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How to Land a DJ Sponsorship

Have you always dreamed of having boxes of gear shipped to your front door?  Your first sponsorship is within reach if you put your best foot forward and approach the company with an enticing pitch.  Here’s my advice on how you can make it happen.

Formulate Your Game Plan

It’s a good idea to have a specific project that a potential sponsor could be involved in, especially if you’re just starting to rack up sponsors. Are you going to be creating a Youtube video that you could feature yourself using a mixer in?  Will you be having a photo shoot that you could place a product in? Are you going on a tour where you could use the equipment on the road? Perhaps you are a DJ/promoter who is hosting a club night, and would like to have a few door prizes to give away.

Before you begin to make any cold calls, you’ll need to decide on exactly what type of project you are working on. Set project deadlines and have a team in place that can help you execute your Great Idea. This is a good opportunity to get creative; companies will want to be a part of well planned projects with a solid marketing plan.

Approaching the right company

Once you know what your project is, you’ll need to think of what companies would be a good fit for you and your Idea. What kind of sponsorship is appropriate for the project? If you’re creating a live set, you may want to seek out an equipment sponsorship. If you’re creating a promotional video, you might want to look for a clothing company that makes clothes you like. Use your common sense, and associate yourself with companies that are the right fit for you and your DJ brand. If you already use ‘brand x’ gear in the studio or in your productions, then you may want to focus on reaching out to that particular company.

Make a list of the potential companies you would like to work with; aim high and shoot for the stars! If you have existing relationships with companies or brands, you may want to start working these contacts. When compiling your list, bear in mind that companies may not want to sponsor projects alongside their competitors. For example, if you’re looking to work with a company that manufactures headphones, once you get ‘brand x’ to agree to work with you, it might be a good idea to wear their headphones in your photos rather than approaching ‘brand y’.

How Can I Help You? Building Your Pitch

Now you need to formulate the pitch for your Great Idea that will gain you allies. Think of how your project can help the company, and focus on structuring your pitch by listing specific ways that it will benefit them. Companies need exposure, just like you and your projects do. How will your project help to market their product, brand name or logo to a larger audience, or target market? How can you help to promote them? Brainstorm every idea you have to include their brand in your project’s marketing campaign. If you need some creative suggestions, call your friend who studied marketing in college and ask him for his advice.

As both a dj with a lot of sponsorships and a manufacturer of dj hardware- I have a unique perspective on this topic that could be helpful to you guys. In your pitch to a company always keep in mind a basic marketing concept:

  • CPM or cost per 1,000 impressions- (can average $5-$40 and up for online ads)

The company, by giving you product is basically buying impressions with potential buyers. So, in order to make a pitch that lands you need to be prepared to demonstrate how many/what kind of impressions you are going to provide for the cost of providing gear. NO- saying “i’m famous” is not enough to warrant giving free gear.  Here is a basic example:

Dj Tony Tone  has a you tube channel with 5k subscribers and if we give him product it will be seen by 10k people eventually. The product he wants costs $200, so the math is easy to do: 
  • $200 Cost  {divided by} 10 CPMS = $20 CPM price.
Offer someone a sub $5 CPM with great brand recognition and a sponsorship deal should be a no-brainer

– Ean Golden 

A Game of Numbers

Unless you’re already a big name DJ or performer with a global following, (like Ean Golden) 😉 chance is you won’t be able to sell your idea to these companies on your reputation alone. You’re going to have to include some concrete facts in your pitch.

If you’re planning on having an event, and are looking for door prizes, be sure to have an idea of how many people will attend the event, how many people your promotions will reach and the demographic of your target market. Use your past successes to sell yourself and your Idea to new contacts. If you’re looking for a new synth to use in your studio productions, have a clear idea of how many downloads your last single received, or the number of Youtube hits from your last video, and include these numbers in your pitch. Make a list of your social media stats and blog hits. Don’t be discouraged if your numbers aren’t as big as you’d like them to be, it’s perfectly fine to start small and grow your fanbase over time.

Think Win Win

Make sure your Idea is mutually beneficial to both the company and yourself. If you play your cards right, you can develop your first sponsorship into a long term relationship. First, you’ll need to create a verbal and written pitch for the company, which should be clear, concise, and to the point.

You should have a short, 10-20 second verbal statement that you can use to approach new companies. Briefly tell them who you are, what your project is, and how it can help them. Practice your pitch until you’ve got it down pat. When you actually speak to someone, if they are interested in your Idea, give them more details. If they aren’t, simply move along and contact someone who is interested in working with you (They are out there!). Chances are, you will probably be asked to follow up with an email. Have an email or a a PDF document ready that gives them detailed information on your project, and your statistics.

Go Fishing

It’s time to dig through that good ol’ black book, and search for contact names at companies. You should try to find the marketing representative at the company, and contact them.

The Internet is a great resource; search through sites like LinkedIn, Xing and Facebook to find the appropriate contacts. You can also try asking the people you know for the contacts you need. Before you know it, that little black book will be full of new contacts (Sometimes success is a phone number!).

Companies are made of people, so always be polite and professional when you approach new contacts. Try to get to know the people who work at the companies you want to work with. Go to trade shows and conferences, and talk to the sales and marketing reps. After the event, follow up with emails to them, and stay in touch. Most likely, before anyone is going to send you anything really expensive, you’re going to have to build up some trust with them.

You’re a Hustler, (Baby)

The good ol’ fashioned way of hustling is to get on the horn. If you’re lucky enough to get someone on the phone, quickly pitch your idea to them. You’ll probably be asked to follow up with an email. How you choose to approach people is completely up to you – you may have better luck simply sending out emails, or even reaching out to contacts via Twitter.

Be Persistent

If you don’t hear back from anyone, follow up a few days later. It’s not that people don’t want to hear from you, they’re just busy. Maintain a positive and optimistic attitude as you continue to search for your sponsors for your DJ career and/or project.

Start by Doing

If you can’t seem to get a sponsor on board, start off on your own. Make a video of yourself using the gear made by the company you want to work with, then re-formulate your Idea or pitch, and send out another campaign to them. If you are capable of creating and executing great projects, and have a solid promotion plan, you’ll be able to find companies who would like to work with you. Companies need DJs to promote their brands just as much as you need them!

Follow Up

Once you’ve found a sponsor (and the boxes of new equipment are arriving at your house at high speed!) make sure you follow up with the companies. Complete your project on time, and send them the finished results, along with a polite thank you letter.

Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours

Once your promo material or project is completed, ask your sponsor to cross-promote your project on their website, social media or blog.

Now you’re all set to find some great sponsorships and formulate some long lasting and valuable partnerships. Go get ’em, tiger!

 

  • Timothy Nunns

    https://www.mixcloud.com/TimmyNunns/

    https://soundcloud.com/timmy-boy

    https://soundcloud.com/timothynunns

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFi143kviG7N0-BceLLPKXA

    please take a listen to some of my mixes and tracks

    im looking for collaboration as a dj and for production

  • Ñðügã Jümã Jîm Gêñîûs

    hey guyz am i need some help from you guyz

  • Djcashmire Garnett

    This information was very helpfully thank you. I shal return with results!

  • Dylan O’Donnell

    hi am trying to start my own DJ business and looking for spencer’s from BEATS or any dj company even a famous DJ

  • Dj Soulmentor

    Guys I’m a Dj also a producer but it’s hard to find Sponsership

  • John Arellano

    Focusing on music but dope side hustle

  • John Arellano

    Thanks Guys as always on point and awesome af ?

  • qg farmaman

    My name is Itumeleng Malatsi l need a help from big companies who already have experience in this

  • Darle Desmond

    Yo ! I need a Sponsorship or a Residency for my dj career ! …HELP !!!!!

  • I’ve considered sponsoring a DJ. I do a lot of LED stuff, drop ceilings, dance floors, walls, etc. Since my main market are nightclubs- hooking DJs up with a badass LED booth with my logo would be a great way of gettin my name out there.

  • David delarosa

    hey what’s up I am DJ Delarosa so I’m trying to continue my career in teachingbut I also work as an tile installer and every little bit of money that I get for trying to save has to go into the bills but people still hit me up to DJ and I still do it for money or free my number one fans are the small onesauntie love meI like the attention of being a DJ and I love making the girls dance I play all different kinds of music it all depends on the crowd

  • DVJ Rick Kraft

    This is almost exactly the way I landed a sponsorship with Sony here in Taiwan. Didn’t think I’d land that at first, but because I had spent time to build up my Youtube and Facebook fan page and got interaction with fans out there, it ended up being successful. I’d honestly say, it’s better to wait until you have those things in place first before contacting companies. You only get one chance to make a first impression, though getting famous does a lot to mitigate that. I got the sponsorship with my 12th or so sponsor letter revision + phone calls, I’m now on my 20th and using MailChimp to do HTML emails. Good luck guys n gals!

    • Pedro

      Hey could you help me with something

  • dj twiggy

    this comment is for 4real. what if your a great dj but dont have the equipment to put on phenominal shows?? thats all i have to say

    • DVJ Rick Kraft

      I’ve never seen a great DJ without good equipment. That being said, there’s always… Rental Company Sponsorships! hehe

  • djwayld

    dj wayld dj dj hope

  • djwayld

    hi am dj wayld from ethopia i hav not dj mixer pleas if hop me may email is djwayld@yahoo.com pleas

  • sick-doctor

    Seriusly…after i read this article, i cannot sleep last night!!!

    WOW!!!!

    Sick Doctor
    ________________________________________________________________________

    Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/JulianE479

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/julian.ebeatz

  • Twalib Cosmic

    Am Dj Qosmic frm Kenya perhaps the youngest Dj in Kenya basically i have a passion in Djing n i would lyk any sponsor out there to help me accomplish my dream by helping me get Dj equipment which will help raise the Djing bar higher in Kenya as it helps me progress with an initiative i have started to help drug addicts in my neighbourhood please help me my email address is twalibqosmic@gmail.com and facebook Twalib Qosmic.

  • im a dj with absolutely NOTHING but some skullcandy headphones, any advice??

    • DVJ Rick Kraft

      You can get by without equipment for awhile, make mix CDs and start building your fan page, mixcloud and youtube. Before long you will need to buy equipment though, unless you share with a friend/studio, but invest in good quality gear- You don’t need Pioneer 2000 CDJs and mixer, but you should at least get a CDJ-1000/900 and a DJM-900/800. I went the vinyl route so I have Techinics 1210MK5s+DJM900 (and Numark DXM-06 and CDJ400s for mobile performances.) Pro equipment gets you trained up and ready for the big leagues. Stay away from all-in-one controllers, they’ll waste your money buying the wrong thing, and pro clubs and DJs won’t take you seriously.
      I’m using Sony MDR-V55’s and they are leagues better than my Sennheiser HD-215’s. You don’t need Beats. And while I’m dispelling myths, you don’t need an Apple notebook, either.

  • Chimwemwe whayo

    Hallow, my name is Chimwemwe
    Lebo Whayo aged 29, I’m a Malawian (Central Africa) and little trained to be a
    Professional Dj, Music is part of my life and most of the time I used to be
    called to do my job in most clubs and in many shows but I failed due to lack of
    dj equipments. What I’m asking from you is, please may you sponsor me Dj
    equipments. Whatever you can sponsor will be appreciated and it will change my
    life. My email is chimwemwewhayo@yahoo.com or contacts me through facebook
    (chimwemwe lebo whayo

    Waiting to hear from you.

    God bless you

  • Surely the best sponsorship would be that of red bull/monster/relentless or another energy type drink, and a slogan change from red bull gives you wings to powering dj’s since 199_

  • E.T. Le

    This post has always sat in the back of my mind, and with the past couple of visits to HQ, I can’t help but wonder if there’s another way around sponsorship? Why does everything have to be sponsored? See here, I head a group that used to be very Pioneer-centric. However, only one person is our SOLE provider for the Pioneer equipment. Eventually, we all branched away to find alternative equipment to work with our personal budgets.In the end, our group has become diverse in what we use now.
    I can’t see how our group would ever be sponsored, as we’re all just for fun, and though the idea of being sponsored is indeed very enticing, I wonder if there was something else. In something else, I mean if there’s any way to affiliate with someone or something without compromising our finances and sorting through the legal dabble?

    So I thought, how about earning support? It’s something we’ve earned from the little followers we have, but would it make a difference if a bigger name was involved? 
    There should be a difference between me saying, “Check out ‘s stuff, they’re great!” and  “We’d like to thank for supporting us. They know we love them, so check out their stuff!”
    Seems like free back scratching with no legal mumbo-jumbo, right? Or am I naive in this field of thinking?
    (Fanboyism, aside, wouldn’t that be great if I can say that with DJTT?) 

  • Ayoyoism

    Helo. I’m currently a Club Dj In need of a Sponsorship to fulfill my dream of becoming o pro dj.I come from south Africa.I’m 18 years and currently making headlines in my hometown of being the youngest club dj.Its my 1st year Studying Genetics In the University of the Free state and id like to work with you guys.You can find me on Facebook by the the details “Mpho Mario Seing”(no quotation marks needed) 

  • 206geo206

    it would be great to get sponsor well it will help a lot to concentrate more in working on music than working 8hr out the day just to save up for the equipment you need but if you have love a passion for music you will do what a takes i personal have a mixtrack pro an run off virtual dj other dj look at me funny because im here playing at the clubs they play at while they have a set ten times more better an expensive than me but to me it don’t matter some day i will be able to have a set like that i never lose my hopes http://soundcloud.com/condjgeo check me out on soundcloud all done with mixtrack pro an virtual dj but ill would love to get sponsor an let everyone know at my gig what hardware an software i have 

  • Viktorholik

    hey im a new dj and i wanne get a sponsorship can someone  sponsor me plz peopel 
    say im good here is my song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zi0PgGAU5k 

    plz give me a mail viktorholik@hotmail.com

  • Djcoco 14

    i would love to get sponsorship i am a mixtape dj and i make beats for artist im start my own online radio show too i have my mixtapes up at datpiff.com soundcloud.com i am a female dj from miami i go by dj coco 
    follow me on twitter @djcoco7:twitter 

  • Richie Hawtin

    This post leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.  My best suggestion would be to do what you do, be the best you can be, and then sponsorship and other collaborations will come to you… and perhaps be a better fit to you as a DJ/artist rather than going out there ‘looking’ for free stuff.

  • Richie Hawtin

    This post leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.  My best suggestion would be to do what you do, be the best you can be, and then sponsorship and other collaborations will come to you… and perhaps be a better fit to you as a DJ/artist rather than going out there ‘looking’ for free stuff.

    • Mac_desi

      Actually to extend on that, there is no such thing as “FREE” !. Everything has a price ! So do your best, make the product a good one (Music) Put it out ! and keep some patience, Sooner or later greater opportunities might start coming in your life.     

    • DVJ Rick Kraft

      Not to be offensive Mr. Hawtin, but you do have 827,000 likes on Facebook. 🙂 Although I agree that picking from offers would be a better fit to a growing artist, the reality is that us underdogs have to hustle for what we get, before we reach that level. However, as you ascend the ladder, certainly you should be more focused on which sponsorships will benefit you career-wise, as you mentioned. Much respect to you!

  • Djdevlar

    Great article, thanks!

  • Djdevlar

    Great article, thanks!

  • 4real

    the elephant in the room here is anyone good/interesting enough for a sponsorship doesn’t give a shit about the gear, because they are already what works well for them and focus on the music.

  • 4real

    the elephant in the room here is anyone good/interesting enough for a sponsorship doesn’t give a shit about the gear, because they are already what works well for them and focus on the music.

  • Elvis

    chances are this is not going to happen at all unless you are already a big name in whatever niche you occupy. so spend your time and effort becoming famous, sponsorship will follow naturally.

  • Elvis

    chances are this is not going to happen at all unless you are already a big name in whatever niche you occupy. so spend your time and effort becoming famous, sponsorship will follow naturally.

  • Elvis

    chances are this is not going to happen at all unless you are already a big name in whatever niche you occupy. so spend your time and effort becoming famous, sponsorship will follow naturally.

  • Andrew

    As a Team Manager in an unrelated field (surfing). You need to sell me on how I am going to make more money then I am giving out. We (Marketing and team managers) get hit up all day long! Seperate yourself by making sure your email is directed towards me and isn’t “DearCompany” Also Sponsorship doesn’t end when you get signed, you need to update me on everything. I want pocasts, soundclouds, tagged on facebook and twitter, photos, videos, positive usable reviews for our website and advertizing.

  • Andrew

    As a Team Manager in an unrelated field (surfing). You need to sell me on how I am going to make more money then I am giving out. We (Marketing and team managers) get hit up all day long! Seperate yourself by making sure your email is directed towards me and isn’t “DearCompany” Also Sponsorship doesn’t end when you get signed, you need to update me on everything. I want pocasts, soundclouds, tagged on facebook and twitter, photos, videos, positive usable reviews for our website and advertizing.

  • Great stuff here. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Great stuff here. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Djreact879

    This is something that I’ve been looking to get into recently. Good article I will def use this to help with my gamplan.

  • Djreact879

    This is something that I’ve been looking to get into recently. Good article I will def use this to help with my gamplan.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article. Thanks for the tips. I’d also like to hear from DJs who have actually gotten a sponsorship and how it went. Easy, hard work, etc.?:)

    scamo

    • armyofme4340

      I’m sponsored and get free gear, However, I’ve spent years building subscribers and a following on YouTube.
      Aside from building that following you also have to make sure you keep
      your skills in tip top shape, keep up with technology, and continue to
      put our updated content. Persistence is key.

      So it’s not easy work, it’s not hard work because you are doing what you like. Obviously the pay-off in terms of finance is not in your favor. The amount of money it cost to get an s4 does not make financial sense in terms of hours you spend working on building a following. But when you do get there, it starts become easy and it’s a nice re-enforcement to you as a musician knowing that companies are willing to give you product based on you as a creative DJ/Musician.

      • Anonymous

        Hey Priscilla. Thanks for the answer. So you already get free stuff, ey? Nice.:)

        scamo

      • Anonymous

        Hey Priscilla. Thanks for the answer. So you already get free stuff, ey? Nice.:)

        scamo

      • Anonymous

        Hey Priscilla. Thanks for the answer. So you already get free stuff, ey? Nice.:)

        scamo

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article. Thanks for the tips. I’d also like to hear from DJs who have actually gotten a sponsorship and how it went. Easy, hard work, etc.?:)

    scamo

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article. Thanks for the tips. I’d also like to hear from DJs who have actually gotten a sponsorship and how it went. Easy, hard work, etc.?:)

    scamo

  • I’ve actually just started working on this recently. Everybody likes free stuff, and to feel like they’re repping something bigger. Thanks for the info, and motivation!