If you have been sponsored or are sponsored at the moment:

A lot of new, excited yoyoers are intrigued by thoughts of being sponsored. It’s just part of the dream of greatness! It’s so awesome to see incredible players on teams representing companies that produce awesome products. I mean freebies, swag, the dream!

We see threads like, “How do you become sponsored?” on a regular basis and the regular answers follow.

This isn’t that type of thread.

Those of you that offer sponsorships, are sponsored at the moment, or have been sponsored, please share the responsibilities, the experience, your personal thoughts, the way sponsorship changed or didn’t change your yo-yoing, the opportunities provided, so that we may better understand the full picture, and not just rub our hands together, smile and giggle, as we dream of the freebies.


I really prefer to giggle and dream of freebies though. I don’t think I’d still like the thought of being sponsored after hearing all the work that goes in behind the scenes.

Very interesting thread topic! I’ll share my views soon.

Well, if one ever does get sponsored, then one is doing the responsibility of a sponsored player. So, if one is trying really hard to get sponsored, then one has to continue trying really hard to represent one’s sponsor well. In other words, if you go full steam to get sponsored, then your company wants to see you go full steam as long as you’re on their team.

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being sponsored is really fun, but it’s not for everyone.
definitely a “if yo-yoing isn’t enough for you when you AREN’T sponsored, it won’t be enough for you when you ARE” kind of thing.

before you get sponsored, you are yo-yoing for your own reasons, with your own goals, and it feels very unattached, natural, and organic. when you are connected to a company, you inevitably feel like you SHOULD be doing this or that (making videos, placing in contests, wearing certain shirts, using particular products, keeping up with social media, etc). that stuff is no problem if you would be trying to do it anyway or if it’s a company you are super invested in. but a lot of people think that the fame/glory/product they take from a sponsorship is adequate to offset the things they won’t like about it (basically the things that make it feel like a job). IT’S NOT, and those people usually end up getting burnt out/bummed out OR they fade away and get ignominiously axed by the company they’ve stopped actively repping.

i’ve been REALLY lucky to have been sponsored by companies who appreciated the fact that i’m a different kind of player and who try to use my strengths rather than ask me to change my style. neither spyy, werrd, nor tom kuhn ever asked that i compete. they would occasionally ask me to make clip videos , blog, or be present at events or on social media, but i like to do that anyway. i couldn’t be part of a company where there was pressure to compete (and/or place) but honestly, no company like that would see value in sponsoring me anyway. basically, if a sponsorship presents itself, just make sure you understand the expectations. NO sponsorship will have you raking in a ton of money, so make sure the stuff they want is stuff YOU LIKE TO DO.

if it’s a company who makes products you love, which you would be honestly PROUD to represent AND they aren’t asking you to change who you are as a player, being sponsored is a dream come true. if either of those are not the case, though, most players won’t be happy in the arrangement for long.


I’m with Yoyoficer for third year and I must say I love being sponsored and being part of our brand. Before being on team, yo-yoing was just great hobby with awesome community(that gave me ton of friends), but nothing more really. But since getting on team, it’s about building brand and trying really hard to make it reach as high as possible. And I try to do as much as I can for it.

I’m with Yoyofficer from its early days, so I witnessed(and was partly responsible for) our growth, slow spread to shops all around the world, I had part in shaping how our yo-yos looks and play and I was able to co-design one of our models, that now even carry my name.

Sometimes my enthusiasm was not as strong, either because of University study or because my spirit wasn’t into it at that time. And sometimes simply because other people on team are just lazy :slight_smile: But it always starts again and I hope I will be helping Yoyofficer to be strong and growing brand for years to come.


Dang Ed, you should’ve posted that later when we are finished, so that you don’t hit too many nails in the head on what I’m about to say :smiley:
I was sponsored by Double Take Industries for like a year before the company went hiatus, and now I’ve been a Yomega Ambassador for like three years now, yeah you probably don’t know because I rarely talk or brag about it here. I also had a few friends who are sponsored by different companies so I’ll tell you about that too.

The good:
I’m glad that Yomega don’t “force” me to do much anything, other than of course promoting their brand by wearing the shirt and using their yoyos in a contest, sometimes they asked me to make a video but it’s more like optional. They encourage me to go to contests to either judge or compete, but don’t need me to have certain placements, although if I do I can get more. There were a few changes over the years, nowadays I can ask for any stuff as long as it’s reasonable, like when I’m about to go to a contest I’m gonna need a few spares and the ones I had are already broken (usually 2a yoyos which get banged around much), things like that. It’s not many enough to take advantage of the sponsorship and selling the yoyos for profit (if you’re THAT evil), but I got many enough that I don’t have the need to buy them myself, and then sometimes they also include new products I didn’t ask for (got me into kendama which is great).

the bad:
For some reason people starting to overrate me and expect me to be able to do more, sometimes it feels like a pressure, but not that bad I think.

Now if you’re new to this getting sponsored thing let me tell you, different companies expect different things and sponsor you in different ways, if in doubt ASK them how specifically the sponsorship is gonna work, like if you’re going to get the package in a few monthly basis, or when you ask, and how is the shipping, this is very important and often overlooked. Some companies especially the newer ones sometimes are not willing to pay the shipping, which usually about $30 (in case of people I know), you need to decide if it’s worth it before dipping yourself into it.
Also, some companies don’t last long, sometimes they have internal changes that the sponsorship may not work anymore, or their vision shifted and they don’t suit you like it used to be, things like that should be expected too.

Now does being sponsored feels like you’re getting free yoyos? well yes and no. Technically it’s not free that you’re expected to do something for the company, and as a return, they sponsor you with stuff/money, it’s more like a part-part time working doing your hobby.

One last thing, this is number one rule of thumb in getting sponsored, NEVER accept sponsorship from a company that you don’t actually believe in.


I’m sure every company will operate a bit differently, and even have different agreements / expectations of various members of the same team… I can only relate my personal experiences as a sponsored player.

It is definitely a job (but shouldn’t be a chore!). I am providing personal insight / knowledge and the ability to promote and generate sales in exchange for free swag. If my sponsor wasn’t getting anything out of it - I wouldn’t be sponsored. If I wasn’t getting anything out of it, I would have quit the team.

It’s a relationship that needs to benefit both parties.

At the bare minimum, I am expected to take part in team / company conversations and relay my thoughts and insight, as well as take a few pictures and /or video for social media.

The more I promote, the more free stuff I get. Running a yoyo club, for example, and promoting the brand will generate increased sales for the company, which means there’ll be more swag in my goodie bag. This is great, because I really want to promote yoyos, so getting free swag means I have “tester” yoyos for newbies to try, and I can even offer discounts to folk who can’t afford a good yoyo. I’ve even given some away to kids who have shown promise, but didn’t have money. It also means that I get to try out new and different yoyos, ones I might not have normally purchased for myself.

It’s a win-win situation for me, my sponsor and for yoyoing in general. And that, I guess, is the point :slight_smile:


Every company definitely operates differently. For example, my company is definitely not fun and games. You have to work to be on the team. Everybody is pitching in with either something big or small.

Of course, being sponsored means free throws, but only when you need them. You have to earn the right to get them as well.

I have no idea what you guys are talking about. I thought if you were sponsored, the company sent a woodland sprite to gift you the yoyos…

Well, that part’s pretty cool, but we’re not supposed to discuss the woodland sprite part to those who don’t know.

In all seriousness, in my case… it generally involves two months of fighting with customs officials before I can get my goodies.

Sponsorship is pretty good, but if you don’t want to be owned by anyone or told what to do then maybe you don’t want to be sponsored. Yeah, you get free stuff-- which is really nice-- but this stuff is the stuff that you’re going to have to yo-yo with at clubs, competitions, and in videos; whether you like it or not.

You have to pretend to like yo-yo’s even if you don’t. With me, I got the yo-yo’s, thought they were alright, and talked about them like they were the best you could get. There was definitely the change of yo-yoing from a fun passtime that I took a bit seriously to a fun passtime that I needed to take seriously. You have to be professional (depending on the company, of course).

My company was great, though. It was run by a really nice guy who was easy to communicate with. He kept us up to date with his new ideas and concepts for the next design, and being involved with prototyping was sweet. If you want to be sponsored, find a company you really like. Not just the yo-yo’s, but you should like the owner, the team, how the company is run, the perks of being on the team, the art (I reallllyyy disliked the art that my company had (Sorry, Jon!)), and basically everything else. Otherwise, you may find yourself becoming discontent and regretting your decision to join a team.

It was fun; I want to do it again; but you should really figure out if it’s for you before you commit yourself to the task of getting sponsored.

I think you nor anybody should do that. I mean, it’s great that you talked about what is good of them, and tell the company what you feel lacking of the yoyo. But no one should be like “This is my favorite yoyo, or this is the best yoyo ever” when it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not accusing you if you’re doing this or not, just saying it’s not a good practice for everyone.

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Obviously not, but I had an obligation to do my job. My employer (who paid me in yo-yo’s, but paid me regardless) told me to represent the company and talk good about their yo-yo’s, so I did in the best way that I could. I didn’t lie, I just said everything that was good with the yo-yo in question from Square Wheels and left out anything that I didn’t like about it. When you want to sell something you sell it. You don’t say “well, this yo-yo from sponsor company is good, but it’s no where near as good as this yo-yo from non-sponsor company,” you say “this yo-yo is good because of A, B, and C,” and that is exactly what I chose to do.

That sentence was poorly constructed, but the truth is if someone sponsors you then they’re going to expect you to say great things about their yo-yo’s; that’s kinda the main idea.

I’ve never been sponsored by a yoyo company but I have been sponsored in other activities I enjoy.

I never had the feeling of being owned but rather excited to be part of a group promoting a product I believed strongly in. I really wanted others to enjoy the benefits of the product. You need to be certain that the responsibilities of the sponsorship, the product, and you yourself are all a good fit.

I’m glad I never felt “owned.” Wish your experience had been a bit more on the sunny side Owen.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a good experience, but I just felt this constant obligation to yo-yo and practice and all that.

A local toy store sponsored me to promted their yoyo sales. I got a few yoyofactory yoyos but After hours of yoyoing in front of their shop, I quit. Yoyoing is supposed to be fun :slight_smile:

I always have wanted and will want to get sponsored by a yoyo company, but Begging and trying is not whats it about :wink:

I dont know whether I should say it but if ever I get a sponsorship offer I’ll only accept from 3 companies. What I mean basically its not that if any company offers me I’ll accept I’ll only accept from my favorite company that way the problem of forcing my likings will not be there.

Because I already love that company.

Well, I am sponsored, mostly because I created my company lol. :smiley:

But the responsibilities are the same. You gotta do what you gotta do to put your company out there, represent it the best way you can. However, the responsibilities for any owner include:

Checking/making CAD work and verifying the accuracy and weight distribution of the yoyo.

Contacting your machinist and anodizer and part makers to get a sense of the cost needed to make the yoyos.

Testing/assembling the yoyo’s, nitpicking vibe and ano flaws.

Shipping out the yoyos, wether it be to direct sellers or our favorite retailer, YYE.

And keeping the rest of the team in check. Without a team, a yoyo company isn’t a company. It’s more of a… group.

I remember once I was so stressed out I wanted to quit right then and there, because we had so much going wrong and so much going on at one point. But we persevered and made it out alive.

If you want to be sponsored, again, you have to represent the company the best you can. If the company isn’t for you, don’t accept, because you’re going to have to throw those yoyo’s like it’s the best thing you’ve ever thrown. Sure, you can use other yoyo’s in your freetime, contests (in the audience), but on stage and on camera, you are a part of the company, and you throw their yoyos.

That is all, gentlemen.