The OCA will be running a 4-part webinar series “An Athlete’s Guide to Sponsorship” run by Molly Hurford [details below].
The target is athletes’ ages 14-22 with more focus being placed on U19/U23 athletes. As there will be assignments and feedback elements, we can only accommodate about 15 athletes [all athletes can listen/attend the webinars but we won’t be able to review assignments]. If there is enough interest, we will look to host a second series for athletes who missed out.
Interested athletes are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, March 27 at 5:00pm. Please include your name, age, and provide very brief write-up on who you are relating to cycling. Priority will be placed on U19 and U23 athletes as well as those identified through the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario’s OHPSI program. We will do our best to accommodate all applicants and will notify everyone by Friday afternoon.
This is being offered at NO COST to the athletes.
Module 1: March 30 3:00-4:00pm
Module 2: April 2 3:00-4:00pm
Module 3: April 6 3:00-4:00pm
Module 4: April 10 3:00-4:00pm
This short e-course will provide young athletes with valuable insight and practice into how to reach out to new teams and sponsors, how to put together a comprehensive resume, and how to appropriately email sponsors as well as work with media. This information not only helps them develop as better, more marketable athletes, it also helps them when it comes time to apply or interview for jobs or college.
Video Modules  – Live webinar style but will be recorded if an athlete can’t make it
Module Reading  – Pre-module reading material provided
Assignments  – Assignments 2 & 3 will be edited and returned to athlete; Assignment 4 will be recorded and uploaded
Module 1: Introduction to what it means to be a good sponsored athlete
Date: March 30 3:00 -4:00pm
What getting sponsored means, and how it’s not just fun and new bike swag, it’s a job. Tips on thinking through local versus bigger sponsors, how to approach sponsors, what being on a team means and the pros/cons, best practices for approaching new sponsors, etc. Discussion of how the OCA and Cycling Canada factor into this as well.
Assignment 1: Worksheet (to be sent by Molly) with questions around what athlete is looking for in a sponsorship, goals in sport, their ‘brand identity,’ ideal sponsors they’d love to work with and why, and ways that they stand out from other racers
Module 2: Writing a race resume
Date: April 2 3:00-4:00pm
What a great race resume contains, how to format it so that it actually gets noticed and read, looking at good and bad examples of other (fake) rider’s race resumes.
Assignment 2: Draft a 1-page race resume, send to email@example.com by TBD date for editing
Module 3: Creating an email to a sponsor
Date: April 6 3:00 – 4:00pm
How to find the person you’re trying to connect with, creating a reasonable subject line, what the body of your email should (and shouldn’t) say, and how/when to follow up if you don’t hear back.
Assignment 3: Draft an email — complete with a subject line and the name/email you will send it to.
Module 4: What to do next/Q&A
Date: April 10 3:00-4:00pm
How to practically start reaching out to sponsors now, thinking about next steps in career, talking about best race day practices and some media training tips.
Assignment 4: Athletes will do 10-minute one-on-one “practice interviews” with Molly to be conducted over Zoom (also a chance to ask any final questions.).
Molly will record these interviews and we [OCA] may even use them to help promote some upcoming cyclists [with the athlete’s consent]