Before you hit the road - the sponsor wanted!

Text: Aleksandra Dzik, photos: Pauilina Kozub

30 November 2017

Gathering finance, equipment, information about the expedition, visas, permits, transport, communication ... Everything is important before the journey of our life. Just remember that this preparations should not waste time scheduled for training. But if they are neglected too- they will sorely take revenge on us.

Lets start with the money, without which even the best trained, in the best team and with perfectly matched destination, we will not go. Indeed, the costs can be minimized, and the Poles in their way of traveling, called by me "meneling", tend to be masters. Sometimes I am surprised, how can I put into my pockets, boots and sleeves 20 kg of the excess baggage! However, for many types of professional - sports trips, the savings are possible only in a limited extent. "Low budget" is not always a laudable thing.

Sometimes it results in neglecting the issues critical for the safety of the trip, for example the right equipment and insurance. It can also ruin the chances of success of the expedition, if foe example we get to the dream mountain face exhausted due to hitchhiking or trekking on foot with a 40 kg backpack.

Sometimes the trip costs cannot be lowered because of multiple formalities, logistical difficulties which limit the access to the destination, or it is very popular in media and trendy, because it is the highest, the longest, the deepest and so on. We cannot ascend the eight-thousander with a low budget. So what to do? The answer is similar to that concerning training: hard work and sacrifices. Climber with a PhD, painting chimneys and plowing roofs of snow, it is not a picture from the years of PRL, but the reality. But the work is not about earning and saving. I am also thinking about working with sponsors and the media.

The financial sponsorship must be earned. On one side - concrete achievements in the field, on the other - the ability to promote what we do and those who support us in that. With the growth of our achievements sponsors interest will grow as well. On the other hand, the more we will be recognizable, the more likely and more willingly our potential sponsor would like to invest in us. Through sponsorship we will be able to accomplish more, and more people will hear about us. We will show up in the major media. Satisfied sponsor will provide positive feedback concerning us with his colleagues in the field and our next trip could interest a more powerful company. And so on.

But before this positive spiral gets started, it will take a long time and waiting, and a lot of effort. Planning our first mountaineering trip, such as summer trip to Mount Elbrus, do not waste time and money on "hitting blindly" to large corporations. Also it is useless to interest the Polish mass media. Lets rather talk about discounts in a friendly shop with equipment. It would be better to ask the local newspaper about patronage. After return, we can set up a slide show or an exhibition of photographs at the club or at the university, we should not forget about posting the logo of that store or newspaper. Then, if we are really strong enough, and achieving more and more successes, everything will go slowly into the right direction.

The more fortunate are those who work in the large companies or media. Here, if the attitude towards our departure is favorable, applying for money or for example, the possibility of making the film about the expedition is easier and has a chance of success, even if our plans are not great sporting achievement. However, it is not easy to have a time consuming job and an extreme hobby and passion; sooner or later we will have to make a choice: work or passion. The decision in this case is rather obvious.