Unknown or lesser known athletes are finding it increasingly difficult to find sponsorship, so I looked at how the world of online media can help.
A brave technique was used by the athlete James Ellington in an attempt to gain sponsorship as he opted to "sell himself on ebay" in December last year.
This was widely criticized as a pr stunt in order to gain recognition by the sprinter, but a pr stunt that worked in this case.
The runner said that he's wear the kit of the highest bidder on as many opportunities as possible running up to the Olympic games.
The bid raised to a respectable £32,500 on the popular internet bidding site but it turned out to be a hoax. Speculation accumulated that the highest bid was by Ellington's PR team so that he became more known and gained a sponsor through more respectable or 'genuine' ways.
Again, this tactic worked as Ellington gained sponsorship with "King of Shaves". (source)
But what about those who are seeking sponsorship but don't want to use such controversial techniques?
There are some websites that attempt to help you find sponsorship, such as findasponsor , sponsor121 and UKsponsorship, however these sites focus on sponsorship in many areas, not just Olympic.
Then we have to look at more professional formats like linkedin and twitter so that athletes seeking sponsorship can branch out contacts and find potential sponsors through social networking.
In conclusion, online media can help lesser or unknown athletes to find sponsorship, but only when used in conjunction with other techniques.