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Ok! Kimonos

BJJ Sponsorships: You’re Doing It Wrong

Dear BJJ athlete looking to be sponsored,

You’re doing it wrong.

And you’re wasting your time.

getting sponsored in bjj

Your dream is to get sponsored and be successful in BJJ, right?

Here’s how:

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

So how does that apply to you?

The number one key to getting what you want is to giving others what they want.

I get beautiful, well-written sponsorship applications every day.  Don’t get me wrong, I also get my fair share of “spnsr plz” messages as well.  They include every detail of your life, training, competition history, etc. and it’s really clear you spent a lot of time on it.  Thank you for that.

What makes me cringe is not that you’re asking for help, but that you’ve totally wasted your time.


These emails are full of all of your accomplishments, details about you, and on and on about you.

But, if you really wanted to create an awesome sponsorship application.  Take your original draft full of 10,000 facts about you, condense it to 3 sentences, and then ask:

As an athlete, how can I support YOU and help YOU grow your brand/company?

Bam. That’s it.  And it’s super simple.

The hard part is actually doing whatever that company wants in an athlete.

Find out what they want.  And then crush it.  Totally over-deliver on whatever they say and then show them.  How could they not sponsor you at that point?

I hope that helps,


PS – Try this out and let me know how it goes by commenting below!

About the author: Lover of Jesus, Bowties, and BJJ. Founder of Ok! Kimonos.

10 comments… add one
  • Great post! I think you hit the nail right on the head!

  • Jacob Pashia

    I just want to take a second and say that I appreciate you highlighting the idea of making relationships about service. Sponsorships, friendships or family are all made better when each person’s goal is about “What can I do to enhance the lives of the people around me?” It is “odd”, not really, but I find it amazing the little God bumps that pop up in the most random of places. So thank you for that.

    • Glad you enjoyed the article, Jacob! It was a bit unscripted and random, but with a recent influx of requests, I just decided to put it out there.

      These relationships should be both ways as well. Sponsors should be asking athletes what they can do to support them as well. Sponsor the person, not the sport 🙂

  • Chase Tomseth

    I’m an active bjj brown belt competitor wanting to help grow OK! Kimonos in the sport of jiu jitsu. I have a list of accomplishments and want to know what I can do to help promote the brand and grow the business?

  • Luke

    As an athlete, how can I support YOU and help YOU grow your brand/company?

  • Excellent, Brendan!

    Sponsorship is a two-way street, you have to offer something in order to receive another. You don’t need to be a World Champion to make some marketing, it helps, but you can make marketing for a brand without being a (top) competitor.

    One more time excellent text, Brendan!

  • As a brand owner, especially one that’s very local, getting applicants who even ask “what can you do for me in the first place?” is a huge turn-off. Ditto from those who already reps 5 other brands on their social media accounts hehe.


  • carlos gones

    I try that approach before I’m not an accomplished bjj competitor but I try hard,and my attempts its only to get help competing more I even said I will help in competitions and work just to compete more… The answer as no replies lol

  • So much OSS in this short post! As a brand owner like yourself, I meet lots of people who are passionate, hard-working, honest and dedicated. i want to help them all! But, obviously when we think about it…sponsorship has to be about helping the sponsor first so that he/she may still have the resources to help the athlete. A good sponsorship is a “team effort”! Oss!

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