Updated: Oct 17, 2018
We live in the digital era where checking your Facebook feed or tweeting your opinion about a sports game or athlete is part of our daily routine. We have professional athletes trading in their cleats for their dance shoes and showcasing their dance skills on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Athletes have reality TV shows that expose their passions and lives outside of their sport.
The athletes who take advantage of off-field opportunities understand the importance of enhancing their identity and brand. They know by boosting their public profile, online and in person, they can produce incremental revenue streams. Increased popularity, larger endorsement deals and more business opportunities are just a few benefits.
Regardless of the sport, if you're a professional athlete you need to understand the relevance of your personal brand. Also, you must make a valiant effort at building your identity. The most strategic way to accomplish maximum brand exposure is to work with a marketing and PR partner.
Outlined below are 10 things that an Athlete Marketing Manager and/or PR Manager will do for you:
Build a Solid Plan: An experienced marketing manager will help the athlete understand that PR (public relations) involves more than pure publicity tactics. Building strong brand presence requires publicity efforts coupled with solid marketing strategies.
Positive Recognition: You will get recognized for 'doing good' in other interests and passions outside of your sport. An athlete who works with a specific charity or has their own foundation is a good example. A Marketing Manager will help maximize your goodwill, ultimately helping brand identity and your legacy.
Crisis Management: A good partner will effectively manage you through crisis situations. Managers effectively use their ability to manage the messages immediately following a crisis. Marketing Managers will not "spin" stories in an attempt to deflect blame and accountability. Good crisis management is the difference between reputation recovery and failure.
Accountability: Marketing Managers will do everything in their power to make sure their clients keep things in perspective. They will not tell you what you "want to hear." They tell you what you "need to know" so that you are on track and accountable.
Social Media: Build and execute an effective and consistent social media strategy. Having a strong following on social media will enable athletes to engage their fans. Social media can be one of the most powerful brand-building tools.
Build Synergy: Managers will communicate and coordinate with the agent, lawyer, sponsor, and other members of your team. They ensure that everyone is in sync with what is being done to raise the athlete’s profile. Creating synergy is the balance between team members to minimize media blunders or mistakes.
Media Training: Help athletes understand the importance of interviews and media relations. Messaging is at the core of successful public relations, and is part of the foundation of a long-term career roadmap.
Increase Opportunities: The efforts executed by a strong manager will ultimately make you more marketable to corporate sponsors, endorsements, and other outside revenue generating opportunities.
Add Value: Find the partner who wants to work for you long after your sports career. These partners will add value by exposing you to different opportunities for professional growth outside of your sport. Marketing pros have connections within many industries other than the sports world. They will use their network to help break any barriers for your next career move.
Make you a Priority: Many large agencies do not have the capacity to focus on all of the athletes that they represent. A good Marketing Manager will not take on more than they can handle. Their clients are the priority.
So while it remains true that athletes must perform, their brand is also a valuable asset. How they are perceived — on and off the field — can impact the value of their contracts, endorsement deals, post-playing careers, and other opportunities. Investing in a marketing partner gives your brand a competitive advantage and brings more to the table than ever before.
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
Want to learn more about how I can help maximize your brand and increase revenue opportunities? Reach out here!