This is now the second time I’ve had the opportunity to meet up with my good friend Dave Hartman for the purpose of doing an interview on the 3-Gun Show Podcast. This has now officially become a SHOT Show event for me since I participated in Episode 113 last year, and I am super excited to revisit a topic near and dear to my heart. As many are unaware, it is a rare occasion that a truly professional competitive shooter can sustainably exist, and I am certainly not privy to such an exception. Most pro shooters are in fact dedicated individuals with day jobs who have a passion and dedication to a sport for nothing more than the simple (but deep) satisfaction of participating in it.
For those that excel in various areas of the practical shooting sports, sponsorship can become a privilege that helps off-set some (or many) of the high costs of competing regularly on the national level. What I mean by “excel in various areas” is not necessarily approaching the benchmark of being the greatest shooter that ever lived. In fact, some of the most valuable sponsored shooters are often upper mid-pack. These are they who have a unique ability to represent their supporting companies and the shooting sports with charisma, grace, and positivity; true “ambassadors” to the sport and the brands they represent. In sharp contrast, there are many who are at the top of their sport, but can’t seem to string two sentences together or discuss their methods, equipment, and passion with words.
However, most shooters fall somewhere in the middle, and this interview is a continuation of our conversation from this same time last year. Technology has changed a little bit, companies continue to mature in their use of brand ambassadors, but the principles of creating value in a marketplace have not. While we live in a (mostly) free market, and companies can decide what they find valuable in a sponsored shooter or brand ambassador there are a lot of common threads, and Dave and I have some fun discussing what is working, what is not, and updates on what to do to give companies what they are looking for.