Athletes come pre-packaged with a loyal community of fans and teammates, and your results will show that. According to Opendorse, branded Instagram content posted by sports stars drive 4.8x the engagement of media accounts, and 2.1x the engagement of influencer accounts. These stats alone should have you saying F*CK ME WHERE DO I SIGN?
But, if you’re not yet — keep reading.
SPORTS STARS CAN DO IT ALL
Compared to influencers who usually have a cult following across one main (maybe two) platforms, sports stars are stars everywhere — no matter the dimensions. Sure, IG and TikTok campaigns can pop off, but stars have even whipped up Twitter storms. Remember Rashford’s #MakeTheUTurn? Or Mason Mount’s episode of ‘wok from home’, Wagamama’s YouTube creator series? As this suggests, not necessarily about the platform, it’s not even really about the brand, it’s about the person.
WITH HIGH RISK…
If it was easy everyone would do it, right? Compared to traditional influencer marketing, partnering with household names opens the doors to different contractual obligations that might affect your campaign. To start with, influencers usually produce their own social posts and, while these ballers might be great on the pitch, they‘re less attuned to capturing content. As a result, you must be more agile with shoot dates, and be ready to provide a full production suite at the drop of a ball.
Plus, athletes won’t post content on the day of a game or during a tournament, and they won’t post on the day following a defeat. Therefore, due to the volatile nature of sport, this can make it hard to set delivery dates in stone, especially as even retired athletes hold loyalties to their prior clubs.
Likewise, another biggie was at the 2005 Snookers Masters; HP Sauce partnered with Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White, tasking him with legally change his name to Jimmy Brown and switch out his iconic black waistcoat for a brown one. Like that wasn’t enough, they’d sponsored the brown ball, so it rolled around wearing the HP logo.
This highlights the importance of getting it right. Could HP have sponsored Peter Ebdon? Well, yes… But, it wouldn’t have worked. Wiring campaign ideas that fit perfectly with the personality of the celebrity is a massive reason why it does work. If you’re game to get a sports star collab right, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.