The field of sports has always been one of the most successful and influential industries in modern society. Advertising and marketing evolve at an extremely fast pace, yet athletes and major, sports-affiliated companies have always been by their side. The past has shown that the impact of the athletes and sport organizations exceeds the sport industry. Specifically, we have seen all stars for every sport participating in campaigns related to the food and fashion industries, the car industry and many more. In other words, if you are a small business or a startup company and you are trying to make a name for yourself, there’s no better way than to have a sports figure join your team.
Who are the top influencers in the Sport Industry?
As we would all imagine, the most influential athletes on social media are those who are also the best, most successful and well known in the sport industry. They are the figures that the biggest companies fight to partner and work with. According to Verge Campus, the top five most influential athletes from 2015 are the following: in fifth place is Michael Jordan, who despite the fact is not active anymore, is an icon that has tremendous influence over many different social groups. Right above him is Stephen Curry, who many call “the next Michael Jordan.” As an amazing person with his talent and genuine character, he inspires a lot of people. Next on the list is probably the most popular soccer player of the modern world, Cristiano Ronaldo. He is an athlete that managed to combine his success in soccer with his natural beauty and has become one of the most coveted sport figures. Second comes Conor McGregor, a mixed martial art athlete, who everyone has been talking about the past two years. His unique and authentic personality has dramatically increased the popularity of both himself and the UFC. On the top of the list is Tom Brady, probably the best quarterback to ever play the game of football. He’s so influential that he managed to “sell” a predominantly female brand, “UGG,” to men.
To sum up, we realize that the most influential people in the industry of sports are the ones that combine success with something else. In each case, that “something else” is different. Your job will be to identify it and eventually decide whether it’s something that expresses you and your company.
How are you going to create partnerships?
Many of you would say “But how am I going to get LeBron James, Cam Newton, Rafael Nadal or anyone that famous to join my team?” Well, the truth is that you don’t need to. You don’t need the most famous and successful athletes for your campaign, social media page or account to promote your company. Any regular athlete with the right personality, who shares the same values and ethics with you, will most definitely have the right connections to get you and your company at the desirable position. He or she can be the vehicle you need to expand to new heights.
There are many examples and success stories of start up companies that had the chance to partner up with less known athletes and made it to the big scene. It is important to understand what a sport figure brings to the table. Besides their very important fan base and followers on social media, it’s also their teammates and their connections and lastly their influence within their sport.
One of the many examples that illustrate the above argument is that of the start up company named PRO-NRG after their main product. PRO-NRG is a startup company that specializes in performance recovery drinks. The founder of the product and owner of the startup, Tania Patruno, was very familiar and experienced with the market. She knew that in order to overcome the competition, she would need a person-ideal to market her product. She found that person in the face of Brandon Jacobs, a former NFL player. He wasn’t an extremely famous athlete; yet, just with his connections and especially with the influence on his teammates and the rest of the athletes in the NFL, he was able to market and promote this product in the best possible way. Brandon Jacobs was certainly they key for the success of this product and start up company.
There are many success stories that prove that you don’t necessarily need the top five or twenty most influential people of sports. You just need to find the perfect fit for you and your company. In other words, you need to find the person with whom you share the same ideals and more importantly the person who is influential to the group of people that you consider your target group.
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