We can all remember when Michael Jordan was chosen to represent brands like Hanes, Nike, and a variety of others. We were all compelled to buy anything Michael Jordan was promoting at the time. His influence was everywhere. This was a time when athletes became the original influencers.
With the evolution of digital media came another type of influencer – social influencers. These influencers become well-known on a certain platform due to the content they post. Athletes and social media stars are both influencers in today's world, and both can be incredibly beneficial marketing resources for brands – much like when Jordan was at the peak of his career. According to current projections, influencer marketing will reach $4 billion in revenue by the end of this year, proving that many have bought into the benefits of booking an athlete influencer.
Since not all athletes achieve the same level of worldwide superstardom as Jordan, some digitally native influencers have more followers than many athletes do. The reputation in their communities is something that all athletes have by nature, whereas not all social influencers have. The target consumers, the fans and followers of athletes, understand and respect the fact that winning six NBA titles did not happen overnight. And you most certainly do not win them in poor footwear and uncomfortable undergarments. Because players cannot risk the success that earned them their audience on the field, fans naturally trust the items that athletes endorse.
Although both athletes and other influencers will eventually reach consumers, athletes may contribute far more to the growth of a brand – and not just international superstars like Jordan are capable of doing that. Even if there are just 500 of you, your followers will still admire, respect, and trust you as much as basketball fans like myself do Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, or Stephen Curry if you are one of the best in the world at what you do. In some respects, the Michael Jordans of the world have done a disservice to the other active professional athletes. There is a sense that players are too expensive, that their agents and lawyers are difficult to get a hold of, and that negotiations may be time-consuming, especially among those that have not worked in sports before.
Where to Start
There are thousands of potential collaborators for companies at various price points, and the number has increased recently that NIL permits endorsement deals with college athletes. Asking the appropriate questions will help you get started. For example, what are your brand's core values, and what kind of athlete best represents them? What sport best appeals to your target audience and what is it? Is there any network that can assist you in connecting with possible endorsers? Just to give a few.
To start the process towards booking an athlete influencer, contact Athlete Speakers. We have over 20 years of experience partnering the world’s top sports stars with iconic brands. Fill out our Online Booking Request Form or call us at 800-916-6008 to speak to one our agents.