorship dollars to pursue and become successful in our dream of becoming full time Bass Anglers.