Africa Sports General Posted on 2022-07-01 08:35:27
Branding defines what a product or service stands for, why it exists and what it will do for its consumers. A well-defined brand is built from the inside out.
Personal branding is one of the most powerful tools an athlete can use to access their targeted market. It determines how your fans, sponsors, and the professional sports world perceives, remember, and recognize you as a student-athlete, college athlete, or professional.
Athlete Branding is a complex area mainly because there is high competition in the sports marketing industry. It can be challenging for an up-and-coming athlete to stand out from the crowd. Additionally, numerous parts are involved in building a solid personal brand and marketing strategy. Everything must be considered, from tangible elements, like your logo, font choice, and design, to intangible elements, like your persona and brand promise.
Here are five (5) ways branding can help an athlete's career:
1) Communication of Ethos and what you Stand for: When trying to attract new fans and players, people will ask themselves what’s special about you in particular. Why should they cheer for you and not someone else?
A clear brand can answer these questions and provide you with a personality others can relate to. This helps you stand out anywhere and attract the right opportunities.
2) Build and retain Fan loyalty: As humans we are attracted to those who think and feel similar to us and share our values. If we can strongly identify with them, we are more likely to feel drawn to them. It gives an athlete a personality that others can feel akin to and build an emotional connection with. Fan’s perception of an athlete and their brand influences the differentiation of one player from another. The decision to watch a game on television, buy tickets to the game, or purchase a player’s jersey after the game, rests on this perception.
3) Growing social media presence: These days, more people are spending their time online than ever before. In addition to building relationships with fans, social media can help athletes boost awareness while reducing marketing costs. By entering into two-way conversations with fans, teams and athletes can build their brands on an individual level in a way that no other medium can match; Fans want to feel a connection with their favorite athletes. Fans' passions towards teams and players gives athlete’s greater consumer visibility.
4) Endorsement and Sponsorship Opportunity: With a consistent image and branding across all communication channels (including your uniforms) you make yourself appear more professional and credible. Companies are more likely to invest in a sponsorship deal as they will feel more comfortable that it will be worth their time and money.
5) Secure a Bright Future: Financial investment is no longer the only driving factor in determining your mark and how your perception can bring forth lasting deals even outside of sports is essential. Your branding influence cash in on your on-field achievements and reaches you out of the game too. Athletes have a limited sporting career of not more than 20 years (depending on when they start, what sports they compete in or how frequently they get injured).
The importance of why athletes should build a brand cannot be overstated any further. The career options post-retirement are limited. Some take up government jobs, others start their own enterprises, such as opening a sports academy. This is the biggest reason why athletes should seriously consider brand building and brand management.