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

Future of Blockchain Sports Sponsorships

Mar 24, 2022 9:22:37 AM / by ABJ posted in influencers, marketing ideas, OpenSponsorship, sports brands, sports marketing, sports technology for athletes, branding, brands, endorsements, blockchain, cryptocurrency


Future of Blockchain Sports Sponsorships

The 2022 global sports marketing report claims that blockchain companies investing in sports sponsorship is expected to reach US$5bn by 2026. Crypto sports sponsorships present an effortless entry towards the ultimatum of integration. Crypto payments for sports merchandise, tickets or salaries being paid in crypto are closer than they have ever been.

Crypto investment in sports sponsorship

OpenSponsorship’s association with the Dallas Mavericks is an excellent example. The NBA team, a step ahead, already accepts crypto payments for merchandise and tickets. Sports partnerships like these are a testament to overall growth and importance to various sports industries. But, how can one leverage crypto to assist in the success of their sports sponsorship business? There is arguably no better method to promote your business than to partner with a worldwide athletic property that can deliver your message to your target demographic directly. Already, we're seeing blockchain and crypto firms form partnerships with sports teams, such as Arsenal and Cashbet in English soccer or Dragon Coin and Techeetah in Formula E.

What are fan tokens and how do they work?

The sports sponsorship industry is continuously monitoring new synergies within the trending space of cryptocurrency. Fan tokens are cryptocurrencies linked to a certain team or league that can be used to exchange team-related value such as tickets, voting on club matters, granting retail discounts, and increasing fan participation. Fan tokens have already been implemented by Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain FC, AC Milan, Juventus, and AS Roma.

Fan tokens - digital asset for fans

Why is cryptocurrency essential to the sports sponsorship ecosystem?

There should be more opportunities for companies within the ecosystem willing to participate. Legitimacy and fan engagement are marked as the two key components for the success of sports sponsorship companies. Sport sponsorship organizations can leverage blockchain technologies by implementing a more secure and transparent ticket exchange system. This technology opens up the door for both sponsors and rights holders to forge new relationships by effectively democratising the sports sponsorship playing field so any brand can play on sport’s grandest stages.

Litecoin sponsorship for UFC

What should Sports Sponsorship industries keep in mind moving forward?

Despite the surge in interest in digital money, sports teams should be aware of the dangers that this new technology poses. The value of crypto-assets remains unpredictable, and the legal and regulatory landscape remains unsettled, despite the extraordinary rise. Due to the lack of consistency in this field, sports organizations will be forced to make agreements that hedge a contingency in order to save money if valuations shift. The emergence of crypto-assets, on the other hand, provides potential and excitement for the sporting world.

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4 Reasons to Add Athletes to Your Website

Mar 16, 2022 12:59:44 PM / by J F posted in influencers, marketing opportunities, Marketing Recommendations, marketing strategy, OpenSponsorship, sports marketing, Brand Endorsements, brands, endorsements, Pro Athletes


4 reasons why Athletes are a good strategy when launching a new website

marketing, brand ambassador, new website, promotion

1. Putting an athlete image on the website above the fold / in the hero image can reduce bounce rates

social media, open sponsorship, media marketing

Starting a new website/ brand can often be hard to do. Currently, there are so many fake or uncredited websites. When creating a new website, adding reasons and things to the page can help it feel like a real page. Athletes are great ways to add credibility to your website. Placing an image of the athletes above the fold/ in the hero image can help reduce bounce rates, especially working with an athlete to do a quick video endorsing the launch of your new site. Athletes are often most credible as they can be easily looked up or are often already heard of. The sports world is massive and there are so many great athletes out there that cannot wait to be a part of a brand or company that represents who they are as athletes and also personally. 

2. Athletes can help to promote the new website through social and push traffic to you

Blog post, social media, credibility, new launch

Social media is a main component of our generation today. It is almost essential for companies and brands to have social media accounts in order to be successful. Using a professional athlete to promote your website can be game changing. They can reach many different target audiences and also in large amounts. Professional athletes can post on their social media promoting the product, service, or website. Again, it gives a massive weight of credibility!

3. Athletes bring credibility - having an athlete testimonial page can help to drive conversion

Testimonials are very important on any website. This is a moment for future customers to be able to witness and see how a product or service has been successful and how it can be beneficial in their lives. For customers, to see a professional athlete give their account for how a product or service benefited them can ultimately lead to new sales and customers. Once someone hears that a credible person used the product or service, they are often more prone to purchase it. Fun fact: Sports fans are 164% more likely to buy a product after an athlete they love mentions it. endorsement, ambassador, equity, royalty, product, service

4. Athletes are relevant to a wide audience - male, female, young, and old.

Through OpenSponsorship, you can easily choose from our roster of athletes to appeal to your brand's target audience. As mentioned above, an athlete's following can be large and can reach many different target audiences. Depending on your brand you can find a specific athlete that can help promote and endorse your brand based on their audience. Athletes are also more reliable because their following is often verified and all considered to be “real” follows. For example, if you are interested in a demographic of young adults between the ages of 18-26, then you are able to see that through our statistics of their following on our page.

athlete marketing sponsorship

OpenSponsorship is the largest digital marketplace making it easy for brands to partner with athletes. As you go onto our platform, you will be able to filter through 12,000+ athletes across 160 sports (including over 50% of the NFL and NBA) to help you select a specific athlete to help your brand or company excel. We support clients like Walmart, Sperry, FanDuel, and ESPN. We recently closed a $4.5M growth round, and are backed by NBA team owners, athletes, notable VCs, and world class accelerators.

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Athletes on TikTok

Mar 30, 2020 4:08:57 PM / by Zack Smith posted in ad, ads opportunities, how to find sponsorship, influencer marketing, influencers, LeBron James, marketing, marketing ideas, marketing opportunities, marketing strategy, marketing tools, NBA, open sponsorship, OpenSponsorship, shaquille o'neal, social media, social media athletes, Sponsor, sponsored athletes, sponsoring athletes, sponsors, sponsorship, sponsorships, sports, sports marketing, sports marketing campaigns, sports sponsorship, sports sponsorships, sports technology for athletes, athlete endorsement, Athlete Endorsements, athlete marketing, athletes on social media, Basketball, brand deals, Brand Endorsements, brands, Endorsement, endorsements, fan engagement, National Basketball Association, trends, Tik Tok


The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the sports world by storm, and athletes now have an unprecedented amount of time on their hands leading to an increase in the number of athletes on TikTok. Some are taking on new hobbies -see Giannis Antetokounmpo learning the guitar and Cody Zeller learning to cook and play the guitar (well, trying to). Some are doing their best to stay in shape at home- nice setup, Serge Ibaka! But most of all, athletes are more active and engaging on social media than ever before. The most interesting takeaway from this uptick in social media activity has been the increase in athletes on TikTok.

If you’re not familiar by now, TikTok is a social media platform where users can post short videos of just about anything they want- dancing, comedy, music, tricks, or one of the countless “challenges” that go viral on the platform. TikTok began to take off in 2019 has over 500 million active users, making it a great place for influencers, like athletes, to build their brand and engage with their audience.

The sports world began to take notice long ago, with teams, leagues, broadcast networks, and even team mascots creating accounts and regularly posting content, ranging from highlights, messages from players, and just normal funny clips. The NBA even invited TikTok stars Addison Rae, Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Chase Hudson, and Jalaiah to 2020 All-Star Weekend. The former three made videos with several NBA stars, including OpenSponsorship athletes Nikola Jokic and Pascal Siakam, and even helped out Aaron Gordon with this Dunk Contest dunk! And now, with athletes home and quarantining, they have had the time to join in on the fun themselves, and we love seeing athletes on TikTok.

Philadelphia 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle was one of the first- “the only logical thing for me to do at this point is to start making TikToks!” He has been regularly posting content, even taking the time one day to interact with a fan who was hoping an NBA player would notice his post. Star Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant joined in too, making a fake player introduction to help cope with him missing basketball. Young Thunder stars Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Darius Bazley teamed up in a different way than usual to perform one of the hundreds of viral dances that become popular on TikTok.

But it’s not just the young guys having fun on TikTok, even the world champ athletes are on TikTok! LeBron James and his family enjoy the platform, where LeBron’s son Bronny posted a video of the family dancing that LeBron later re-posted on his Instagram story. Retired athletes on TikTok include NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal who is a regular on the platform and collaborated with Forto Coffee to create a fun and energized post promoting their coffee shots that received over 310 thousand impressions and nearly 19 thousand engagements.

TikTok is the hottest social media platform in the world right now and athletes on TikTok prove that the sports world is taking notice. These posts garner massive amounts of impressions and engagement from fans and partnering with athletes on TikTok is the perfect way for brands to connect with these audiences. Talk to an OpenSponsorship rep today to take advantage of this opportunity, or send us an email

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Why all athletes need to build their social media profiles

Jun 15, 2017 9:31:13 AM / by Priya Kapoor posted in influencer marketing, OpenSponsorship, shaq, shaquille o'neal, sharmila nicollet, social media, sponsorship, sponsorships, twitter, twitter poll, Uncategorized, athletes, athletes on social media, Basketball, brands, Golf


Social media serves as a platform for athletes to have honest and authentic communication with their fans. It is the best way for an athlete to leave a lasting impression on his or her fans. Fans love connecting with their heroes, and social media is a great way for your presence, as an athlete, to be felt in the world.

Posting on social media with your personality apparent in the posts can humanize you as an athlete. In turn, that can make your fans even more devoted! The almost friend-like relationships athletes can create with their fans is incredible. 

As an athlete posting on social media, you control what information goes out about you by having control over your brand and the image that is perceived from the media and fans. Basically, you are marketing yourself.

Why should they create close connections to their fans? 


By posting on social media, you, as an athlete, can strengthen your relationship with you fans. And the connections you make can last a long time. Even to when you're retired.

Look at Shaquille O’Neal. He’s been retired for almost 10 years and has 14.3 million followers on Twitter and 5.4 followers on Instagram. He posts daily (sometimes even multiple times a day). Everyone knows who he is. Shaq is staying relevant to a group of people who weren’t even alive during his glory days. This is huge!

He even announced his retirement on social media on Twitter with a video. That was the bow on his social media present. That connection he created with his followers cannot be faked. He is genuine with his fans and you can tell how much they appreciate it because he is constantly conveying his larger than life personality over social media.

People are sick of unauthentic celebrity-fan relationships and prefer sincere relationships. That is why Shaq is so popular, amongst other athletes. Especially in influencer marketing.

A study by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions in 2016 found that influence marketing has an 11 percent higher ROI than more traditional forms of brand marketing.

Staying Relevant 


The loyal connections an athlete can make with fans and followers cannot be replicated. Companies and brands notice that and see an athlete’s fan base as a potential new market. An athlete has the ability to introduce an amazing brand to his or her devoted fanbase.

This connection can lead to Sponsorship deals for athletes.

Lastly, social media can take you places. With a loyal following, there are so many opportunities that become available to you, as an athlete. For example, Golfer, Sharmila Nicollet is able to participate in ShopRite's LPGA Classic after her fans secured her a spot. This year, the tournament organizers decided to open one more spot to an athlete with a loyal social media following. They created a Twitter poll asking which pro golfer should be invited to their tournament, and Nicollet won! The relationship she created with her followers was the only reason she was invited to the LPGA Classic. 

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 5.46.31 PM

Build an organic relationship with your followers and you never know where they will take you.

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Why Social Media is key in Athlete Sponsorship & Endorsement

Nov 16, 2016 9:59:50 AM / by Angelique Martinez posted in apple sports, nike, nike sports, open sponsorship, social media, social media athletes, sponsored athletes, sponsoring athletes, sports brands, Uncategorized, brands, endorsements


This post is originally written by Jenn Mamajek


In sponsorship of athletes, a primary key of communication is social media. Brands are willing to pay top dollars to sign athletes with the expectation of a large return on their investments. Because it is so easy to share ideas on social media, this plays such a large part of each and everyones daily lives. It is important now more than ever to maximize an athletes digital platform in sponsorship and endorsement strategies.

Athletes have some of the most influential profiles and accounts on social media.  Due to the fact that athletes have such large social reaches, by including their digital presence in a brand’s sponsorship strategy, you are more likely to increase brand awareness and generate a greater return on investment.

For example, LeBron James a very popular NBA star currently has 33.3M followers on Twitter and 23M followers on Facebook.  Although all of his followers are not Cleveland Cavalier fans, both the Cavaliers organization as well as Lebron’s sponsors such as NIKE unquestionably benefit from his online presence. NIKE and other LeBron James sponsors prosper each time that he associates himself with their brand in a social media post.

Another advantage of using athletes digital platform to promote products through social channels is an increased return on investment. Companies are now seeing these results and are turning to this avenue for maximizing brand exposure. Of course, global brands such as NIKE will certainly continue to use traditional media in addition to their online and digital strategies.

 As more and more digital platforms emerge, so do analytical platforms that help with tracking the success of digital campaigns.  This means it is much easier to measure the success of a social media campaign compared to traditional print ads or television.  Brands are now able to collect valuable data about their online campaigns.  This data includes being able to monitor new and returning visitors, click through rates, page views, conversion rates and time spent on particular pages. By monitoring a campaign’s analytical data, you are able to know what type of content that your audience prefers.

In conclusion, brands should keep in mind the statistics above and include their athlete’s digital platforms to help increase their overall endorsement exposure. Athletes endorsing through social media can help generate a larger reach, maximize brand awareness, and generate an improved return on investment.  Because most fans are influenced by their favorite athlete, one digital mention of a brands product can significantly increase engagement which leads to more product sales and loyal consumers.


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NFL Athlete vs. Fashion Blogger - The ROI Game

Oct 11, 2016 12:12:16 PM / by Ishveen Jolly posted in 1800 flowers, influencer marketing, mike and mike, NBA, NFL, orbit gum, photoshoots, pr, social media, tryrann manthieu, Uncategorized, athlete marketing, brands, Demarcus Ware, five four club


Don’t just reach your target audience, encourage them to engage with your brand. Athlete marketing campaigns are extremely successful. Here’s why:

“Add to Cart”: Studies have shown that followers are 3x more likely to make a purchase from a social media mention made by an athlete. You can stop reading here, if you like :)

Brand Ambassadors: Most athletes don’t need the money from their sponsorship deals; they agree to them because they think the product or service is cool. What better influencer than an actual celebrity consumer with a rabidly loyal fan base?

Not Just for the Boys: Athletes are notorious for spending their millions. They treat themselves, their girlfriends, their families, and their friends. Getting a male athlete to tell his fans how he’s spoiling the important people in his life is a perfect fit for a female-centric brand, too.

It's not as expensive as you think: Engaging athletes can be inexpensive and even free (with OpenSponsorship membership). Athletes love to get free swag and be associated with cool brands. And it's not all just about social - athlete packages starting at $5K include PR quotes, photoshoots, and right to use the image/name on your website and marketing material.


Our favorite campaigns currently:
Five Four club with NFL & NBA athletes - This up and coming, subscription-based fashion company was founded in 2002 by two USC students. No wonder they have an affinity for professional athletes.
Orbit Gum & Demarcus Ware - Did we mention athletes can also influence kids? Demarcus and his $1M smile know it, and they're okay with sharing.
1-800-Flowers & ESPN Radio - Men encouraging men to buy for their women. It's the perfect match.


NFL brand ambassadors Click here for a list of NFL athletes available for contact on OpenSponsorship.


Important note: We're only two weeks away from the start of basketball season, so be sure to check out our almost 100 NBA players!

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Four Tips For Olympic Athletes to Stay Connected to Fans and Sponsors

Sep 7, 2016 2:04:08 PM / by Ishveen Jolly posted in marketing, olympics, sponsorship, tips rio, tools, Uncategorized, athlete, brands, connecting


Olympians, Rio may be over, but the limelight doesn’t have to be. Here are OpenSponsorship's four tips for staying connected to your fans and sponsors:

1. Broadcast your training regime. Most people are in awe of how hard Olympic athletes train, and when you allow this audience a glimpse into your regime, they can’t stop watching. Share the hardest part or your favorite part of your training to really wow your fans. If you’re looking for humor or relatability, you can even share your least favorite part! Give shout outs to your clothing and equipment sponsors who help you get awesome results. Our recommendation: turn your snapchat into a .LIVE channel.
2. Share yourself competing at local or national events. It might not be the Olympics, but it still counts and your fans still have a vested interest in watching your journey. Whether its international meets, or local events, show us what happens behind the scenes, how you interact with the other competitors, and stream your teammates racing too. Our recommendation: use YouTube to broadcast your event and brand it
3. How does sponsorship really work? What does it mean when you have a photoshoot or some new Nike gear? A lot of your fans might be aspiring athletes who want to learn. Promote sponsors and the sponsorship journey through your own social channels. Our recommendations: turn these posts into a channel on .SOCIAL.
4. We love family, and the P&G ads are our faves! Thank your family through keeping your fans up to date about how they help your journey as an athlete and human being. Do you tease your little sister who isn't as good at sports as you, or maybe it’s your mum who sleeps in the car while you are training? Let the world see where you really came from and go back to. Our recommendations: use .FAMILY.

Fans love you for who you are and what you do. They want to know more about you. Our team speaks from experience when we say that fans will spend hours watching video of their favorite athlete, no matter what they are doing. The more information you give them, (in livestreams, tweets, and Instagram posts) the more they will talk about you. So take your fans on your next quest for Gold!

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2016 - a great start to the year - sports sponsorship galore

Jan 22, 2016 9:52:08 PM / by Ishveen Jolly posted in 500startups, accelerator, rightsholder, sanfrancisco, sponsorship, sports, targets, teams, Uncategorized, athletes, brands


IT’S 2016 and we are super excited to share with you how our year has started. We have worked hard to make the sports sponsorship industry more efficient and effective. With the close of 2015 we focused on athlete endorsements, event partnerships with brands and SAAS tools to generally improve the sports sponsorship process, via the marketplace.
As our valued user, reader and follower, we want to thank you for your continued support and interest in our sports sponsorship marketplace. Below are some highlights and what you can expect from us this year:
  1. We now have over 1500 rights holders and 650 brands signed up to the platform interested in sports sponsorship partners. We have directly connected brands from across the world - big and small - with over 300 athletes and events, to enter into product, royalty, equity and cash endorsement deals.
  2. We got into the highly coveted 500 startups accelerator in San Francisco.
    • Definition Accelerator: something that brings about acceleration, in particular the device, typically a pedal, that controls the speed of the engine.
    • We definitely have our foot on the pedal with the amazing team here, so expect big and bold things from the OpenSponsorship engine!
  3. We are adding new tools and functionality constantly. You will be updated on these over the coming weeks, and we really value your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your experience on the platform, how you think we can grow the community and generally how we can make the World of Sports Sponsorship more efficient, effective and fun!
We wish you all a great 2016 and if you find yourselves in San  Francisco give us a shout.
Love from Ishveen and your OpenSponsorship family.


Love from OpenSponsorship - the sports sponsorship marketplace Love from the best sports sponsorship marketplace connecting brands to teams, events and athletes for cash, product, royalty and equity endorsements


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