Updated: Nov 20, 2020
If you’re interested in seeking sponsorship from your favourite kendama brand, this article is for you.
We all learn the same basic tricks in the beginning, but as you progress and expand your trick library, it becomes very important to develop your own unique style. This will help you stand out from others who are looking to get sponsored as well.
Contrary to popular belief, sponsorship goes well beyond a player’s difficulty/skill level.
Skill vs. Creativity
While difficult kendama tricks do go a long way, creativity has become an increasingly desired trait to have. Beyond the tricks, there are so many other things you can do as well. To name a few:
Capture your progression in a unique way
Share kendama with someone new
Take photos of your favorite setups
A kendama brand might also notice if you’re doing so across multiple mediums/platforms as well. Outside of filming, hosting kendama jams and events is a HUGE one. Creating opportunities for people to connect and for the community to grow will help progress kendama significantly. You can also look into making opportunities to teach and demonstrate kendama at local schools and festivals.
Sponsorship "is" and "is not”
Mutual; You get what you put in.
Team Camaraderie; A second family
Opportunity to give back; Pass on your love for the game
Hard work; There's no taking off the gas as a sponsored player
Role model; Represent your brand well, both in skill and also in character.
Sponsorship is not:
Free flights around the world
Fat royalty checks to live large off of
Unlimited free products
A “one size fits all”
Something you can get easily or quickly
Bonus “sponsor me taboos”
Asking for a sponsorship
Being rude/demoralizing to other players
Slamming kendamas on the ground after a lace (especially frequently)
Showing off chipped kendamas from the brand you’re going for
Not attending/hosting events
Not sharing clips (across IG, YT, Tik Tok, Twitter, MySpace, etc.)
Negativity/talking bad about kendama
If you are keen on achieving the honour of being sponsored as a Kendama player, focus on standing out. Stand out in character. Stand out in creativity. Stand out by being present in-person and online. And, keep focusing on continuous improvement. Consistency breeds excellence.
Show brands who you are behind the ken! Brands can't sponsor who they don't know, no matter how good your tricks are.
Progressing in kendama and being involved in the community should be the goal first, not sponsorship. Enjoy kendama for yourself and have fun with it--and maybe introduce someone else to it!