To be honest, sponsorship doesn't bother me one bit. Would I take it if offered? Of course. But I just like getting out on the bank after a weeks work, having the craic and catching a few fish. If I've got to fund it all myself, then so be it.
If I had to pick in an ideal world, would be a joint Daiwa/Drennan deal!
I think I've got more chance of being sponsored by Mens health than that though
No one company floats my boat that much. I like to use, what I like to use, what would be the best sponsorship for me would be from a major shop, for terminal tackle and bait. Failing that, from a garage for a van and fuel would be nice.
I was mega lucky with 2 great sponsors, Maver and Sconey, great products that i would happily of used sponsored or not. You need commitment, show attendance, features, fishing the biggest matches you can and getting results on them, its certainly not a walk in the park. TBH it shouldn't be either, fishing is expensive and any help (neither mind the brilliant deals i had!!) is worth working for (you certainly don't get nout for nout and that's how it should be, deserved)
The people your working with made it for me, Sconey was awesome, as too were my mates at Maver (Andy K, Phil Briscoe, Joe Lowe and Glen Butler), good times then with those guys.
You're spot on there Martin - too many people think gaining a sponsorship is the be all and end all but in reality gaining sponsorship should only be the start of what must be a two-way relationship.
20 years ago I would have loved a decent sponsorship but now I'd rather be my own man and use whatever tackle I choose to use. There's also many different types of sponsorship but the majority, I guess, take the form of heavily discounted tackle from the manufacturer in question - there aren't too many full-time sponsored anglers/consultants !
I also believe the image of angling in this country actually holds us back from gaining major deals from companies outside of angling. Take a look at the Bass competition scene in America and the huge amounts of 'outside' sponsors to see where it could eventually go if someone really got their teeth into changing the publics' perspective of angling - even mainland Europe is catching up the USA in some respects, particularly in the lure/predator angling circles and there are some big deals out there at the moment. Street/Urban Fishing will be the next big thing in my opinion - if you want an example google Gunki 24hr Tournament to see how things could be done !
I also believe the image of angling in this country actually holds us back from gaining major deals from companies outside of angling. Take QUOTE]
Spot on that. I listen to talk sport and most of them ridicule angling if it ever comes up in conversation with H&J and Drive Time being the worst for it. Also fishing programs with Ali Hamidi and The big fella with non angling celebs was a bit of a farce. To think it is something the British are actually good at and excel on an international stage the support from the press etc is very poor.
Sponsorship? Not dedicated enough or good enough. I make my own floats for me only now so I sponsor me and have done for ever lol.
i surpose really it depends on the level of sponsorship that you have
Individually You are a figurehead and to an extent field tester for your sponsor and as martin said your profile within angling will be scrutinized from all angles how many time have you heard at a draw " how the koof does so and so get a sponsorship hes **** gobby a cheat ect " most of the time its just jealousy but sometimes you do wonder. and its no coincidence that most of the individually sponsored anglers are by no means the most controversial
then you have the team sponsored anglers most of their deals consist of a bit of clothing and luggage and then a % discount on tackle this can be a grey area as you are not tied to solely to using the sponsors products and on some occasions find your sponsors products cheaper in discount shops than you can buy them direct
Rather than being sponsored instead for me it is being good enough to earn the respect as a match angler from my match circle.
My performance continues to be a work in motion with some moments of inspiration but on the whole pretty average results. This demonstrates to me the talent that most sponsored anglers have and how hard it must be for them to stay at the top of their game. Not helped by the ever improving ability of the average angler often as a result of on-line coaching and such. We have an embarassment of riches with the quality and quantity of match anglers in this country so it will always be a pipe dream to earn sponsorship for most of us.
Tackle companies are competitive businesses who would want to see a return on their sponsorship deals. This would mean a level of commitment and hard work that could spoil my enjoyment of competing. Turning something you love into employment will always have the risk that it becomes a chore.
To return to the original question, which eludes to which tackle company you respect, then it has to be one of the brands I most frequently buy and have confidence in; Drennan, Daiwa, Sonubaits.
Perhaps it would be better to ask if everyone wants sponsorship? There are some very good anglers on here who have refused sponsorship, it's not the be-all and end-all. Proper sponsorship means giving back to the person/company. How many can do that competently and honestly? By that I mean do you really use xyz line all the time and abc hooks? Is it sponsorship getting a discount or some free tackle or just cost efficient advertising for the company due to the circles you fish in and your influence.
Also along the lines of Micks post, it's not just about big matches and big results.
Im lucky enough to have been involved with a couple of companies purely through ideas and innovation. If you've got a technical mind and think there's an opportunity sketch it down and send it off to your favourite tackle brand, see what they say. You won't make millions but there's a chance of some bits and bobs if they take it on (something to note, it won't be a quick process and payback won't be quick but it'll be worth it)