As an athlete, you need to stand out to make a name for yourself followed by staying relevant and building value between people. Since fans are no longer restricted to TV and sports ground, you now have a variety of options to create the brand image for yourself. The lifestyle and fitness of athletes are the core qualities that are utilized to promote athletes. In order to sustain a relevant and successful athlete marketing strategy, the methods mentioned in this article will give you creative and beneficial ideas.
Benefits of Athlete Marketing
The topmost benefits that can be achieved with athlete marketing strategies are:
1) Team Consideration
If you adopt the right athlete branding methods, your chances of getting a consistent position in your team invariably increases. However, this must not be at cost of low or bad performance.
2) Fan Support
Bad things can happen, unintentional or deliberate maligning attempts can happen and in such unforeseen circumstances, getting the support of fans and followers is a must. By using good marketing strategies for an athlete, you can always enjoy the favor of your fans in such situations.
For any initiative taken by you, you can easily get sponsors if you are proactive in building the brand image of your athlete persona. You can also easily get financial assistance from investors if you enjoy a good image in public.
4) Marketing Deals
You will get more preference from brands and companies to endorse their products and services. Also, you may get big financial support in form of getting selected as the brand ambassador of companies.
5) Big Retirement Value
Athletes tend to lose their brand value post-retirement. However, athletes that have built a brand value for themselves will still get offers and business post their retirement.
6) Merchandise Sales
With a good personal branding for an athlete, he/she can easily sell merchandise to fans (either his/hers or of others). It is easy to publish and market books, T-shirts or promote any other business/service if he/she have a devoted fan base.
Athlete Marketing Strategies
1) Start Off With a Website
Before any random news or gossip comes about you, it is better to let people know more about you through your own website. Having a website will also ensure that posts and ideas shared by you can be easily discovered online. It will also give more control options as social media profiles have different types of restrictions over content, graphics, sharing images, videos, etc. It will also add to the professional image of your personality.
2) Press Release
Want to send any announcement related to you on 100’s of websites? Press release is the answer. A press release can ascertain that many small and big sites publish content relevant to your needs, the only necessity being the presence of a news angle. If you want to make it to some big sites like Yahoo News, Associated Press, etc, then you can go for a higher-level press release. Many big and small public relations companies use press releases to increase the brand image of their clients and you too can do it directly for branding of your profile as an athlete.
3) Relevant Ranking
As an athlete, you must aim to get your name to appear every time (through a website) whenever people type the name of sports you are associated with. If you are a volleyball player for the team ABC, then make sure that every time someone types “volleyball players in ABC” in Google, then your website must pop up on the first page of Google. This can be achieved by the help of implementing the best SEO principles either by yourself or by utilizing an SEO firm that can do athlete branding.
4) Social Network
You must make your personal profile on top social networks followed by sharing interesting content about you regularly. Make sure to stay away from grey areas like religion and politics. Before making your profile on social networks, make sure to create momentum through other marketing means like press releases, ads, etc so that your profile must not look empty for long after creating your profile. One grey method applied by some social media marketing companies is that they use follow/unfollow methods or fake profiles to get the first few thousand followers.
By using ads, you can quickly reap publicity benefits for your personality. The only thing is selecting the right set of keywords and parameters which determine the display of ads. You can direct the traffic resulting from your ads to your website or to your social network profiles. Ads on Google and Facebook are more rewarding as both these platforms have traffic inventory in billions. You can discuss the whole setup of ads and their operation with your digital marketing agency.
6) Marketing through Videos
People love to see how athletes live, what is their diet, what is their routine, etc? You can share many such videos regularly to let people know more about you. As videos are way more engaging than text, they evoke a better response from people. Apart from sharing all about yourself, you can also share tips and information related to the sports you are related to. In order to get quick penetration among the audience, you can use Youtube advertising which is a low-cost method to reach many people. Many athletes use videos for marketing more personal aspects of them especially their lifestyle and events.
You can sort and select influencers from sports and lifestyle niches to get your personal brand to reach out to the relevant audiences. Rather than searching for influencers randomly, you can take the help of influencer platforms to get access to a ready-made pool of thousands of influencers who are willing to promote brands and companies. These platforms will also allow you to see other aspects like reviews of the influencer, charges they take, options for posting, etc.
8) Discussions Online
You can assign the task of creating a brand image of yourself on various platforms to any person or agency. Such agencies/persons will post questions and replies related to you on highly trafficked platforms like Quora, Reddit, niche forums, etc. This method is also used by PR agencies to showcase charities done by their clients or travel/trips/lifestyles of their clients.
Many big blogs/sites that carry biography or news of famous personalities (like actors, sportspeople, politicians) get big traffic daily. By getting your biography/news on such sites, you will open a new channel for marketing your persona. The same thing can also be done in subtle form through securing posts on many small and medium-sized news sites that can post some or the other news about you frequently to get your name constantly in public view.
10) Banner Ads
By running banner ads on big niche-related sites, you will get exposure to relevant traffic that will start knowing about your brand image. You can run banner ads on many high-end sites through Google Ads too. Apart from that, BuySellAds.com also has a big inventory of carefully-selected high traffic sites that accept banner ads.
11) Good Cause and Events
You must always remain active to support or voice towards good causes and events. You can utilize such opportunities combined with other marketing methods like press releases to let people know your support towards such events. If the situation is sensitive or bipolar, it is better to either remain silent or diplomatic. Apart from this, you can also donate to institutions related to such events/causes to get your name out.
12) Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing through banner and text ads is an effective method to start building your brand. Big mobile advertising platforms offer various targeting options to reach out to the desired audience. Instead of directly promoting your image, you can select a good cause and can choose to advertise your name through it.
13) Cross Promotion
One of the good ways for marketing an athlete is by doing cross-promotions. You can tie up with other athletes, sports organizations, brands and can cross-promote each other to get mutual benefits. It is a free method where both entities agree to publicize each other.
14) Sporting Contests
Being an athlete, you can show support for sports activities and can hold contests to make the campaign reach out to a big audience. Apps like Upviral can allow you to hold such contests with many features being automated and smooth. Such apps create the possibility of your campaign reaching out to a large number of people thereby generating your personal brand awareness as an added advantage.
You can write a short e-book or a physical book to showcase your expertise around the sports you are linked with. Being the author of a book/e-book creates a positive image of your personality. You can advertise your own image indirectly by promoting your book online.
16) News Columns
For the purpose of marketing an athlete, he/she can offer to write for some local or regional newspapers on topics related to sports. Writing editorials and columns in newspapers creates a perception of trust along with supporting personal brand image. The same process can also be done for online news portals.
This sums up our top recommendations for athlete marketing. For questions or any more suggestions, do interact with us in the comment section below.