The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf
Don't quit your day job!!!! Sponsors for the top pros don't dole out cash as you'd hope. It's not like they get a contract for $10,000 annually to wear, throw, thank and support their sponsors. They get free gear.
Bottom line - if you can't beat Avery, Dave, Ken, Steve, Nate, Barry, Eric, Jesper, etc. you won't be able to make a living at this game for sure.
There are bonuses (a couple hundred dollars at A Tier and above events) for team sweeps (i.e., Discraft, Innova) - if Innova players (Discraft players) sweep the top 3 spots they each get a bonus.
Innova and Discraft also have RVs that they'll allow their players to tour in.
As far as I know, that's the extent of the sponsorship support given to the top pros in the game.
The exception are those players who have discs with their name on it (i.e., Ken, Nate, Dave, Barry - the World Champs for nearly the last 2 decades) have independent agreements with the disc mfrs - but it's only those 4 as far as I know (formerly Juliana too).
It's actually a pretty sad state of affairs for the top disc golfers in the world - they certainly should be receiving CONSIDERABLY MORE for their efforts in terms of cash payouts (ooooh, $600 for winning when it can cost upwards of $1,000 to get to and play in some of those tourneys), sponsorship cash (not just gear), endorsements (on top of just gear). However, where is the money suppose to come from? Between the disc mfrs, who are running businesses? It's not fair to ask them to have their businesses support the entire game and forget about the first rule of business - making a profit.
Ideally, we could generate advertising dollars (like other sports), but our biggest problem with disc golf comes to bear on one issue - that's image. It's not possible to have big time advertisers (Coke, Pepsi, Allstate, Aetna, etc.) (Vibram is a huge abnormality and those golfers that made that happen could offer up their experiences and suggestions to others looking to generate outside sponsorships) jump in and give cash and support to a bunch of "hippie potheads." We HAVE to clean up the image of the game if we want that to happen. What people have to appreciate is that it's not a persecution, simply a decision we all make - do we want to see this game advance into a successfully recognizable sport at a TV level? If so, we can't have people taking hits on TV in the middle of a round, or at a Ring Of Fire (being filmed).
Therein lies the rub. We have two large factions within this game...those that get the fact that real money can only be made by staying away from the "hippie pothead" label often used to describe the sport, and those that don't care about the financial opportunity the sport stands on the brink of realizing. (see the recent conversation on the happenings at the 2008 Players Cup)
The resolution lies somewhere in the middle - as always, regardless of the issue.