In 2017, Pat Bowden was to compete on one of the biggest stages in Freestyle Motocross. Nitro World Games, hosted by Travis Pastrana.
All the Fans. All the Television and Social Media surrounding it.
And Pat Bowden had 0 sponsors on his bike. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
The only words that could be seen, were on his tank and radiator shrouds saying “SEND IT” In my mind, that was a huge F*ck You to the world of branding and sponsorships. It turns out I was wrong. Well, maybe not 100% wrong, it happened by accident.
But there is an underlying feeling from Pat which goes along with this point in time that was perhaps overlooked by some.
But not missed by those in the know.
And in the end, the point is very relevant.
“Unless you want to pay me what I want, I’m not going to put a massive a logo on my bike”
The reason I wanted to highlight this part of the interview from the Riders Lounge Podcast episode with Pat Bowden released in 2021, are the lessons he has learned throughout his career and realising that those big brands that riders all strive for, aren’t always there. And it shouldn’t be the goal.
No matter how good you are. Arguably, Pat is one of the most stylish riders in FMX. Ever. His tricks are as clean as a whistle, and he is also working on and has landed some of the biggest tricks off the biggest ramps.
He is a creative designer, he knows how to create content. Yet, he is still not loaded up with the biggest brands supporting him and making life easier.
On the flip side, what if he had all of those brands? What if Pat had all the support he could want? Maybe, just maybe, he wouldn’t have achieved what he has.
And that brings me to the point for 99% of all FMX riders. All Action Sports athletes. Heck, everyone in the world.
You should simply back yourself.
Don’t wait for a sponsor to come knocking. Don’t wait for the recognition from your boss and a bonus for the month. Or whatever it is. Do what you want, and do it well. And you will achieve more than if it’s ever handed to you.
This is Part 1 on a few of the main topics Pat spoke about in the Podcast.
I really encourage everyone to give this one a listen. And really listen. Pat is pretty chilled on it, he kind of speaks about things ‘in passing’, but read between the lines of what he’s saying. And you’ll understand where he’s coming from and why he hit the nail on the head.
Listen here: https://ridersloungepodcast.podlink.to/patbowden
On the other hand, let me know what you think. Was Pat right? Is he missing something? This is only a small section of the overall, but it gives a good insight.
Part 2 coming soon.