Ben Hunter is planning on the first ever 100% human-powered winter round of the Munros and he's going to be blogging about his plans and preparations over the next few months on OM. In his first OM Blog he told us how it all began, but now he's on the hunt for sponsors...
Hello everyone. This has been an incredible week for me. Since my last blog entry my trip has progressed from being some wild dream that I alone had, and has now turned itself into an expedition that is being supported by some of the top UK outdoor companies. My sponsors are:
Bike By Genesis...
Genesis - www.genesisbikes.co.uk - is a relatively small bike company based just outside Redding. They have a great selection of mountain, cross and road bikes. I have been riding one of there older mountain bikes for about four years now and I love it. It has been through some tough winters with me and taken several spectacular crashes but its still running smoothly.
The good news is, I'm going to be riding a Genesis Day 01 Alfine bike on my winter Munro attempt. This bike has been designed to cope with the rough weather we get in the UK. When Vin Cox entered the Guinness Book of World Records for cycling round the world he set the new fastest time on a Genesis bike. A lot of the feedback that he gave to Genesis has gone into designing the bike that I will be riding, so it should be spot on for what I'm doing.
Threads By Montane...
Montane www.montane.co.uk has a great range of lightweight, warm and hard-wearing clothing. All three of these attributes will be essential for me when I am out on the hill. That's why I am glad to be able to say that Montane have agreed to support me on this trip. I have been wearing Montane clothing for many years now. When I was an instructor in Cumbria nearly all the staff wore Montane clothing on and off of the job. Montane had built up such a good image at our outdoor centre that I had not considered approaching anyone else for my clothes.
Kit By Alpkit...
Alpkit www.alpkit.com is an amazing online company. The produce some of the lightest weight camping gear that I have come across as well as other bits and peaces of fun outdoor gear. I have been falling off of bits of rock and onto there crash mats and sleeping in one of there bivi bags for quite a while now. By keeping there products online they cut out the costs that are incurred threw buying a product from a shop. This makes there kit some of the best value for money equipment that you are likely to find.
Nosh By Be-Well...
Be-Well Expedition Foods www.bewellexpeditionfoods.com is a UK-based camping foods manufacturer. Nearly all of the other boil-in-the-bag and freeze-dried foods that you can pick up from outdoor shops are shipped over from the US. Be-Well produce all their food here in the UK and are endorsed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Be-Well are not only offering me a fantastic deal on there food they are also arranging for their Expedition Nutritionist to work out a balanced diet for me for when I am out on the hills.
Human Rights By Amnesty International
Amnesty International www.amnesty.org.uk is the worlds leading human rights charity. Amnesty is supporting me with a messages of good luck and good will. I never asked Amnesty for anything, rather I approached them asking if they would not mind if I were to help promote the work that they do.
Amnesty was one of the first charities I was ever aware of and I view them to be one of the most important organizations in the world. I would appreciate it a lot if you have the time to have a look through their website and see what work they have been doing recently, thank you.
A Final Backer...
There is room for another sponsor here, but as of yet I am still looking for my final backer. Despite all the great equipment that has been offered to me so far there is still a lot that I have to purchases. I have worked out for instance that I need to spend a staggering £481 on OS maps. This means that I am currently looking for a financial sponsorship deal to help back my trip. Although nothing has been confirmed yet I have good hopes that a certain smoothie company may be interested, fingers crossed.
This has been my first time applying for sponsorship for one of my trips. From the letters of acceptance and the letters of rejection that I have had sent back to me I am beginning to learn what works and what does not. Hear are a few tips that I would suggest to any one else trying to gain sponsorship.
Tips and Lessons I've Learned
Have a clear idea in your head of what it is that you are trying to do. It sounds dumb I know, but if you approach a potential sponsor saying you want to go climb a hill they are going to want to know why and what it is that's going to make your trip exciting or different from previous trips.
Find out who you are approaching in the company when applying for sponsorship. A message that starts with some one name over dear Sir/Madam is far more likely to get a response. It shows that you have put some effort into researching the company. I had to resort to phoning the Alpkit office and had a rather strange phone call in which I managed to find out who dealt with publicity for the company then sent my e-mail to him.
Find some way to connect to the company. Find out what projects they have supported before in the past. Read their mission statements and find out a way to relate what you are doing to their business.
Sponsors ultimately support you as a form of advertisement for themselves. You need to be able to show how sponsoring you will gain publicity for them. If you can tell them about any media exposure you have had and what you plan to do to gain more exposure in the future then this is going to greatly help your application.
I hope you all enjoy the Easter break and make it out for a walk or two, I know that I will be heading down to the Lakes this weekend myself.