I've been sponsored many times in the past from £50 supplement allowance per month and free gym membership to £2,000 cash per year so I'd like to give you 5 tips on how to get sponsored.
1. Raise your profile!
Raise your profile by getting in local media as much as possible. Contact the editor at the newspaper/regional news programme/radio by email AND phone. They're looking for new stories on a weekly basis so are likely to be interested. Tell them about the comp you've just done or even better contact them before the comp and they might even do a story on you before and after the comp.
If you don't contact them you definitely won't get in the paper or on the news so it's worth a try!
2. Do the work!
Many times that I've been in the newspaper and they have used the exact article I have written and sent to them! Do the work for them and they are more likely to include the story in the paper or on the news. Send them the article with a good picture of you in action or with your trophies and this will save them the work.
3. Create a portfolio
Create a simple portfolio of the newspaper articles/TV shows (Eurosport)/radio you've been on (or any future shows planned i.e. Germany) so you can show to potentially sponsors with the details of the number of people it's read/viewed by (these viewing figures will be available on the company website). Then ask the newspaper/radio/TV for their 'rate card' which will enable you to calculate the cost of the size/length of advert you appeared in and be able to tell the sponsor the potential value to them.
4. Face to face
People don't read emails about sponsorship unless they've spoken to you before! I get about 50 emails a week about sponsorship and I look at very few of them. The best way is to go to the business and speak to the owner or marketing manager face to face or phone them followed by an email.
5. Be realistic
When trying to get sponsorship, be realistic. You're unlikely to get £50,000 per year from Nike for being a British Armwrestling champion! And cash is much harder to get than services (i.e. free gym membership). I think most of you on here could be getting free gym membership if you do it right.
So go down to your local gym/car dealership etc, show them your portfolio and that you can have their logo as the main sponsor on your t-shirt, cap or a temporary tattoo and tell them what you're looking for (I would suggest asking for free gym membership and travel and entry costs i.e. £100 per main comp).
Remember: Show them the value to them or it will simply appear like begging.
If anyone else has another tips please feel free to share them.