Let’s talk about cosplay sponsors. It can seem like the ultimate dream to be recognized by a company and have part, if not all, of your costume provided to you. In this article we will discuss how to find sponsors, what things to take into consideration, and what a sponsorship really entails.
Every company has their own requirements for sponsorship. Some require a specific quantity of social media followers while others are looking for a specific type of content. Research your favorite brands and see if they have a sponsorship or affiliate program listed on their website. Arda Wigs and Cut/Sew Patternmaking host seasonal contests looking for brand representatives. If a company does not have a sponsorship form on their social media you can always reach out politely and ask if they offer such a program. The worst they can say is no.
You don’t have to accept every potential sponsorship that arrives in your inbox, even if you are the one to initiate contact. In fact, it’s best not to. Read over any information about the sponsorship and what it entails. Research the company before responding to make sure your interests align. A quick buck is not worth endorsing something you don’t believe in. Your audience can tell if you are not being genuine and this can hurt you in the long run.
Once you’ve either accepted or been accepted for a sponsorship it doesn’t end there. A common misconception is that sponsorship means brands will just throw free money or product at a creator for them to frolic in. This isn’t the case at all. Sponsorships are still work. A majority of brands will set clear expectations before any agreement of what they want in exchange for their product. Sending product to a creator is not a charity, is it a business move on the part of the brand with a marketing strategy in mind. Brands may request a review, social media post, photoshoot, or other type of exposure. Failure to fulfill your end of the deal can tarnish your reputation as a responsible creator and some brands may even ask for the product to be sent back or send you a bill for it. This is why it is important to clarify any expectations before you agree to a sponsorship. It is also important to have proof in writing of the agreement to keep brands from altering the deal after it has been agreed upon. I don’t mean this to scare you, but it is vital to fully understand what you are getting yourself into.
I hope you found this informative in your own sponsorship endeavors. Let me know in the comments below if you have any additional advice regarding cosplay sponsorships.
(The pattern for my Charlotte cosplay was sponsored by Cut/Sew. Photo by Webyugioh)