Getting Sponsored in 2021 – Rich Houseman

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Rich Houseman knows a thing or two about what it takes to get sponsored. As the youngest ever factory-sponsored BMX rider, aged 6, he went on to become BMX World Champion and have a successful DH and 4X career. Rich moved into the world of sponsorship in 2004 when he started at hookit.com. He went on to manage the one and only Aaron Gwin, and has been behind the scenes for much of his career. We sat down to find out about his background in the sport, and what it was like racing in the 90s. We cover how he met Aaron and what it’s like being involved in the sponsorship of one of the highest value athletes in our sport. Then we get onto the mountain bike sponsorship environment in 2021. How important is social media, is racing enough, how do influencers and YouTubers fit into the picture and much more. So hit play above and listen to this episode with Rich Houseman. If you want to head to a specific part of our conversation, then here are some rough timings. Rich's background - 03:00-22:00 Hookit overview and his work with Aaron Gwin - 22:00-38:00 What it takes to be sponsored in 2021 - 38:00-1hr:30 You can find Rich on Instagram @bigzcasa. You can see the Hookit athlete rankings here. Rich is proudly supported by Nukeproof, ODI, Shimano, O’Neal, VonZipper, FOX, MRP, Dumonde Tech, KENDA, Smanie Saddles, TruckerCo, Nezium, Marsh Guard, Hookit, and Team Houseman Racing! Supporting Partners We Are One Composites This episode is supported by We Are One Composites. We Are One have been big supporters of what I’m doing from the start, and for that I’m really grateful. They also make amazing carbon fibre wheels which are hand made in Canada, and have recently added their DaPackage bar and stem to their line up. I’m running their Faction 29er rims on my bike, and they look and feel amazing. They’ve managed to find the sweet spot between stiffness and compliance, making a wheel that tracks, but doesn’t feel harsh to ride. They’ve got a whole line up of wheels, so there is always something to suit your needs. Head to weareonecomposites.com and check out what they have to offer. If you’re tempted, then as a Downtime listener, they are offering you 15% off during January. All you need to do is enter the code ‘2021herewego‘ at the checkout. Podcast Stuff If you want to support the podcast, and represent, then my webstore is the place to head. All products are 100% organic, shipped without plastics, and made with a supply chain that's using renewable energy. So check it out now over at downtimepodcast.com/shop. The new t-shirts are super soft and a lovely fit, so treat yourself and help the podcast at the same time. We've got sweatshirts and hoodies too! For everything video, including riding videos, bike checks and more, subscribe over at youtube.com/downtimemountainbikepodcast. Are you enjoying the podcast? If so, then don’t forget to subscribe. It’s free and means you’ll get every episode delivered to your device as soon as it’s available. You'll find all the links you need at downtimepodcast.com/subscribe. You can find us on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google and most of the podcast apps out there. While you're there, why not join our newsletter, to get our Weekend Warm-Up email every Friday, full of interesting bike-related stuff, competitions, product recommendations and more. If you want to share tips and advice with other podcast listeners on anything mountain bike related, you can join our Facebook group, head to www.facebook.com/groups/mtbperformance/ request permission to join the group and get involved! Our back catalogue of amazing episodes is available at downtimepodcast.com/episodes Photo - Kris Magenheim

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