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Why Branding Should be on the Radar for All Professional Athletes

Updated: Oct 17, 2018

Agents, managers and marketers alike are all aware that an athlete’s personal brand plays an integral role in their overall, long-term success. There are many factors that play a role in the perception of an athlete regardless of their athletic performance. Raising an athlete’s personal brand will result in higher appeal, a wider audience and incremental revenue streams generated through sponsors and endorsement deals.

Personal Brand Strategy

A personal brand cannot be developed overnight; rather it is a long-term strategy that produces results over time. All brand strategies should be established by a team with a shared understanding of the athlete and their particular needs. An athlete’s brand should reflect their personality and must be consistent in all areas that position them in the marketplace.

The Narrative

A website can be a valuable asset to help build an athlete’s profile. Creating a narrative in their own words is an extremely helpful way of getting their messages across without any media spin. This platform can be used to help promote their successes; both on and off the field. In today’s digital world, being relevant online is expected for any brand or business entity. This notion is no different for what is expected from a professional athlete; who ARE their own brand. Having a website that showcases a athlete’s personal brand creates a turnkey connection with fans and is a simple way for potential sponsors to find them.

Another part of defining the narrative for an athlete is to consider their imagery. Since a personal brand should reflect an individual’s personality, building a bank of images with appropriate permissions should be considered. A cost-effective way to collect multiple stock images would be to set up a professional photo-shoot with the athlete. SportsLink Marketing creates a media kit for our clients, which can be used for off-field opportunities and for their next endeavors; post playing career.

Our media kits tend to include images that showcase the athlete’s personality:

  • in interviews and/or in front of the media

  • away from their sport via public-speaking engagements, modeling and other passions

  • competing on the big stage

  • working in the community and charity work

  • traveling the world

  • in adverts for sponsors

Social Media Platforms

Once an athlete has a brand strategy and a developed narrative, the next step is to promote good news stories and images on their social media platforms. Athletes should use their digital platforms to influence and engage with their followers.

Being consistent on social media is key to maximize personal brand exposure to:

  • the athlete’s fan-base

  • influence potential sponsors

  • land that lucrative endorsement deal

  • stay relevant in front of the media

  • engage with an audience outside of their current fan base

SportsLink Marketing will create and oversee our clients social media strategy for Facebook fan pages, Twitter and Instagram accounts. We push our clients to interact on social media as well. This can include using Q&AS to help promote their digital pages, posting their personal thoughts, and documenting any daily routines that are relevant to their on-field successes.

Personal Branding Success

All of the above sound pretty simple but these are just the beginning of a successful personal brand strategy. Creating and executing a personal brand strategy will not be effective without monitoring which aspects are working and which are not. Being pro-active in tracking the success of each branding facet is just as important as the brand strategy itself. Monitoring the analytics of posted news stories, tweets, and website traffic enables SportsLink Marketing to tailor content to the athlete’s audience, which further enhances their following. There are many tools and apps that are available to monitor website traffic and social media analytics.

In conclusion your personal brand can make or break your overall appeal or be the factor between you and another athlete for a lucrative endorsement deal. All professional athletes must understand the value of their personal brand because ultimately, professional athlete branding comes down to making money.


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

Twitter:    @JennMamajek

Instagram: @JennMamajek

LinkedIn:  @JennMamajek

Want to learn more about how I can help maximize your brand and increase revenue opportunities? Reach out here!

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