Most businesses are agreeing that the traditional forms of marketing are becoming less effective as the days go by. This has led to dedicated budget allocation for influencer marketing.
The success and effectiveness of influencer marketing have brought it to the mainstream from a novel strategy. By the turn of the decade in 2020 influencer marketing has become a billion-dollar industry. One of the sub-forms of influencer marketing is sports influencer marketing.
As an example, sports brands like Reebok, Adidas, and Puma have led the charge in this aspect. #PerfectNever campaign from Reebok aimed at making women more powerful by celebrating their imperfections.
They involved celebrity influencers like Ariana Grande and Gigi Hadid, and also influencers like athletes, actors, and musicians to reach the right national audience from the countries of the target audience.
This campaign was regarded as one of the most successful influencer marketing campaigns ever executed.
The success of this campaign guided them to take a giant leap and going one step further and announce their intent and endeavour to create an in-house influencer team to bring their marketing team to work closely with digital influencers.
At the same time, Adidas has its tactic of producing innovative content and featuring the selected influencer within it.
Influencers love to be a part of these different and exciting campaigns as they can’t produce these types of content by themselves.
As a result of this strategy, Adidas constantly creates engaging content and post it on their channels. Additionally, sports influencers share the same content with their followers and spread the campaign’s message.
Sports influencers considerably impact the behaviour and perception of their followers towards your brand, product, or service.
There are many influencers around the world with prominent knowledge in their fields and walks of life. Sports influencers have a distinct advantage because their fans and followers have genuine trust and authenticity in these influencers.
Though, all other influencers know their areas of specialization nothing is more important than health and wellness.
The famous influencers from big leagues and popular sports have larger followings but that necessarily does not mean larger engagement.
Smaller or micro-influencers with thousands of followers have produced similar or even better engagement through their posts or content.
These are the influencers who have talent and passion in their own sports arenas, but with the exposure that may not be as big as the more popular ones.
A famous fitness enthusiast from a college, a YouTuber who is an expert in fitness and workout, a blogger who constantly writes about health and well being or a well-known athlete from a sport with a lesser fan base or exposure is also an influencer and gains equal importance from fans.
Businesses especially sports brands can use this genuine appeal and authentic approach to get themselves or their products and services endorsed.
What matters is how much is your budget? What are your expectation and planned outcomes from your campaign? Your campaign’s effectiveness rests a lot on your execution.
The execution starts from planning a campaign, choosing an influencer, connecting with them, creating the content, planning and executing the posts, measuring the metrics as per the planned KPI’s, assessment of the results, and finally improvise if required.
When you select and source an influencer the target should be to create special and unique experiences. Offering remuneration and some freebies won’t be enough and get your campaign very far.
The sports influencer and your brand’s values need to align and be relevant to each other. As an example, if you are selling products or services related to soccer you will not want to hire an influencer with expertise in basketball to promote your brand.
After connecting and sourcing you will need to provide them access to details of your product and the product itself for them to get a first-hand feel of its benefits.
While delivering the package just sending it to them might not be as fruitful as hand-delivering and demonstrating the USPs practically.
Their sporting talent will guide them to do understand the features and advantages. You might also want to arrange a press day or a conference where they get the opportunity to interact with members of the press and get the buzz rolling before a full-fledged campaign and endorsement initiation.
In this way, they form a relationship with your brand and create the necessary interest required to be able to view your business in a proper light to be able to connect well enough with the offerings and have positive experiences before sharing their views.
Successful campaigns with sports influencers have always utilized the talent of these influencers and allowed a certain extent of creative control.
When you hire an influencer remember it’s not the face and the name only but also their talent that you are hiring.
Sports influencer marketing is about hitting the right mark at the right time. Keep yourself updated about the latest trends and current buzz.
This will help you morph your campaign to the required level and improvise to make it effective. Your sports brand will benefit well from an efficiently run campaign and an efficient campaign comes from appropriate planning and careful execution.
You might even consider hiring a sports marketing agency to run it for you. Let’s discuss that in another article.