In Skatepark FAQ’s: Vol. 1, I talked about the “Can you do this trick?” question that I get all the time at parks. The question that almost always follows that one is “Are you sponsored?”
I always thought this was a funny question, because why would a sponsored skater be at a small park like Salem or Beverly? But I soon realized that there are varying degrees of sponsorship.
In about 2003, I was sponsored by Oddity Activewear; they were a very-small clothing company based out of the Boston area. For my participation with Oddity, I received a few tee-shirts, a used pair of Deshi skates, and my name in Daily Bread magazine.
Overall it was a great deal. If I ever had a problem with my skates, the kid in charge of Oddity would get me new parts. But none of this changed how, why, or where I skated. It was just a novelty, and when the company folded without notice to us rollers, it just became an interesting story to tell and a couple shirts to wear skating.
So now when I am asked the sponsorship question during my sessions I have an interesting response. “Yeah I was sponsored, they gave me this tee-shirt.”