How to Become a Pro-Staff Catfish Angler?

The path to becoming a “pro-staff” catfish angler is a long and is becoming more and more complex as the sport of catfishing is grows more popular throughour the nation.

The Catfish Conference has a unique position in the sport of catfishing as our event is primarily focused on promoting the sport of catfishing – this means our audience is composed of amateur and professional anglers, their families and friends, and anybody wishing to discover a new exciting sport. Our event is also featuring brands that are active in catfishing that want to reach our audience.

Our ability to understand both worlds and our network is one of the greatest in the sport of catfishing.

We have received a number of requests asking us to providing more information on “how to become pro-staff” catfish angler. Manufacturers of catfishing products have also suggested that we take a role in helping the sport achieve a new standard of professionalism when it comes to individuals requesting a sponsorship.

What are catfishing brands expecting from a pro-staff?

Brands mainly want one thing: exposure. Your job as a pro-staff is to share your exposure, partially or fully, so Brands can extend their brand awareness, increase their network, strengthen their name in the sport and, of course, increase their sales volume.

By granting you a sponsorship, you will have to to the following:

  • participate in a mandatory number of established tournaments
  • keep ranking amongst the best anglers in the nation
  • participate in a number of events organized (or not) by your sponsor to represent them
  • verify and grow your audience numbers
  • make sure that you positively represent your sponsor at any time when you’re out in public
  • be faithful to the brand (people jumping from brand to brand are attracting some negative feedback and could be denied their current/future sponsorships – you surely don’t want to do this!)
  • respect the brand standards – brands have high graphic standards and expect you to respect their trademarks and respect the way to display their brands. Communicating with them and getting their approval in your initiatives to gain exposure is important (especially for social media users).
  • always be an example of morality and personality in the community.
  • be innovative
  • be outgoing and sociable

REMEMBER – a sponsorship is a commercial transaction, all the elements listed here above are not “optional” or “a la carte”. Those are contractual obligations and you have to take very seriously. Failing to comply with your obligations can lead to the loss of your sponsorship and, in rare cases, legal action against you.

What do I need to request a sponsorship?

Prepare the following documents

  • A letter requesting your sponsorship along with the following attachments:
  • A letter of motivation
  • Your CV
  • A detail of your involvement in the catfishing community
  • A presentation of your achievements and ranking in catfishing tournaments
  • A biography
  • A few recent pictures of you and your best catches
  • A full disclosure of your audience (social media channels, website, videos, press, etc).
  • At least 2 letters of recommendation

Do I send an email or paper application?

Sending your sponsorship application through mail will have more impact than just sending a simple email as it will show you are willing to do an effort and hence will make you stand out of the crowd.

Does my application need to be “professional” looking?

Yes, yes and yes. You are selling yourself to brands. You want to make sure to spend enough time on your documents to make them look good, remove any spelling errors left and be proper.

Is a hand written letter acceptable?

Yes, if you do not own a computer/printer or want to go the “old fashion way”, getting a nice paper and your pen to write your documents is acceptable too.

Where do I send my application?

Go on your brand’s website and find their address. It’s usually available at the bottom of their site, on the contact us page, on their pro-staff page (they might have specific instructions there), or on the privacy policy page. Avoid sending it through email or social media unless specifically instructed to do so.

Can I send my application to multiple brands?

Yes, you can, however, do not do the usual “copy paste” to duplicate your applications. You want to send something personalized to each brand you’re targeting and you want to tell each brand why you’d like to work with them.

I am not hearing back from brands about my application, what do I do?

Feel free to send a nice reminder letter if you have not heard back after 30 days. If you don’t hear back from them after your reminder, try to give them a call. If you don’t hear back once again, you might deduct they are overwhelmed with work and this is not the right season to talk to them. Try again later – REMEMBER IT’S A LONG PROCESS!

What to request in a sponsorship?

You want to think hard about this one. What do you need? How will this brand help you? How many goods do you need? Etc. Sponsorships come in many different ways:

  • product sponsorship: brands will send you goods they sell at a reduced price or for free.
  • money sponsorship (rarely the case): brands can give you some money so assist you in your travels, tournament registration, material cost, etc. They might also buy your influence if you have thousands and thousands of followers online and pay you a commission for each person you send to them or they might simply pay you to review and or advertise for them on your media channels (this is for cases where you have at least 20’000 true followers on one social media channel)
  • courtesy sponsorship: brands might chip in symbolically to encourage you to do better and keep in touch with them to get a higher sponsorship once you improved your performances and/or when they have a pro-staff availability.
  • exposure sponsorship: some brands might share their exposure with you if that’s what you’re looking for. This happens if your target is to raise your amount of followers with a different audience a brand might have.

My application got denied, do I need to get offended?

Be patient, the road to success is not short and easy. Brands get tons of request every month. Put yourself in the shoes of the decision makers and respect their decision to turn your request down. This is particularly important especially if you personally know the management team: their decision should be 100% based on business needs, do not take a refusal personally. Instead, work on yourself, your performances and your involvement in the catfishing community and try again later. There are lots of players in the sport, do not stop looking for the right match.

Did we forget to talk about something? If yes, send us an email or contact us on social media and refer to this article!


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