One of the reasons I don’t want sponsorship is because, as was just pointed out, restrictions.
Looking at mics(since I’m a live sound production company), I don’t want to be limited to what I can or cannot use. I get to make the choices, not someone else. Same with speakers and consoles and other stuff, but maybe I could compromise on consoles if Allen & Heath would buy in.
Similarly, with yoyos, I have plans that could benefit from sponsorships, but it would have to be a place such as YYE being a sponsor and not a yoyo manufacturer. This would provide me with pretty much the freedom to buy and use whatever I wanted, and in addition, for my demo/exposure programs I am slowly developing(well, that’s kinda dead at the moment), it would provide me with stable pricing, a solid location to direct people to and other guarantees that come from the YYE staff behaving and acting as I do. But I also have to think of my own brand that I am developing as well.
Free yoyos are great, but I don’t mind buying what I like. However, sponsored players are choosing to accept a sponsorship based on what the terms and conditions are, which will include some limitations. At the same time, don’t get sponsored or accept sponsorship with a company that makes products you don’t like.
I’ll take fun over sponsorship anytime. But, as I’m not going to be in competitive play ever(I might do sound for events, but won’t be competing) or performing a lot(or if at all), I don’t need sponsorships to help pick up my travel tabs and entry fees and per diem and stuff like that. I have to look at what I do from a business perspective. If I’m expected to go somewhere and perform, competitive or otherwise, then not to sound cold and cruel, but I’m not doing this out of the “kindness of my heart”, I expect to receive my day rate for my time. I don’t think a sponsor wants to shell out my travel costs, per diem, accomodations and a $2400/day pop on me because they need be to “be here and do this”. Sorry, business. Nothing personal.
That’s where being sponsored by a company such as, say, YYE, would work in my favor. I can get the back-end support I need(a place to direct people, good customer service, great selection, stable prices) and no need to do anything else other than to say “Yeah, we sponsor this guy”. Since I’m going to be doing stuff in schools, there’s little point to doing demonstrations if I can’t direct them to someplace to get the stuff.
Or, I could do a sponsorship where it rotates. Say, a company wants to get their product into people’s hands so a company gives me a bunch of yoyos to give out, but then the next time, another company gives out yoyos to give out(or sell for cheap or whatever). Then I can say “this demonstration brought to you by [insert brand here]”.
Until I get my program together, I see no reason to step up my efforts to see who wants to help. When and if it does become more organized and ready to roll, I’m going to ask YYE to sponsor me, only from the standpoint of being the place I recommend and YYE saying “yes, we sponsor this guy”, and no dollars need to exchange hands except for at most a provided banner and the costs to ship it.
For me, yoyo isn’t about money. Well, yes, they COST money, but I don’t intend to make money at this. That would suggest a hidden agenda. I just want to spread the joy and show kids an option.