Sponsoring an Olympic athlete has become a viable strategy for small brands aiming to enhance their visibility and align with the values epitomized by these elite sports figures. Digital platforms like OpenSponsorship have significantly lowered the barriers to entry, making it possible for niche and emerging brands to engage in sponsorships that were once considered beyond their reach. By leveraging digital marketing, social media, and customized sponsorship packages, small brands can now afford to partner with Olympians, thereby gaining significant exposure and associating their products with the highest standards of sporting excellence.

Local Sports Equipment Stores:

These stores can forge connections with the local community and the wider sporting world by providing Olympic athletes with high-quality gear in exchange for their endorsement. This partnership can extend beyond mere product provision to include athlete appearances at store events, social media engagements, and autograph signing sessions. Such initiatives not only showcase the store's commitment to quality but also embed it within the community's sporting life, creating a hub where local enthusiasts can interact with Olympic talent. This approach enhances the store's credibility and community standing without necessitating a large financial investment, making it a practical option for small businesses looking to expand their market presence and community involvement.

Emerging Health and Wellness Brands:

These brands, often at the forefront of innovation in health and wellness products, can gain credibility and visibility by partnering with Olympic athletes. By providing these athletes with their products, the brands can benefit from authentic endorsements that resonate with consumers. Athletes can share their real-life experiences with the products on their social media platforms or participate in marketing campaigns, thereby lending their credibility and wide-reaching influence to the brand. This partnership can be structured to be mutually beneficial, with the brand gaining valuable endorsements and the athlete receiving quality health and wellness products that support their training and recovery, all within a budget-friendly framework that doesn't require hefty sponsorship fees.

Local Fitness Centers and Gyms:

Small fitness establishments can elevate their brand and inspire their clientele by hosting events featuring Olympic athletes. These can range from specialized training sessions and workshops to motivational talks, where the athletes share their journey and insights into achieving sporting excellence. Such events can be monetized through ticket sales or linked to membership promotions, offsetting the costs of hosting the athlete. This strategy not only boosts the gym's profile by associating it with Olympic-level expertise but also offers members a unique and inspiring experience, enhancing their loyalty and engagement with the gym.

Craft and Artisanal Brands:

These brands, known for their unique and high-quality products, can collaborate with Olympic athletes in a way that emphasizes their craftsmanship and the athletes' dedication. Limited edition product lines inspired by the athletes or social media campaigns featuring the athletes with the products can create compelling narratives that appeal to consumers. These collaborations allow artisanal brands to showcase their products' quality and uniqueness while benefiting from the athletes' inspirational stories and wide-reaching appeal, all achieved with minimal financial outlay.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Brands:

These brands can align with Olympic athletes who share their values to promote environmental stewardship and sustainable living. Initiatives can include co-branded eco-friendly products, athlete-led environmental campaigns, or social media challenges that highlight sustainable practices. Such partnerships not only amplify the brand's message but also demonstrate the practical application of sustainable products in high-performance settings, enhancing the brand's credibility and appeal.


How to Get Your Small Brand Started

OpenSponsorship serves as a vital link between small brands and Olympic athletes, providing a platform that facilitates accessible and budget-friendly sponsorship opportunities. The platform's intuitive interface, detailed athlete profiles, and comprehensive management tools simplify the sponsorship process, enabling small brands to negotiate directly with athletes and customize sponsorship packages to fit their budgets. This ensures that even brands with limited financial resources can leverage the global appeal of the Olympics to enhance their visibility, align with athletes who reflect their values, and inspire their audience with stories of excellence and perseverance. OpenSponsorship has more information on how to sponsor an Olympic athlete. 


Jeff is OpenSponsorship's Director of Marketing. He typically writes about sports sponsorship, marketing, and tips & tricks for brands.