As an IFBB Pro and coach, I ask future competitors, "Why do you want to compete?" I get numerous different answers but the most common answer is, "I want to be a Pro and get all those sponsors!" This response makes me laugh a bit. Although they are great goals and keep athletes driving to accomplish them, it's always disheartening to let the cat out of the bag and inform them it's not that cut and dry or realistic to believe if you compete you’ll automatically turn Pro and get sponsored.
I spent thousands of my hard earned dollars to compete and make it to the professional level. I had won overalls and placed top 5 in national shows but still had to mainly support myself, I did have just a little help, through these competitions. After I won the IFBB North American Championships, which earned my pro card, my phone wasn't ringing off the hook, emails weren't loading my inbox, and my social media didn't get flooded with potential sponsorships.
Why? Well, probably numerous reasons but the main one was I wasn't relevant enough at the time for a sponsor to invest in me. They will look at their likelihood of a Return On Investment (ROI) and if they don't feel you can bring anything to the table then there's no need to sponsor you.
Potential sponsors are looking for you to make them money somehow, some way. Look all over social media you will see thousands of people with incredible physiques working towards those very few sponsorships. Being in the best physical shape of your life isn't enough to make you relevant! This is where you need to stand out in the crowd and show what makes you unique, appetizing, and sponsor-worthy beyond your looks, competition placings, or IFBB Pro status. You have to show potential sponsors how you can bring them customers, represent their product, and relate to people with humility and dignity and not just be another pretty face.
In conclusion NEVER think you are entitled to anything just because you compete at any level. Competing is one way to help self-promote but DOES NOT automatically merit you sponsors or a pro card. If this is what drives you then put in the effort to set yourself apart. Good luck to all and always stay humble in victory!
Contact Jake Phippen, IFBB Pro Men's Physique @:
FB: IFBB Pro Jake Phippen
IG & Twitter: IFBB_JPHIPPEN