13 thoughts on “The State of Flat Part 1: How to Make it in the Flatland Game.

  1. For me the biggest thing Terry said there was “Representing a brand is much more than being a great rider. You need to be a likable guy that is willing to put in the extra work to build a good relationship with the company. Something as simple as bringing extra shirts to pass out, keeping fresh stickers on your bike, and even keeping the companies up-to-date are all things that make a true professional. The list goes on, and on, and on…..” I think that statement right there, is why Terry is successful as a professional flatlander!

  2. Great guy , also “promoting ” a sponsor is a great way of gaining a good relationship between yourself and the public you have to sell yourself and get and create exposure combining riding with the added security of sponsors can generate more publicity ,Terry is a great example of this proof that you have to work hard at it and in the end it pays off 🙂

    • Theres an underlying subtext during this interview thats not mentioned, progressive riding, so let me ask it to you the reader/follower of flatmatters, do you have be a cutting edge flatlander to be a successful pro, just playing devils advocate here, what if you were lets say expert level rider but updated your sponsors, good attitude, did shows, travelled regurarly, updated your sponsors, this is interesting. Would “big” sponsors even understand if you were progressing or not?

  3. in reality no you don’t have to be a progressive or well known name ( although this may help ) i mean to make riding your career or be a success pro or not ,if you market yourself ,sell yourself detail video’s,shows,riding career to date etc and have a positive attitude to who you are and what you stand for and how you want to be portrayed within your career like a role model etc i don’t see that as a problem .i believe you have to be honest and prove to them that you are in it for the long haul not just the financial rewards but as a job you have to please your sponsor.

    any advice would be to have a “work plan” really important in that its how you want to promote yourself within shows,demo’s etc and what crowds it would generate a prospective sponsor could either take a risk or make it beneficial either way its great publicity and any big sponsor like a well known brand would see that as a bonus to their company , as for the progressive side i think a big sponsor would generally not understand if you have become more advanced within your riding but maximum promotion is the key element into making them believe you are serious about who you are advertising and generating the publicity in the process.

  4. Effraim,
    In my opinion, no, you don’t have to be at the cutting edge to make a living as a pro rider and entertain people. You do have to have a certain level of performance in order to put on a show, but you don’t have to be dropping the latest bombs…
    Even the basics are a bit complex for people to really grasp. After a certain level of performance is achieved, progression becomes more of a personal pursuit whether you’re learning hard tricks that are already being done or creating new ones.

    • Its an interesting point Bobby, as I said I was just playing devils advocate there. Sponsors seem more in tune with what their riders are doing, (new tricks wise) in other forms of bmx, but with flatland, I don’t think runs true. They have no idea. Getting in a position to get that coverage, and making the magazines listen to you is however another ball game, otherwise I believe more people would be hooked up, matter of being in the right place at the right time, being amongest the scene, for example its a lot easier to get a photoshoot in the states than it is in the UK. Practically impossible here. This topic is a great one! Something I feel we need a lot more of. Good stuff Bobby and Terry!

  5. Effraim, Sometimes its hard find photographers/video guys myself. Over the years I have built a team of photo and video guys incase I want to drop a high quality edit. I even pay out of my own money sometimes to get these things done. Would it be easier to live next to the transworld office, yes of course it would. But its definitely possible to keep the coverage rolling in by building your team of media guys.

    I really do not think sponsors care what new tricks their riders are popping out. Look at Daniel Dhers, Chase hawk, Nigel , they all have tons of sponsors inside and outside the industry. I guarantee the companies they ride for dont care if they are doing (new tricks) They sponsor these guys for a number of reasons.. Either its contest placing, awesome web edits, their style , the way they market them self in the industry.. The list goes on. I feel flatland is the only form of BMX where all the riders are looking at new tricks, new tricks, new tricks, new tricks, .. In other forms of BMX, if your a ripper.. then you are considered a ripper.

    Dont get me wrong… That is why flatland is awesome… Its crazy how infinite flatland is.. Its awesome that we have guys that can come up with completely new concepts that change the game on a daily basis.. If flatland was bigger than I am sure companies would take notice of all that stuff. Unfortunately we are a pretty small percentage of BMX so if you want to get recognized by companies it needs to way more than new tricks. In my opinion..

    Thanks a ton for posting the article. Cant wait to see the next flatmatters exclusive

  6. That brings up another point…All this media is pretty much self created. No one drops down from the sky and assigns topics and themes for the videos and photos. You just make it up yourself. Don’t think that only special people can make some media. No matter if you have a point and shoot camera or cell phone camera or a $100,000 camera, you can create some compelling flatland media and get it out there. You just make it up and do it. Get it out there on blogs, facebook, you-tube, vimeo, where ever. Sponsors are out there looking for this stuff.

    iMovie and other programs like that make it real easy to create simple videos and upload them to the net. Technology is making it easier for everybody to create flatland media. It’s advancing by everyday, jumpin’ up like big dogs, man! 😉

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