Being selected for the SA National Wushu team is great, but definitely comes with one downfall…. we don’t get any funding from the Government and we’ve never managed to obtain a team sponsorship.
This is the 3rd time I’ve made the SA team, first was in 2008 for the 3rd World Traditional Wushu Championships (Taolu), second for the 10th World Wushu Championships (Sanshou) in 2009, and this year for the 5th World Traditional Wushu Championships (Taolu). Before this, I was selected in 2006 (after competing in my very first SA Wushu National Championships), but I had just graduated (meaning I was far from earning an income which would sustain a trip overseas), and the hunt for sponsorship was unsuccessful so I couldn’t go.
There’s one thing I learned from sponsorship hunting as a South African Wushu athlete – it never goes well. I approached every single sports related – and non-sports related – company I could possibly think of. Certain sports clothing brands and energy drink brands – you name the company and I’ve probably approached them before. The one response that really stuck with me, and basically summed up sponsorship hunting for my sport was: “No, we don’t sponsor obscure sports.”
So this year when it came to hunting for sponsorship I was feeling rather despondent. I tried my luck and tweeted, in hope that some of my tweeps had connections with companies who might be keen to sponsor me. I didn’t receive any response until late on the 1st of August. I was tweeting about feeling disappointed that I was doing work-work instead of sponsorship hunting. One of my followers responded asking what sponsorship hunt I was on and I filled him in on the details. Shortly thereafter I received a DM from the person simply saying, “Send me the details and maybe I can be of some help.” So, I compiled a sponsorship proposal, fact sheet, etc and I duly sent it off.
Three days later I received an email saying “So happy to sponsor you at the World Champs. ”
Shocked is the understatement of the year! I responded with:
“Whaaaaaaaat?? Seriously? You’re joking, right? You actually left out a word and meant to say you’ll help me look for a sponsor?”
To which the sponsor simply said: “You’re on your way to China.”
I was so happy I almost did back flips in the garden. After so many years of trying to get sponsorship, I actually got one – and through the magical means of social media!
The awesome company that is sponsoring me is TMS30x30 – a fully integrated digital and traditional market research firm. Every person I have interacted with at that company has been amazing – they are so supportive, enthusiastic and above all else, friendly! They really have gone above and beyond to encourage and support me on my journey leading up to the 5th World Wushu Championships, and I’m exceptionally proud to be associated with them and massively grateful for their support!
When I asked the CEO of TMS30x30 why he offered to sponsor me, he said:
“It’s not often that one comes across a real-life ninja – we like to think we are ninjas at the work we do – so when the opportunity arose to get involved in sponsoring Liane, we grabbed it. Liane’s struggle back from injury and drive and ambition to succeed are values that are very close to our heart.”
See what I mean by them being such awesome people!?
These research ninja’s are currently working on gathering info on social media use in South Africa… (and they even give away prizes to those who participate in the survey) – if you’re feeling kind and what to contribute towards this research, please take a few seconds to complete the survey…. you could even win a prize Click here to do the survey.
You can also follow them on Twitter to see what they’re up to @TMS30x30.Read More