Pounding the pavement

In order to develop and maintain a strong business or non-profit organization, you must have strategic relationships.  Getting access to the right people is commonly referred toas pounding the pavement.
There will be obstacles along the way to let you know to stop and evaluate your ask.  I established a relationship with Mizuno USA more than 10 years prior to me asking for their sponsorship.  In that time, we I was able to analyze L.E.A.D.’s needs and how Mizuno could help.  With a healthy relationship and understanding in place, I was able to approach Mizuno with specific needs – not just a scattershot “we need help” approach.  In the past three years, Mizuno USA has been an apparel and equipment sponsor of L.E.A.D.  100% of my Ambassadors have enrolled in college wearing Mizuno apparel on and off the baseball field. 
I’m approached often by baseball organizations in regards to advice on developing relationships with sponsors.  It’s definitely not an answer that I can give in an hour conversation.  Since my wife Kelli and I founded L.E.A.D., I have beat the bushes and developed more than 100 strategic relationships.  There are several people in Atlanta that want to increase the number of African-American males competing in baseball at the college level but it takes the right partnerships to make this happen.
Strategic relationships don’t happen overnight so if you lack patience, you will never see them come to fruition.  Strategic relationships for L.E.A.D. ensure that I can provide the resources necessary for my Leaders and Ambassadors to succeed on and off the field.
There’s a lot of ground to cover for L.E.A.D. and I’m going to keep pounding the pavement.