An inline skater is considered a professional when he or she makes a living from skating, and this description includes coaches and instructors. But, on another level, a pro inline skater is one who has at least one sponsor, participates in competitions and skating festivals, makes appearances and earns a living via sponsor-generated money and competition fees or prize money - like pro athletes in other sports. Some production companies, like Beau Ideal Productions, may use pro skaters and other unique athletic entertainer/performers for special roles and effects in theatrical productions, too.Turning Pro Takes Preparation
Many skaters want to turn pro in their chosen inline skating discipline. Turning pro requires the same preparation and dedication that any job needs:
- Practice as often as possible in order to acquire the technical skills necessary to even consider turning professional.
- Find local inline skate parks, rinks, tracks, roads or other skating facilities where you can practice your discipline.
- Join a club or team to get the benefits of their training programs and other skating services.
- Showmanship and good sportsmanship will help get you in the sights of potential supporters and sponsors.
- Join the skating associations that are related to your inline sport. These membership fees are an investment in your inline skating career and may lead to potential sponsors.
- Participate in local, regional national and international events for professional inline skaters to get experience and build a reputation.
Remember that each pro skater represents their sponsor companies, which means that personality and presentation to the public really needs to match the sponsors product image. A sponsored skater needs to always be prepared for media interviews, questions about sponsor products, product endorsement and promotion, travel to events and fan contact. When your sponsor has new products, you should be prepared to try them, demonstrate them and help promote them to retailers as well as individuals without being obnoxious.Get A Sponsor
Finding sponsors will help you compete on a national level. But, since sponsors hope to benefit from their financial relationship with you, it is very hard to get sponsors early in an inline skating career. They will look for skaters with established skills, personality and a potentially winning work ethic. Use these techniques to put your best skate forward to a new sponsor:
- Shoot and edit together a short demo video that shows highlights of your best inline skating to distribute to potential sponsors. Video footage from events is more impressive than promo footage that is staged and has no results to verify the skating level.
- Develop a website or blog that has one or more videos and past, current and future event information and results.
- Work for visibility in the skating associations that are related to your inline sport, and take advantage of their media opportunities.
- Continue to participate in local, regional, national and international events.
- Keep a current bio with your event participation, results and goals.
- Contact companies that you' would like to skate for or whose equipment you already use, and find out who should get bios, videos and a personal interview or visit. Some companies have sponsorship information requirements online. If information is posted, please pay attention to the company requirements.
Remember that videos, bios and websites will only possibly get one toe in the door. You will need to prove your skill levels over-and-over again by event participation results, the word-of-mouth that comes with exciting skating and showing the potential for even better skating. If you are interested in performing in skating-related films or other more theatrical entertainment, you should consider becoming a show skater or a sports event entertainer like Jean-Yves Blondeau.Share Your Roller Sports Job Experience
Have you ever worked in an inline skating or roller sports related job? Share your skating employment story and tell us about the job you found, how you found it, what your job responsibilities were and whether you would recommend this type of employment to another skater.