Updated: Oct 17, 2018
The 2017 NCAA football season is officially over, and there is a whole new crop of prospective NFL talent. Although only 1.5%* of NCAA football athletes will ever wear a pro jersey, this “off-season” is a crucial time to begin building your personal brand. Below are five actions that prospects and NFL rookies should begin incorporating into their daily routines.
Recommended Reading: Why Branding should be on the Radar for Pro Athletes
1. Community Engagement. You are not just an “athlete”, you’re a member of your community. You never know who you may meet, whether it is the uncle of the restaurant server to the company VP sitting next to you on an airplane. Be aware and begin to create high-quality relationships with members of your community.
2. Engage on Social Media. Establish your social media presence by engaging with your fans and followers. Brands who endorse athletes look for high-quality engagement and social conversations. A common social media misconception is that you need to have a high number of followers. Although a high number holds value, interacting with your followers can be a difference maker for possible endorsement deals in the future.
3. Build Media Relationships. If the media begins to seek you out for interviews and stories, talk to them! They work hard in a very tough industry, show respect for their daily jobs. You do not have to be best friends with them, but keep in mind, you might need a break in a story down the road. Establishing media relationships may make all the difference in the future.
4. Build a team. Agents, publicists, brand managers, attorneys… whom do you hire? Because there are so many moving parts, think of these decisions based on “building your team inside your team”. Try to find a combination of the above who you trust and can represent your personal beliefs and passions off the playing field. For example, hip hop artist 50 Cent earned approximately $150 million in 2008. During this time his team consisted of a manager, a brand manager, a publicist and an attorney.
5. Be Authentic. No matter what is thrown your way, through the ups and downs, always strive to embrace your own unique individuality. It’s easy to get caught up and follow the crowd, but if you are consistently authentic and true to yourself, you will be stand out, be respected and certainly more marketable.
About the Author
Jennifer’s client portfolio consists of corporate organizations, professional sports teams and pro athletes. She aggressively seeks influential and lucrative opportunities for her clients to ensure that their brand not only remains relevant, but continues to grow, thrive, and influence.
Jennifer Mamajek, SportsLink Marketing