Previously, à la Mickey Mantle, you had to be an accomplished athlete in a high-profile sport to merit a lucrative sponsorship deal; however, social media has changed all of that. People can become “Instagram Famous” for taking a ton of selfies and wind up endorsing the same products as dog-abusing quarterbacks.
Since I’ve never worked for a cigarette company (or a company that helps you stop using them), I can’t provide any insight into what might land you a deal there. But I’ve spent the past decade working in the supplement industry, so I can probably give you a good idea of what those companies (and fitness-based companies in general) are looking for. Supplement companies are far more likely than cigarette companies to sponsor CrossFitters, so this probably increases my odds of helping you land a sponsor. This is important because…
You are not Mickey Mantle.
The realistic options for CrossFit-based sponsorships are going to be companies who produce stuff that is sold primarily within the community. Realistically this means limiting our field of potential advertisers to companies who sell equipment, clothing, supplements, or other miscellaneous workout items. I guess an argument can be made that Oakley is sold to pretty much everyone, but to my knowledge they have sponsored exactly one CrossFitter and he’s the current and 3-time champion of the CrossFit Games. For everyone else, we’ll need to focus on getting you sponsorship from a company within the industry.
This distinction is important, as there’s a huge difference between endorsing equipment or a dietary supplement versus sunglasses or cola. See, when you appear in an advertisement telling people that you love Protein X, your athletic prowess (or maybe just your latest victory) is assumed to be (at least partly) attributable to the benefits of that protein powder. Perhaps it’s your expertise as an athlete or coach giving you the credibility to say Protein X is better than the rest. Whatever the case may be, endorsing equipment or supplements is far different than endorsing a soft drink (or underwear or whatever), as nobody makes the assumption that it’s making you a better athlete.