Helping brands to partner with athletes in their influencer marketing and sponsorship marketing campaigns

The Power of Female Athletes on Social Media

Jul 8, 2021 3:21:54 PM / by Tracey Wilson posted in Influencer, influencer marketing, instagram, marketing ideas, Marketing Recommendations, open sponsorship, Social Insights, social media, sports, sports marketing, twitter, athlete, athlete endorsement, athlete influencer, athlete marketing, athletes, endorsements, fan engagement, trends, Tik Tok, youtube, TikTok, soccer, fitness influencers, Social Media Marketing

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Social media has become an integral part of a professional athlete's career and female athletes seem to possess some of the larger followings, giving them strong influence. Not only can this help the individual athlete but it can be a powerful tool in highlighting women's sport, bringing more interest and additional coverage.  Female athletes can also evoke change in other ways by being an influencer, such as by using their own personal stories to inspire others. “The stakeholders on the commercial side of sports are constantly searching for the next frontier, the next growth play,” Dan Cohen, who leads sports marketing company Octagon’s media rights consulting division, said in an email. “It is clearly women’s sports.”

It has been reported that women's sport does not receive as much coverage and investment even though it has more room for growth than men's sport. In 2018 studies showed that only 0.4% of the total commercial investment (in sport) goes into women’s sport, despite a Nielsen report revealing that 84% of general sports fans have an interest in women’s sports. 51% of those surveyed were male, which means utilizing female athletes as a way to reach fans can be greatly beneficial. Deloitte projected that the rise of women’s sports in 2020 would dominate the sports industry and that “sponsors should consider getting involved now to capitalize on the new opportunities and avenues for engagement that this growth area may create.” The influence of social media has also grown since the Nielsen survey was taken, especially since digital activity has been vital to the survival of many industries and how many athletes and leagues interacted with their fans throughout the pandemic. Deloitte's survey found that millennials are 40 percent more likely than baby boomers to use social media to obtain information about their favorite teams and players. This behavioral trend emphasizes the importance of the digital connection athletes have with their fans and the power it wields. 

The pandemic was hard on the sport industry but women's sport continues to have strong growth and investment potential. NWGL's Packer said, "the amount of money that it takes for a company to meaningfully support a women’s league is so vastly different than what it takes to have the smallest piece of attachment for a men’s league.” A good example of this potential for growth is women's soccer in the U.S., which has seen an increase in interest that has translated into an increase in stadium attendance. In 2020 the NWSL was poised to have a record-breaking year after signing new broadcast deals, which resulted in a 22% increase in game attendance, according to Soccer Stadium Digest. In addition to this the women's NCAA tournament continues to prove that it can bring in viewers as it could fetch as much as $20 million a year as a stand-alone event on the open market. Now that things are getting back to normal women's sport will need to keep up the momentum.

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Top Vegan Athletes on OpenSponsorship

Jun 28, 2021 11:51:05 AM / by Tracey Wilson posted in Influencer, influencers, NFL Athletes, open sponsorship, OpenSponsorship, sports, sports marketing, sports sponsorships, athlete, athlete influencer, athlete marketing, athletes, Fitness, fitness influencers, Social Media Marketing, sustainability, vegan, healthy lifestyle

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Every athlete has a diet that works for them, but being healthy and fueling their body is key to their success. There has been a growing number of athletes who have moved to a more vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Many of the athletes who have made the diet and lifestyle change now swear by it. This is not an easy change as professional athletes need to work with nutritionists to ensure they have the proper balance in their diet that would enable them to maintain their physique and to maintain a high level of performance for their sport. In fact a study published in 2015 in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that a plant-based diet can boost physical health and emotional well-being. As the lifestyle change has brought positives to many of the athlete's lives they often share recipes etc. with their fans and teammates.

“My clients see so many benefits to eating a plant-based diet that postseason, they don’t go back to eating as an omnivore or a carnivore,” Barbara Lewin, RDN, CSSD, LDN, a sports nutritionist who works with professional athletes noted.

Here are some of the top vegan athletes on OpenSponsorship.

Julia Hubbard

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Julia Hubbard has had a varied but successful athletic career, having competed as a Great Britain Bobsleigh athlete and Sprinter, bodybuilder, and Natural Pro with several federations. Hubbard has won three Natural World titles, three Natural universe titles, three Natural Olympia titles, and multiple British and Regional titles. Hubbard was a vegetarian for much of her life but went full vegan after a sever back injury from a bobsleigh crash, after which she has been quoted as saying,  “I had thought about going vegan many times but always thought it would be too difficult as an athlete and with traveling a lot. The turning point was my health. Now I wish I’d made the switch sooner!” In addition to her athletic achievements she has qualified as a Vegan Nutritionist, having a Degree in Physiology and Sports Science, Nutrition diploma and Personal Training qualifications.

Hunter Reese

Hunter Reese is an American tennis player and current ATP tour competitor who won the NCAA doubles championship and was ranked #1 in the NCAA doubles. He also competed in the 2014 US Open alongside partner Peter Kobelt after receiving a wildcard into the men's doubles draw. Reese has had some hurdles in his college career so it was not until 2019 that Reese became vegan, but has already begun to see some benefits, "I noticed a difference in my energy level and am more conscious of things I am putting into my body since becoming vegan. I was never a morning person and now I can wake up much easier. So I would say there has been an indirect benefit to my performance."

TJ Barnes

TJ Barnes has been a successful defensive tackle who has played in the NFL for the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and the XFL New York Guardians. In 2018 he missed an opportunity to join the WWE because of his weight and poor eating habits, which is why he decided to go vegan saying, "I told myself I needed to change the way I eat because at the route I was going it was going to put me in an early grave. So I went Vegan!" He has since been able to loose weight, getting healthy, and he continues to look to the future.

Agnes Muljadi

Agnes Muljadi is a ballerina, actress, filmmaker and vegan influencer. Muljadi classically trained at Julia Bourlina Classical Ballet in Studio City, California, and has co-produced two independent films. She first began the vegan lifestyle in 2014 for health reasons, and has found that it has had additional benefits, "I tell everyone that the vegan life-style has greatly benefited me as an athlete. I’ve always said that I felt like I was given a new body after I became vegan. My stamina, endurance and energy levels have really improved. I also happily lost some weight after I transitioned to veganism." Her social influencer status has been bolstered by her dance photos and sustainable/vegan lifestyle content, which continue to bring in new and exciting dance opportunities.

Leger Douzable

Leger Douzable has had the opportunity to play for several teams within the NFL, including the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and San Francisco 49ers. Douzable is such a fan of the plant based diet that he shares his favorite recipes with his fans, such as his Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast.

Martina Leal

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Martina Leal, originally from Brazil, is a martial artist and fitness coach, who has also been a positive promoter of the vegan lifestyle through her social media accounts. In addition to working with her clients she enjoys training in Jiu Jitsu and running. She loves to cook her vegan recipes and understands the importance of keeping the body moving. Martina has bachelors of physical education with specialization in ginastica natural.

Josh Powell

Josh Powell is now part of the Big3, but he has a had a long and successful career within the NBA, having played for the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, and LA Lakers. Powell is also a two time NBA Champion, FIBA Intercontinental Cup Champion, EuroLeague Champion, and WBA Champion. Powell has gained a real appreciation for healthy living, which is why he has been following a plant based vegan diet for about three years now.

Evan Engram

Evan Engram played for Ole Miss through college, and drafted into the NFL in 2017 where he has played for the New York Giants. Engram has also been been part of the PFWA All-Rookie Team and participated in the 2020 Pro Bowl. Since shifting to a plant based diet Engram has been able to continue to eat the large portions needed to fuel his body and continues to perform at a top level, which is why he sees it as, “a little investment but I think it’s pretty worth it."

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Influencer Marketing in Sport

Jun 3, 2021 10:19:46 AM / by Tracey Wilson posted in Influencer, influencer marketing, influencers, marketing, marketing strategy, open sponsorship, Russel Westbrook, social media, sports, sports marketing, athlete, athlete influencer, athletes, athletes on social media, Fashion, Fitness, Social Media Marketing

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The sports industry and its athletes have expanded their reach to the point of becoming influencers of fashion, lifestyle, fitness, and much more. Athletes can be a great resource to a brand and campaign in their ability to reach and connect with their fans and followers in a way that is hard to rival. In fact, the sports industry and market has been continuously growing, especially in this past decade, and is expected to grow by an additional 6%, reaching nearly $1,809.8 billion by 2022. The industry has grown in a way that has highlighted specific athletes and even enabled them to become household names as fashion and lifestyle icons. Much of this has been achieved through social media where athletes showcase more aspects of their lives and directly connect with their fans. Instagram drove more than $430M in Maximum Ad Value (MAV) during the first 9 months of 2019 with a 68% total value driven by sport properties and influencers.  Sports fans are a passionate consumer group who follow their favorite teams and athletes on various platforms where they see all the brands their favorite athletes associate with on and off the field. This is particularly true for youth because 32% of 13-36-year-olds, and 39% of 13-36-year-old males, follow athletes on social networks.

Athletes as Lifestyle Influencers

The health and wellness lifestyle movement has been on an upward trajectory for the past few years and athletes are in an ideal position to be influencers of this trend. This is because athletes are natural inspirations for exercise and fitness through their sport and daily lifestyles, which can be showcased through their personal social media accounts. This is why many look to their favorite athletes for inspiration and guidance towards a fit and healthy lifestyle.

The pandemic has contributed to this through the exponential growth of the at-home fitness industry. Through all the new developments and expansions brands and fitness influencers have done through the pandemic and quarantine has widened the scope of how the general public can get fit. A big part of this has come from fitness influencers and professional athletes who have shared their at-home workout routines and nutrition plans with their followers. Various sports teams and athletes have even participated or invited fans to join zoom workout sessions with them or to join them in a fitness challenge. This has enabled fans to become connected to their favorite athletes and sports in new ways.

This example of  Ashlyn Harris and Ali Kreiger doing a Zoom workout makes them more relatable and further connects them with their fans. This is because fans now have even more easy access to their favorite athletes, coupled with the boom in the use of digital communications, they actually have additional opportunities to interact with these athletes as well. So not only are professional athletes able to inspire aspirational athletes but to connect and inspire the average person as well.

Athletes as Fashion Icons

Athletes have a long history of collaborating with clothing brands, but they have gone beyond sportswear to become true fashion icons, even using their walk down stadium tunnels as their own personal runways. The rise of street style and athleisure has also been a contributing factor to the success of fashion influencers like that seen in the NBA. This influence is especially noticeable with younger audiences who are heavier social media users. These consumers develop deeper emotional and personal connections with athletes due to their affinity for the sport which also amplifies the connection they have with the style and brands the athletes promote.

Russel Westbrook is a great example of an active athlete who has become a fashion icon. He not only showcases his style en route to games and on social media, but he has also become a regular of fashion week and collaborator with apparel brands. He has become an influencer in more than one area, making him a more well-known name with a wider audience.

Since 2009 menswear has outpaced women's in sales growth and a recent report from Rakuten found that men are also engaging with fashion influencers at an increasing rate. Of the 3,500 surveyed consumers, most of whom were American, 65% of men said they interact with a style influencer every day.“ Men do not follow ‘style influencers’ in the traditional way women do, which is precisely why the NBA has been so successful,” Krista Corrigan, retail analyst at Edited, said. “The players have alternative mediums for reaching male consumers, and exposure is not always intentional. In particular, players entering the arena has become a regular aspect of game coverage. It’s one that is broadcasted across sports networks, news articles and team Instagram accounts. The player persona has evolved, and athletes are looked up to for more than just their abilities on the court.”

 

 

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How Can Athletes Find More Marketing Deals?

Apr 11, 2017 2:43:54 PM / by Jason Lampkin posted in Influencer, influencer marketing, influencers, jason lampkin, Local athletes, Local Businesses, social media, social media athletes, Sponsor, sponsored athletes, sponsoring athletes, sponsors, sports, sports brands, Sports Sponsor, sports sponsorship, sports sponsorships, athlete, athlete endorsement, Athlete Endorsements, athlete influencer, athlete marketing, Brand, brand ambassador, brand building, Brand Endorsements, branding, business, gronk

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Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jason Severiano Lampkin - that's me in the picture above - and I'm one of the new interns here at OpenSponsorship. Though many - if not all of you - will never have even heard of me, there once was a time when people thought the world would never forget my name. Instead, I became the man that many never even get the chance to know.

I excelled in sport from a young age and was touted - as is often the case for prodigious talent, particularly in soccer - as “the next Michael Owen.” Admittedly, we shared many similarities; we went to the same junior school and high schools, we played for the same local and county sides, we both played for Manchester United, and - as you'll see from the video below - we both possessed an electrifying turn of pace. But a cruel twist of fate and a wicked twist of my knee was all it took for my promising soccer career to take a quite drastic U-turn.

The only silver-lining with the ACL injury was that it meant that I was still following in Michaels footsteps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H1TimXcg1c

But enough of the sob story. Let’s fast-forward five years and focus on the positive.

After a fun-filled, success-sprinkled collegiate career on a sports scholarship at Long Island University, I’m finally heading into the final few weeks of my MBA. I’d never imagined that I’d be picking up a post-graduate diploma - I’d always fantasized about lifting trophies instead  - but I did envisage a future where I’d still be involved in sport in some way, so thanks Opensponsorship for making one prophecy a reality!

Working here has opened my eyes to the countless possibilities the modern-day athlete can be exposed to. I’d had a glimpse of it in my days as a first-team squad member at Aston Villa, and after a week of working on delightful deals for all the amazing athletes on our site, I decided to give it a go myself. I wanted a piece of the pie, so I applied to every campaign I could find and crossed my fingers for a bite. Within a week, I’d already partnered with two brands and was in discussion with a couple more. 

You can find my OpenSponsorship athlete profile HERE.

I was hungry for deals and OpenSponsorship served up some real delights. For instance, one of the brands I decided to work with - Yümmy Bazaar - offered partnered athletes tasty treats from their World Sampler Box in return for a simple social media post, meaning that I got to sample snacks from Spain, Georgia, Russia and Italy just for twiddling my thumbs. My fingers worked faster dipping in to the pack of Ibizan sea-salt chips than they did on the caption! Hardly hungry work.

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The success I’ve experienced on OpenSponsorship - just as an intern and former professional athlete - has whetted my appetite for more and I can only imagine the feasts that awaits all of you big-hitters out there. And though I’m sure you’re all thinking that I’m operating on some insider information, please believe me when I say that the deals I’ve done have been completely my own doing.

Brands are looking for interested athletes that will interact with their product or service and engage their followers, and us athletes are looking for good brands to work with to make some extra income. It’s simple math and it always equals a favourable outcome for both parties.

So let's look at another OpenSponsorship example...

Take our skilled skateboarder Greg Lutzka for instance. He submitted a proposal that was accepted by one of our brilliant companies - EightSleep - and produced an awesome social media post telling his thousands of followers about the tremendous technology involved with the company's ingenious mattresses.

 

OpenSponsorship; Greg Lutzka & EightSleep "Got great sleep last night !! Comfort meets technology with the @eightsleep smart mattress. I was super hyped to control everything from my I-phone including the smart alarm, bed warming, sleep trends data and much more !! Big Thanks to eight sleep !! #eightsleep #technology #smartmattress "

 

So not only does Greg now get a better nights sleep, he can also rest assured that we at OpenSponsorship will keep working around the clock to keep finding him - and all of our other athletes - fantastic partners offering outstanding opportunities.

Greg's social following easily trumps mine - just look at how our Instagram followings compare (seve_says vs greglutzka) - but OpenSponsorship's platform helps to level the playing field and make applying to campaigns a fair game for all of their athletes. There are deals to be done for athletes of all shapes, sizes and social stats; from the established pro's of the sportsphere - like Russell Westbrook and Rob Gronkowski - to the niche stars like myself.

There's plenty of promising campaigns - like the ones in the picture below - currently up on our site that have been recently posted by brands seeking athletes to promote their fantastic product or service.

OpenSponsorship Campaigns

Keen for a slice of the action?...

If you're an athlete and interested in partnering with some awesome brands and earning extra income, royalties and free product, CLICK HERE to create your free OpenSponsorship account. For all of our fantastic athletes already signed-up, please follow THIS LINK to view all of the wonderful opportunities just waiting for you to apply.

Apply intently to campaigns you’re interested in; foster a good relationship with the brands on our platform; accept deals that delight you; fulfil your requirements and reap the rewards. It's like anything in sport; the more you put in, the more you get out.

Stay hungry, my friends!

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Sports Marketing & Globalization

Mar 29, 2017 9:36:15 AM / by Arsène Rasoamanana posted in agencies, influencer marketing, international, marketing, sports sponsorship, Uncategorized, athlete, athlete influencer, athlete marketing, Brand, brand ambassador, brand building, Brand Endorsements, globalization

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We have a multinational and multicultural team here at OpenSponsorship, where different perspectives combine to share the same vision, and different skills combine to create the most efficient, effective and hassle free sports marketing platform. But what exactly could this magnificent, multitalented mix bring to a U.S. based company with a focus on international business?

A LOT!

 

Cultural differences and market knowledge

 

Sport is a global industry; millions of people from every corner of the globe either spectate or participate in some way. That being said, not all sports translate overseas with quite the same level of success and popularity: every country has its “predilection” sport. For instance, the U.S. has American Football. Brazil and England have soccer. New Zealand; Rugby. France and China; Basketball. The list goes on-and-on.

Just like having their “own” sport, every country has different commonly-accepted ways of interacting with each other: different customs, different ways of conducting business, different cultures and different points of view.

Simply put, people from different countries are subject to like and accept completely different things.

Companies with international experience are able to keep the impact of these differences superficial by adapting to - and embracing - these cultural differences in their strategy. This often leads to success in that specific market.

image5681226xHandshake and bow: Barrack Obama and Japan's emperor Akihito

 

Some things, however, are just universally accepted and welcomed. Sport is one of those things. No matter which continent your feet may fall on, you’ll be able to see people playing sports. That being said, the type of sport is certainly going to be different depending on where you are and who you see, but the point is that sports bring us together. Unless we're supporting opposing sides of course!

 

International experiences

 

In a truly global industry like sports, first-hand international experience can be very valuable. In fact, as the world wide web connected continents together to form the global marketplace we live in today, there are few industries that wouldn't benefit from the experience and expertise of an eclectic mix of nationalities.

Obviously, for a company with a mission as ambitious as ours, having this kind of experience helps to develop our platform and reach out to athletes and brands abroad.

Common knowledge about a country is crucial to understand the market, its business habits and the most effective modes of communicating. It is critical to adapt to and appreciate these three aforementioned factors when doing sales.

 

A soccer field on the rooftop of a station in Shibuya, Japan. Shibuya station rooftop soccer field

 

 

Global companies and cultural differences

 

Global brands have very specific product ranges for each country - tailoring their offerings in accordance with native market tastes - to help them cut their operating costs and better manage their product surplus levels. This helps to drive down expenses, by limiting the number of total potential sales. However the company might also be slashing away at their chances of growth. For that they need to fully understand the market.

Another obvious observation would be that a lot of people around the world are not able to buy the products they want from their favourite brands. Simply because those specific products are not available for purchase in their country. As a result, those customers will simply seek a substitute and make-do should they not accept paying extortionate shipping costs.

Global brands could surely afford to drip some extra gear into new markets for testing through their well-oiled logistic machines. But they often neglect small opportunities because they assume there is too much risk - and not enough payoff - involved. Some companies, however, have thrown caution to the wind and started sowing their seeds further afield in order to meet the demand, regardless of its size.

For instance, Nike recently began testing the demand for American Football in Europe by offering American Football fan products on Nike.com, with more and more products seeming to appear as time goes by.

 

Randall's Island Park is a beautiful park and shows the globalization of sports. Randall's Island Park

 

Global companies like Nike - with their vast financial resources and strong reputation - have the luxury of being able to take advantage of opportunities as soon as they emerge. But what about smaller companies with stringent budgets?

 

More about OpenSponsorship's mission

 

At OpenSponsorship we connect athletes and brands from all over the world on one unique platform to make sports marketing easy, effective and affordable for everyone. Think Match.com for sports marketing (without the creepy messages!).

We strive to get as many brands, teams and athletes to join our platform as possible, with the ultimate aim of creating a truly global and interactive marketplace where athletes can connect with companies that fit and vice versa.

It's an ambitious mission, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

If you're a company looking to build your brand, Opensponsorship can help! With 2,000+ athletes available on our site, ranging from local hotshots to global superstars such as Russell Westbrook, you could give people around the world a good glimpse of what you do.

Sports marketing has evolved to a whole new level, where intimate details of athlete's lives, feelings, and opinions are easily shared with the whole world. Especially through social media. This has become a great way for athletes to endorse products and expose companies to their thousands of engaged and interested followers. 

OpenSponsorship is the best way to get sports marketing sponsorships.

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How Can I Find the Perfect Athlete to Promote My Brand?

Mar 24, 2017 5:38:54 PM / by Jason Lampkin posted in amanda ruller, Influencer, influencer marketing, influencers, Local athletes, Local Businesses, social media, social media athletes, Sponsor, sponsored athletes, sponsoring athletes, sponsors, sports, sports brands, Sports Sponsor, sports sponsorship, sports sponsorships, trago, athlete, athlete endorsement, Athlete Endorsements, athlete influencer, athlete marketing, Brand, brand ambassador, brand building, Brand Endorsements, branding, business, gronk

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Last week, we helped one of our brands (Trago) work with one of our athletes (Amanda Ruller) for an amazing social media post.

Amanda is a professional football player, Olympic weight-lifting competitor, CrossFit fanatic, personal trainer & the winner of a Hyundai Sonata on The Price is Right TV show! For these reasons, she has a very loyal following of over 90k social media followers (well maybe except the last part) and is always looking on OpenSponsorship for the next best brand to promote.

Two weeks ago, she applied and was accepted to Trago's campaign on OpenSponsorship. They were looking to give a free bottle ($79 value) in exchange for exposure via social media. Even with her large following, Amanda agreed to post in exchange for free product because of how much she loved the brand!

 

Amanda Ruller Amanda Ruller posing with Trago product

 

Trago used OpenSponsorship to drive sales, increase brand recognition, and add a "coolness" factor by partnering with a professional athlete. And this is just one post! They've had more than 20 applications just in the last 2 weeks from more athletes like Amanda.

Want to get in on the fun? I'll give you the steps:

1. Create a free account on www.OpenSponsorship.com

2. Create a campaign (job posting for our athletes) to promote your brand on OpenSponsorship and attract interested athletes.

3. Start a 7 day (risk free!) trial with us to publish your campaign.

4. Receive incoming applications from professional athletes to promote your brand.

5. View all of your applications in one place along with different information and social media demographics from each athlete. Pick the ones you feel are the best fits for you!

To learn more or ask questions, reach out to an OpenSponsorship rep or send us an email at info@opensponsorship.com today!

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Shirt Sleeve Sponsorship Opens Up

Mar 20, 2017 4:34:14 PM / by Jason Lampkin posted in Influencer, influencer marketing, influencers, Local athletes, Local Businesses, NBA, shirt sleeve sponsorship, shirt sponsorship, sleeve sponsorship, social media, social media athletes, Sponsor, sponsored athletes, sponsoring athletes, sponsors, sports, sports brands, Sports Sponsor, sports sponsorship, sports sponsorships, athlete, athlete endorsement, Athlete Endorsements, athlete influencer, athlete marketing, Brand, brand ambassador, brand building, branding, business

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Manchester City's 2007/08 season started with new owner Thaksin Shinawatra splurging £30 million by adding eight relatively high-profile players to the first team squad. The main source of the funds? The Thai billionaire businessman's bulging wallet. Sure, the teams sponsorship agreements helped, but secondary shirt sleeve sponsorship, which would have added another stream of income, hadn't even been considered. In fact, the idea hadn't even been considered in the entire soccersphere.

City had spent three of the four previous Premier League seasons finishing in low mid-table positions (i.e., two to four places above the relegation zone). The team was badly in need of an influx of new blood if it was to avoid a similar fate, or worse, in the upcoming season. This meant that Thaksin would have to dig deep in to his pocket to get the ball rolling on the required turnaround. A decade down the line, it's fair to say that the initial investment has paid dividends. Three domestic cups, two domestic league titles, and one new owner later, the 2016/17 Citizens look a whole lot different.

Soccer aficionados will argue long into the night about the means that facilitated the Citizens meteoric rise from mid-table meddlers to top-tier competitors. They will no doubt call in to question the source of the funds and cite the rules of financial fair play, and ponder whether the transition would have been possible without Shinawatra and subsequent owner Sheikh Mansour bankrolling the process. One thing that cannot be questioned, however, is that their plan - both on-and-off the field of play - has been beautifully executed. The Blue Moon has well and truly risen, and City's groundbreaking shirt sleeve sponsorship agreement with South Korean manufacturer Nexen Tire could well shine a new light on the world of sports sponsorship and propel the team even further forward.

Next season, a new rule will come in to play allowing Premier League teams like City to have a secondary sponsor on the sleeves of their shirts. And it won't be long before we see other EPL sides strike shirt sleeve sponsorship deals as they try to keep-up with their cash-strapped and commercially savvy Mancunian counterpart. We can certainly envisage our super Spur, Erik Lamela, sporting a Tottenham strip with a secondary sponsor displayed just below his shoulder.

And as we gaze in to our crystal ball, we foresee a future where shirt sleeve sponsorship deals become commonplace right across the soccersphere. Foreign teams, keen to compete with the likes of City and Spurs in European competition, will soon start searching for such commercial opportunities of their own. So too will teams from other nations intent on tilting the axis of world soccer from Europe to a different continent.

So then that begs an important question. How long 'til we see other Opensponsorship soccer stars like Atletico Madrid's Koke and Juventus' Paulo Dybala sporting strips with sleeve sponsors on them? A bigger budget - derived from shirt sleeve sponsorship deals - would give their teams more purchasing power and enable them to attract the best talent. This would ultimately increase their chance of success. City have, after all, proved that cunning commercial craft goes hand-in-hand with lifting trophies and raising a global profile. And as the team becomes more and more successful, their sponsors are exposed to a greater number of potential clients. It's a cyclical, symbiotic and lucrative relationship.

Sports sponsorship is a big, big business, particularly in the Premier League - the most watched league in the world. City and their shirt sleeve sponsors Nexen both stand to make a pretty penny from the deal. Nexen - like City's Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra ten years ago - rightfully expect to see a return on their investment. A shirt sleeve sponsorship agreement with such a successful club will no doubt cover the South Korean company's outlay many times over. Their brand awareness will be significantly boosted both in Britain and abroad, leading to an increase in sales.

The benefits that shirt sleeve sponsorship agreements will bring both the sports teams and the brands they partner with are innumerable. Simply put, shirt sleeve sponsorships make sense: they are a win-win in a game that is designed to be win-lose. Perhaps Nexen read our "7 Reasons to Use Sports Sponsorship" as a brief before partnering with the boys in blue, in which case, Cheonmanaeyo! (You're welcome!)

And with the Philadelphia 76ers becoming the first NBA team to strike a shirt sponsorship agreement in May last year, it won't be long before other sports follow suit. The NBA will allow the 76ers to wear StubHub's logo on their jerseys starting in the 2017/18 season. Savvy business when considering that the move is expected to generate at least $100 million annually for the league.

"I've always been jealous of the English Premier League teams. NASCAR figured it out a long time ago," 76ers CEO Scott O'Neil said when he was interviewed after completing the deal. "For some reason, the big four sports in North America have not. I think it's an unbelievable opportunity." Opening up shirt sponsorship space is a big leap for the NBA. Opening up secondary shirt sleeve sponsorship spots would be a slam dunk. MLS, NFL, MLB and NHL take note, and sports fans...watch that space! Secondary sponsorship is coming to a sleeve near you soon!

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Rising Stars of the MLB to Watch During Spring Training

Mar 7, 2017 2:59:07 PM / by Branden Mongiovi posted in Influencer, influencer marketing, influencers, Local athletes, Local Businesses, social media, social media athletes, Sponsor, sponsored athletes, sponsoring athletes, sponsors, sports, sports brands, Sports Sponsor, sports sponsorship, sports sponsorships, Uncategorized, athlete, athlete endorsement, Athlete Endorsements, athlete influencer, athlete marketing, Brand, brand ambassador, brand building, branding, business, gronk

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A meme showing the excitement about the return of baseball.

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining (almost), and baseball season is upon us (almost again). All right, maybe its just spring fever, but the OpenSponsorship team could not be more pumped about the upcoming MLB season. Just a month removed from pitchers and catchers reporting, most teams already have about 10 preseason games under their belt.

 

This time of the year has huge implications for young MLB talent. Each MLB team has three minor league levels under their umbrella, A, AA, and AAA. For the guys who were chosen to play during spring training, this time could mean the difference between a multi-million dollar contract, and waiting another year to get one more shot at it.

 

A hit, an error, a big play, a tendency a coach liked or disliked could mean the difference between a life long dream come true, or another year making below minimum wage at the minor league levels. There are a million ways to impress a coach, and a million ways to show a coach that you may not have what it takes to play at the next level. Spring training is the optimal time to make your self stand out from the crowd, you just have to hope your training paid off, and the cards are in your favor on those days.

 

When connecting your business with professional athletes, it is incredibly important to be able to recognize talent and where a player’s career may be heading. Luckily for you, we’ve done that part for you and compiled a list of the hottest young talent in the MLB looking for business opportunities on OpenSponsorship.

 

So with no further ado, PLAY BALL!

Yankees star catcher Gary Sanchez taking a swing at the plate.

Gary Sanchez, 24

Catcher, New York Yankees

Need I say more? I will anyway. This guy is holding the hottest bat in baseball and has a lot to prove this season. With any shot of making the playoffs last season a miracle and a half away, The New York Yankees decided to restructure in the last third of the season. They terminated A-Rods contract, made some position changes, and promoted some minor league players to join the squad. In that youth movement came Gary the Great. In 53 games played, the young stud belted 23 home runs, had 42 RBI’s, and was one of the best defensive catchers in the league. He is the whole package as well as a stand up guy with strong family values that any organization or business would be lucky to have in their corner.

 

Astros SS Carlos Correa is an MLB star and a great athlete endorser.

Carlos Correa, 22

Short Stop, Houston Astros

Carlos has a resume that is near impossible to compare to. Number 1 overall draft pick in 2012. Rookie of the year in 2015 when he was transferred to the big leagues. He has the fire and hunger of a rookie trying to make a name for himself, and the poise of a veteran who’s been around the block once or twice. "I just don't want to be one of the best players -- one of the best shortstops -- to ever play the game,” Correa said “I want to be like Roberto Clemente, one of the best humanitarians to ever be around the game." This guy has an unbelievable work ethic with a selfless attitude that is admired by all who knows him.

 

Roberto Osuna is an MLB star and a great athlete influencer endorser.Roberto Osuna, 22

Pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays

Coming out of Mexico, Osuna holds the record for youngest pitcher to do just about everything. He was drafted at the unimaginable age of 16 and has worked his way to the pros, making his MLB depute in 2015 at 19 years old. Osuna was invited to spring training in 2015 as a non-roster invitee. While initially not expecting to have any chance at making the major league team out of camp, Osuna impressed Blue Jays management through the first half of the spring. He has electric stuff and the peak of his career is in front of him.

Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres is a rising MLB star and a great athlete endorser.

Gleyber Torres, 20

Second Base, New York Yankees

Torres is our youngest on the list at 20 years old. The Venezuelan was drafted by the Chicago Cubs. He was a centerpiece in a blockbuster trade that sent Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees to the Cubs while Torres was sent to New York. Never having started at second base, he is one of the prime candidates for the Yanks at the position this year. He's been preforming tremendously in spring training and we see him as a potential starter if things go the right way for Gleyber.

 

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Three Companies doing MLB Sponsorship Right

Feb 24, 2017 4:36:08 PM / by Branden Mongiovi posted in Influencer, influencer marketing, influencers, Local athletes, Local Businesses, social media, social media athletes, Sponsor, sponsored athletes, sponsoring athletes, sponsors, sports, sports brands, Sports Sponsor, sports sponsorship, sports sponsorships, Uncategorized, athlete, athlete endorsement, Athlete Endorsements, athlete influencer, athlete marketing, Brand, brand ambassador, brand building, Brand Endorsements, branding, business, gronk

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Looking to make a quick buck? All you have to do is create a sport, and have it become America’s greatest past time. Sounds easy right? The MLB as a whole is thriving when it comes to sponsorship revenues. In 2016 it was estimated that sponsorship dollars from the top 9 companies involved with the MLB would reach $360-400 million. This number is solely league revenue and does not include individual team and stadium/property sponsorship. When adding those categories to the grand total, it is estimated sponsorship revenues would reach nearly $800 million by the end of the 2016 season.

The 2016 MLB season was a year of tremendous growth. League sponsorship activation and renewal is up from the previous year by nearly $120 million. Commissioner Rob Manfred made a strategic play in labeling all of the MLB’s assets as “One Baseball.” His idea was to put television rights, online media, and the traditional business of the league for sponsorship under one umbrella. What does that mean? Basically if you are a sponsor of the MLB, you now have access to every platform in which they control, including the MLB Advanced Media, a huge online streaming service.

Lets take a look at some companies that are leading the sponsorship push for Major League Baseball.

Chevrolet

The American motor company Chevy has been involved in MLB sponsorship since 2005. Just last year they renewed their sponsorship with the league, continuing their partnership as Official Vehicle of Major League Baseball. Aside from that, they are also the Official Automotive Sponsor of the MLB and USA Baseball’s Play Ball initiative.

“Chevrolet’s partnership with Major League Baseball is a natural fit and allows the brand and our dealers to connect with generations of Americans on a personal level through the support of hometown teams at both the professional and youth levels,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing

Zobrist

Not to mention, they gifted a pearly new 50th Edition Chevrolet Camaro to the 2016 World Series MVP, Ben Zobrist.

New Era

The headwear company New Era has been producing on-field team hats since 1939. Come 1993 they became the exclusive on-field cap of the MLB and have been ever since. Prior to the 2015 season, MLB reached an agreement with New Era extending their exclusive hat rights through the 2019 season.

Stroman -CAPSON Our athlete Marcus Stroman in the #CAPSON campaign 

Taco Bell

MLB sponsorship partner since 2004, Taco Bell has been running creative and engaging campaigns for the loyal baseball fan base. For the 6th year straight, Taco Bell activated its “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion. The deal is as follows, for every stolen base in the World Series, the deserving (IMO) citizens of the US are able to “steal” a taco. If you don’t like free tacos, what’s your deal?

 

lindor Cleveland Indian's Francisco Lindor slides into second base, gracing the US with free tacos. Lindor for president!                                  

Partner with one of our MLB stars

Gary Sanchez  had a record-breaking rookie season with the Yankees in 2016. Belting 28 homeruns in just 53 games, he is widely considered one of the most exciting players to watch in baseball. Every time he gets to the plate, and behind it (catcher) you expect something extraordinary. Here’s an athlete that has been extremely active in player appearances since his come to stardom. Want Gary to come to your event or training facility to attract new customers? Lets set it up. #ElGary

Gleyber Torres ranked the no. 1 prospect in the Yankees organization right now. Gleyber has tremendous potential with his quickness and abilities at the short-stop position. This is another one of our young guys that we expect will do great things over the next few seasons. Get him while you can!

 

 

 

 

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