Often times, professional athletes are known more for what they do in their given sport than for what they do in their personal lives. They spend so much of their time in the spotlight and they make more headlines for the accomplishments on the field. However, off the field, these athletes are the same as their fans. They have their own interests and hobbies that they enjoy doing in their free time, they crack the same jokes with their teammates and friends, and they binge-watch the same Netflix shows as the rest of us.
One easy way to share this side of them with their fans is through YouTube, an already popular platform for influencer marketing. Athletes on YouTube are able to share videos on any given topic and these videos can be much longer than those on other platforms like TikTok, where shorter clips are more common. Countless athletes already use the platform for a variety of different types of content, with one popular topic being video games. Several different star athletes are friends with professional video game streamers and collaborate with these streamers to create content. Trevor May, a Minnesota Twins pitcher, gained popularity as a content creator playing Fortnite and becoming friendly with some of the game’s biggest influencers, including Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. He has a YouTube channel with about 25 thousand subscribers and regularly posts content. Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster owns a YouTube channel as well and is known as an avid gamer, so much so that he is a member of the gaming organization FaZe Clan. While he does not strictly post gaming videos on his YouTube channel, he has posted videos of him playing with several different celebrities and athletes on YouTube.
The beauty of athletes on YouTube, though, is that they are free to post anything they would like. Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors has a show on his channel titled “How Hungry Are You?” where he brings on teammates and friends, interviews them, and serves them some of the most bizarre foods you can think of—lamb brains, cow hearts, pig heads, you name it! Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has a channel where he posts vlogs of his daily life, which included a behind-the-scenes look at his long comeback from injury that he titled “UNBREAKABLE”. Even Warriors superstar Stephen Curry has a channel where he has posted content ranging from interviews of other celebrities, fun challenges with other content creators, and his recent Q&A with Dr. Anthony Fauci about COVID-19.
The style of content on YouTube and the diversity of the content that athletes on YouTube post creates a great opportunity for brands to get involved through influencer marketing. YouTube videos are very interactive and feature the athlete influencers talking directly to their fans, allowing products to be much more integrated into the content. Does your company sell food or cooking products? Sponsor a video where a portion shows the athlete cooking and using your product! Makeup or clothing? Sponsor a vlog where the athlete shows themselves getting ready to go out, featuring your product as part of their look! The opportunities with influencer marketing on YouTube are endless.
On OpenSponsorship, we are proud to have plenty of our athletes on YouTube. Astros third baseman Alex Bregman has a channel where he posts baseball content, MMA fighter Karyn Bryant has a channel where she posts her podcast MMA Heat with UFC fighter Alan Jouban, and paintballer Marc Sutherland has the largest paintball channel on YouTube- and these are just three of many OpenSponsorship athletes on YouTube! Many of these videos garner tens to hundreds of thousands of views, and these impressions are more valuable than just a quick look on Instagram where followers may just skim the caption and keep scrolling. YouTube is already a popular platform for brands to sponsor other influencers and content creators, and the same opportunity is there with athletes! Athlete influencers are trusted by their fans and will listen to their opinions on a product. Talk to an OpenSponsorship rep today to take advantage of this opportunity with athletes on YouTube, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for some tips about influencer marketing, check out our blog about how to launch a successful influencer marketing campaign!