Sponsors help athletes save time and dime

Taylor Susewitz, Science & Tech Editor

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As student athletes, fumbling around for sports equipment amidst year-round projects and exams can be a bit of a time-consuming, troublesome venture. That’s why some student athletes at Branham invest in sponsorship deals with apparel brands to help save them time and money. Brands such as Head, Adidas, Nivis Gear, and AIDA play a huge role in students’ performance in their respective sports.

How are these sponsors obtained in the first place? The athlete has to either reach out to a sponsor, or the sponsor finds them while the athlete is competing. Sophomore Jonathan Degtyaryov, a competitive tennis player, had to reach out to his sponsors before they gave him an offer.

“You have to write to them to get the sponsorship unless you’re really good, then they might give you a full sponsorship.”

A sponsorship has many benefits regardless of whether the athlete is fully supported or not. “I’m sponsored by Head, which is a tennis racket company,” said Degtyaryov. “They’re able to give me good deals on their equipment, like with rackets, bags, and strings. I’m also partially sponsored by Adidas so they give me 50 percent off all their tennis gear.”

These sponsorships are extremely beneficial to competitors, says Degtyaryov. “Tennis [equipment is] really pricey so it saves me a lot of time and money.”

Junior Natasha Mills was sponsored by Nivis Gear, a snow sport company that provided her with their apparel so that she could represent them while she cruised the slopes.

“They would give me free t-shirts and free sweatshirts so that I could promote them,” Mills said. “When I was snowboarding, I had their sweatshirt on, or when I [would] go out to surf, I’d have their shirt on.”

Despite their benefits, not every sponsorship is going to be able to cover the full expense of playing competitively. Though the benefits of being sponsored by the dancing shoe brand AIDA exist, freshman and competitive dancer Kennedy Eaton admits that “since our sponsor only covers our shoes, money is definitely a struggle considering the amount of practice, preparation, and competing.”

Competing in sports can cost anywhere from $50 to $2,000, so even though sponsorships do come in handy in regards to being able to provide gear, transportation, and hotels, signing up for the league or class itself can definitely add up to a costly number, which could have the potential to prevent the athlete’s ability to compete.   

Having even the smallest of sponsorships can be beneficial to the recipient, as no investment can be too small.