Sports, sportsmen, and women have been perceived to impact social understanding and norms for generations. It is not unnatural that professional athletes are always under the spotlight. They are judged for making decisions on and off the court/field. Now with the rise of the Internet and social media platforms, these athletes have become celebrities in their own right and have amassed a massive number of followers on these platforms. Whether they want or not, they have become sports influencers. They have been using their ‘voice’ to discuss various issues and can impact people globally.
Are Sports Influencers Different?
Even without the effort to influence anyone, pro-athletes become influencers by joining social media platforms. The simple reason is they represent the nation, and their sole purpose is to bring glory to the country, club, or state they represent. The urge to bring in the trophy is more related to pride for the people they represent instead of a singular and personal excellence.
The sportsmen and women stand for the most coveted values of society like honesty, dedication, sporting spirit, hard work, patriotism, and passion. All these sentiments and values evoke the people who follow them on social media platforms and in general. The result is the followers, and the fans are the most loyal audience members of these influencers. Hence when brands collaborate with such athletes, it is one of the surest ways to reach a more extensive and committed customer base. Working with influencers who are athletes can benefit the company immensely.
Is Collaborating With Sports Influencers Right Move?
Since most brands now want to be viewed as a humane company and showcase themselves as responsible organization, they want to collaborate with such people. The result is tying up with sports influencers. However, athletes and sportspeople raising their voices for social activism are not new. Before the rise of social media platforms, professional athletes used their celebrity status to engage a larger audience through different print, radio, and television media outlets to talk about equality. Now also, engaging the fans is there, but the way the message is spread has changed, and thanks to the social media platforms, it has far-reaching consequences. For instance, when the NBA players from Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers wore jerseys with ‘I can’t breathe during their practice had quite a repercussion. These athletes like LeBron James are no longer afraid to stand for the causes that matter. Even Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton took the knee and posted quite a few content on ‘Black Lives Matter.
In such a landscape that has been influencing social change and consumers worldwide, collaborating with sports influencers can be the right move. Mainly if you are targeting a niche audience, these celebrities can be the game changer and crucial in elevating your brand status. Since most of the world’s population follows at least one pro-athlete, a company that collaborates with an athletic influencer can generate a positive result for society and the brand. Apart from all these, several other reasons can contribute to collaborating with sports influencers as the right move for brands.
Depending on a budget of your marketing, you have the option to tie up with athletes from the local area to the likes of Roger Federer and Michael Phelps. When it comes to brands that they trust, it is quite possible they can promote them without charging you a hefty amount. They can be open to other types of compensation. Hence it can be a cost-effective mode of collaboration.
You, Will, Be Doing A Service To The Nation/State/Club
When you want to promote a localized brand or like to collaborate with a startup joining hands with the local athlete is a great way to give back to the nation. Many small-town athletes can use the financial help they get from this collaboration. They can use the support from the brands to have better training, improve their sports gear, and ultimately become big performers, winning medals and championships. You will then, in a way, be serving the country, state, or club by helping the athlete.
A Lucrative Investment
An athlete who performs well and brings in accolades will eventually help raise the sponsor’s stock and the brands that support them. Even if a brand starts supporting a local athlete who rises to a new height gradually, it will become a good investment for the brand as it will keep growing as the athlete grows.
In influencer marketing, authenticity and relatability are crucial points for success. As a brand, you don’t always have to engage a superstar athlete to collaborate with. Instead, even a local athlete well known among the community can help you reach the target audience. They are respected even among the smaller communities and are seen as authentic people who promote products they believe in.
Many sports influencers’ follower numbers seem to be minuscule compared to the native influencers. The reason is not all athletes have stardom like Serena Williams. But what, every athlete who works with a brand as an influencer has credibility among their followers, which cannot be said about the other social influencers. Fans know that a sportsperson does not win championships by wearing uncomfortable shoes or fragile underwear. So when the athlete collaborates with the brand, they bring in an inherent trust to it, and also, they don’t want to disappoint their fanbase by endorsing products that are not viable.
How To Start?
Do you want to collaborate with sports influencers for your brand and products and are unsure where to start? We have the solution for you. On Afluencer, you can team up with influencers who represent different sports and have a niche audience. Depending on the products and the type of sports influencer you want, contact them through Afluencer.