"Are you crazy? Of course I want to get sponsored!"
I hear this a lot. My first response is...why? What's in it for you?
"Free yoyos man!"
Really? A few free yoyos?
Get a part time job at McDonald's and you'll get far more return on the time put in. Here are some reasons why.
1. Being sponsored is a job. You have obligations, deadlines and tasks. The company expects you to work for them! You have been sponsored as an advertising agent. This takes effort and time that you could be spending having fun yoyoing. Companies generally look at two main areas in a sponsored player. Contest wins and Internet activity.
2. Regular production of videos showing off the product. This may be something you love to do, but when it's final exams or that big project at work is due, and you need to put out a promo video tomorrow, it can turn yoyoing into a job. You need to be constantly pushing yourself to make up or learn fresh material. Are you sure you want to commit to monthy finding a cool place to film, and having fresh material to film?
3. The Internet. You are expected to spend time daily promoting your company on the Internet, in forums, on Facebook, the works. You are no longer free to talk about how much awesomer (yes that's a word) another company's yoyo is, your job is to show the world that the only Yo-yo they need is the newest one by your company.
4. You only ever get to use their gear. Want to show off the cool new yoyo you got that's perfect for your style? Sorry, you can't. Want to enter an online contest where you have to make a video using another company's logo? sorry, you can't.
And you are doing all this for a couple of free yoyos? That's a terrible idea!
So why do people chase a sponsorship? I have met a variety. I have met many for whom representing a company and promoting them is a joy. I have been In a room with someone who got sponsored, then sat in a room talking about the company and their piece of crap yoyos, then refused to use the company's gear on stage. I have also yoyoed with someone for whom it was almost irrelevant that he was sponsored, he just loved to throw.
Obviously there is the prestige factor "I'm super awesome, I'm on team yoyo tiger snake and you aren't *sticks out tongue*." I'm kidding, I have yet to meet anyone in the yoyo community that thinks like that, and I don't expect to, it's one of the joys of yoyoing. Having said that, it is cool being on a team.
It does lead me to the reason I enjoy being sponsored. Being part of something. Humans are community animals. We like being part of a tribe. Being on a yoyo team means you have people in your court. For me personally I like the promoting 'work', that's part of the fun for me, and far less a job. I honestly don't think I would have done nearly what I have, or gotten to where I am on my own.
So yeah, being sponsored isn't all bad. But it's not a goal worth aiming for, unless you think that thee work will be a joy for you. It's not worth it for any other reason. Find your passion within the yoyo world and enjoy that, and if you get sponsored by a company you can stand behind and enjoy being a part of, all the better.