Becoming a professional athlete should be more and more appealing to kids nowadays, because athletes have more opportunities to make money beyond their talent.
Twitter has become a platform in which brands can challenge themselves to stay engaged with their customers. By partnering with athletes, brands can reach their targeted audience, not only during a game, but also outside a sports context and always in real-time. Brands do not have to be limited in revealing their partnership with athletes either by commercial or in a newspaper or magazine ad. Posting a tweet may actually create just as many impressions as a commercial would, or maybe even more.
As an article by "Ad Weekly" points out, partnerships between athletes and brands are a little bit more complex than signing up the Peyton Mannings and Tom Bradys of the world. Partnerships between athletes and brands are a two-way street, and just like an interview for a job, the ultimate goal of a partnership is to find a mutually beneficial fit. The athlete wants his or her bonus and exposure, and the brand wants a key face that will grab people’s attention. The brand, like the athlete, also wants exposure. This exposure is wrapped up in messages, which require both strategy and the luck of crossing minds of a brand and athlete.
While it is obvious that brands won’t want to be associated with players that are steeped in constant controversy, what is less obvious are the reasons for why brands pick the players that they do. Not all players that enter a partnership with a brand are a team’s biggest contributors. Brands want spokesmen and women that reveal their message on Twitter in a natural fashion. Someone that has the same mindset as the brand, perhaps uses the brand’s products before entering a partnership, or is known for having similar goals as the brand.
For instance, a brand like Colgate-Palmolive that is focusing on their dental products will seek out a player that has more than a great smile. They want a player that already uses their products or has even mentioned their products before entering a partnership with Colgate. Brands also look for a player that has a unique story, something that make their investment more relatable to a consumer base. Maybe a player got made fun of when he was younger because his teeth were crooked. Hence, we have Michael Strahan as a perfect contender for any toothpaste products!
As we have seen from Super Bowl 50’s social media numbers, Twitter is the hub for real-time conversation. The neat part is that some individual football players have a greater social following than the NFL teams do. Many players have taken full advantage of the opportunity to brand themselves on Twitter. And if you sift through a player’s tweets, it is the closest thing to having a real life conversation with him. In going through a player’s Twitter history, you begin to fill in the personality holes that you don’t see on the field. And that just makes highly contact sports, like football, even more interactive and exciting.
Watch Twitter’s Sports Partnerships Manger, Raleigh Anne Blank, talk with NFL players about the power of branding on Twitter.
Read about the social media following numbers of Super Bowl 50.