Athlete Marketing and It's role In a Corporate Marketing Strategy

Athlete Marketing and It's role In a Corporate Marketing Strategy

By Tyler Morant


Being that I have been doing a lot of cold calling recently, I realized that a lot of people aren't entirely sure of the role athlete marketing plays in a corporations overall marketing strategies. The role of athlete marketing is simply, expand the story of your brand. But how can a corporation utilize an athlete to expand it's brand message, get an audience and turn them into customers?


Step one in athlete marketing is find an athlete(s) that speaks to your customers. Character is important. Remember these are brand representatives. Check that the athlete has the audience size you want; analyze their social media networks and the media they appear in. There must be a synergy with the athlete and the story of your business. Also don't be afraid to reach out side your comfort zone. Sports that you might not be familiar with might be to your customers. Owning a space where your competitors are not can be advantageous. You could be spreading your brand message to loyal fans, who are also loyal customers. It's a great way to expand your market share, without having to spend enormous dollars to be visible. Thinking outside of the box is something fans appreciate and they award companies who do this with fierce loyalty.


Step two is about using the athlete; which is the bulk of the work. Today's fan base is very intelligent and they do not like to see their athletes as sales man. So, I believe the best course of action is to utilize the athlete to generate content. It's great if you have an athlete that lands on the podium at every major competition they participate in. But that is only part of their story and your company's. Make sure you utilize their social media network to generate a dialogue between the corporation and the athlete. It's important that the dialogue includes key words (much like SEO) specific to the message and the products the corporation creates. When working with an athlete you want there to be an easily discoverable company web page where fans (current and future customers) can engage with you and the athlete at the same time. A sub page is best. This way you have a place where all of the content from social media to commercials can exist. Aflac does a tremendous job of this, in my opinion, with their relationship with NASCAR Driver Carl Edwards. It's integral to make sure the story is easily discoverable on the internet, since this is where the majority of research about athletes takes place.

I believe this is athlete marketing at it's most basic. But I hope this can give you some food for thought.