Since the last 3 years, we have been working quite closely with athletes, teams, association and sports brands. In a way, when we mentioned that the increased numbers of athletes we are dealing with, it means that the sports industry have been sparkling over the years (especially since 2013)
Now you can see lots of sporting events emerged. It is a good indicator that shows Malaysians are now more aware on leading towards an active lifestyle.
From our point of view, there’s only one major factor bringing to this, and that is the social media. Now you can see, almost on daily basis in social media, people will post pictures, update status and tweet on their recent running events, trail run, triathlon, open water swim and what not.
When people shared, there will be more people get to know about it, then of course, people will enticed to join. And you can see the trend now, more people starts their fitness regiment and joining sports. Some became a serious competitor, while many stays recreational. There are also people who start their fitness journey just for the sake to get into the hype, but it’s still a good thing anyway.
The best example on the effect of social media is during the 2012 Olympic in London. It is so enormous that it was called the Social Media Olympics (click to see the infographic). Even IOC needs to issue a guideline on social media and blogging before the game.
Back to the topic
We started this article with the increasing number of athletes we get in touch with. The numbers of talented athletes (sometimes fitness trainers) are increasing. The reason for this is because now they have more races to compete in. Which in other way, there are more sponsors that are already looking towards marketing their brand through sports events. These sponsors, they don’t just sponsor events, some sponsored athletes as well.
Funding Issues Among Athletes
One way for these sportspeople and team to survive and join as many races they possibly can, is either by using their own funding or through sponsorship from corporate
We have found one major problem in most athletes/teams we dealt with. This problem will cause them to lose potential sponsorship(s).
They have a little or no idea on personal branding
Personal branding is incredibly important for athletes, especially those who are doing it professionally. The value of one’s brand influences marketability, popularity, and sponsorship opportunities. A large and engaged social media following is a business opportunity, not just a status marker.
We need to turn down or reconsider few parties from the sponsorship list (even we are the one who actually approached) as they are lacking on this area. They have no website, didn’t reply email, no facebook profile, no twitter account, unactive facebook page and the list goes on.
It’s hard for us sometimes to get them noticed by sponsors, if they have no intention to do that and be consistent in it.
Who are you?
Do people know you? What is the benefit to the corporate brand if they are to sponsor you?
As an athlete, you can extend your own personal brand online to positively impact young fans, attract interest and communicate values. You don’t have to be a world champion or need to earn MYR10,000/week income to start this. You can create and maintain a social media presence without spending a lot of time or money.
Where to Start?
- Create a Facebook page (it’s Free!)
- Get a domain and website (minimal investment)
- Get active on Instagram
- Sign up for a twitter account
- Post regularly. Try to post an update at least once a day. Invite all your friends, your rivals, family to read and like your status, photos etc.
- Engage with your visitor/fan. If there’s someone who commented on your status, reply and acknowledge them
- Be consistent. We know that it is normal for you to have the adrenalin rush to post updates in the beginning, but treat them the same as how you treat your training regiment.
Just remember, to survive in the competitive sports, other than determination and training, you’ll need some outstanding personal branding, to get the sponsors and media to notice you.
Now is not the era where you can just rely on your performance. Brands want performance + the hype. If you are looking forward to have many logo stamps on your sports attire, start with this..SOCIAL MEDIA