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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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


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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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 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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The UFC Revolution is Being Televised

Nov 15, 2016 11:59:54 AM / by Ishveen Jolly posted in Joe Warren, Las Vegas, Matt Brown, Monster Energy, Reebok, Rolls Royce, Ronda Rousey, sponsorships, Toronto, UFC, UFC 206, UFC 207, Brand Endorsements, Conor McGregor, endorsements


If you didn’t know who UFC star Conor McGregor was when we gave his video game appearance a shout out in our blog post last week, chances are that you became aware of him over the weekend. Despite being 5’9”, he has become a giant within the UFC along with the gold standard for sports sponsorship.


Rolls Royce knows that luxury and style can be found in the UFC. 


He is so valuable, in fact, that he recently requested ownership in the multi-billion-dollar-valued UFC to continue performing. He has taken over the UFC scene and his image and following are incredibly valuable- including for brands looking to sponsor.

McGregor, who is known for his dominating record, lavish lifestyle, and unapologetic antics, drew sponsorships from the likes of Reebok, Monster Energy, and Rolls Royce well ahead of his meteoric rise to stardom. Expect to see plenty of Conor, and his endorsements, in 2017.

The UFC has two more mega-events scheduled before the end of the year; UFC 206 in Toronto on December 10th and UFC 207, featuring the hugely-anticipated return of Ronda Rousey, on December 30th in Las Vegas. To get brand exposure in front of these massive audiences, visit now to explore hosting a UFC-associated event, receiving logo placement, or even sponsoring the next Conor McGregor.


**UFC 206 sponsorship availability**: View Matt Brown's OpenSponsorship profile here!

Joe Warren, who fights for Bellator MMA, also has availability for his huge Title Fight on December 2nd.

To learn more about opportunities with athletes in the UFC or any other sport, reach out to an OpenSponsorship rep today or send us an email at Don't let this opportunity slip away!

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Deal of the Week (10.9.16 - 10.15.16)

Oct 17, 2016 10:34:23 AM / by Ishveen Jolly posted in instagram, jeremy lane, likes, members, reposts, retweets, seahawks, seattle, sponsorships, super bowl, twitter, Brand Endorsements, deals, downloads, endorsements, fanwide, funding


On Tuesday, October 11th, Seattle Seahawks (NFL) cornerback Jeremy Lane posted to both Instagram and Twitter on behalf of our newest member - FanWide. FanWide is a social network for sports fans that organizes viewing parties for every team in every city.


@Seahawks fans - check out @FanWide a new app that lets you find the local #Seahawks viewing party wherever you are! @Seahawks fans - check out @FanWide a new app that lets you find the local #Seahawks viewing party wherever you are!


FanWide is based in Seattle and is currently in the early stages of raising capital, making this endorsement from a Super Bowl Champion in their own city all the more impactful. We are proud to play a part in their raising efforts (and may have even boosted downloads of their app!).

Jeremy was a valuable investment as an endorser of FanWide's product because of how dedicated the Seahawks fanbase is to their team. Seahawks fans, nicknamed the "12th Man", live and die by their team and enjoy watching games and rooting for the Seahawks with other fans of the team. Therefore, promoting an app that allows fans to interact and find Seahawks viewing parties was a strong choice.

Jeremy's post gave FanWide exposure in a market that is valuable to their product. Using our athlete statistics and follower demographics, any brand can find the perfect athlete for them- one that reaches their desired target market and helps them achieve their marketing goals.

FanWide's success is just one example of how OpenSponsorship can help brands find the perfect endorsement from a pro athlete. To learn more about how your brand can take advantage, reach out to an OpenSponsorship rep or send us an email at

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Be an Athlete But Think Like an Entrepreneur

Sep 13, 2016 11:28:57 AM / by admin posted in Uncategorized, athlete, branding, endorsements


Author Bio - Ian Warner is 2012 Olympian and was a All-American sprinter at Iowa State. He is also the CEO of FIXT APP which is a mobile app the connects injured athletes o the best injury solutions in their community. Ian also is the author of “Endure” and he has dedicated his life to helping others to lead and succeed.


What athlete does not want to sign the dotted line on a massive sponsorship deal. I remember the day when I graduated from the grip of the NCAA’s amateur status, and I was ready to start making money from my name. The most valuable skill I brought with me on this journey was my entrepreneur mindset.

The entrepreneur mindset means you can see opportunity where others see nothing, and you wait for no one to make things happen for you. An entrepreneur started every company that exists. It is never a bad idea to align your thinking with those you are trying to attract.


How The Entrepreneur Mindset Will Help You With Sponsors

The Business Mindset

The first thing I hear a lot of athletes tell me once they get to the college level is their shock in how much of a business it all is. Sports make money whether, at the school level or the professional level, the goal is to make as much money as possible.

There is also a high demand to be able to get to that level and this means that an athlete is easily replaceable. The best thing you can do is develop an entrepreneur mindset and learn how to get scrappy and focus on revenue. Any sponsor that is going to invest in you will want to know what their return on investment from the deal will be.

If you don't think like an entrepreneur, you won't best understand how to make sure that you are providing the best ROI for this company. It is not about the best athlete when it comes to sponsorship. It is the athlete that is the smartest investment.


You Have to Hustle Hard

Rule # 1 to being an entrepreneur is that you have to grind because it is going to be hard. This same rule applies to getting sponsors. Sponsors are not just going to drop out of the sky. Even when you do get a sponsor, keeping that sponsor is an entirely different story.

Athletes can develop egos that make them think that all they have to do is be a good athlete. Sponsors don't care that you are a good athlete. They want to know how you can help them sell more.


Customer Service Wins In The End

I mentioned above that getting a sponsorship is one thing, but keeping a sponsorship is a different story. The only way to keep sponsors happy is to treat your customers like gold. Every athlete knows what it is like to be a client that is treated well vs. one treated like crap.

To be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to keep your customers happy. One bad customer could ruin your entire brand and since you don't have a large name yet that could be the end of your company. Keeping these customers happy means always being willing to go the extra mile to surpass expectations.

When was the last time you went above and beyond to keep your sponsor happy? Do you just think of doing the bare minimum to keep them happy? They can find tons of other athletes that can do the bare minimum. Do everything you can to surpass what they expect you to do. Make them feel like they could never replace you!


Always Think Outside of The Box

Do you go to sponsors and tell them that you will promote them to your social media followers? How original do you believe that this approach is? This is just as groundbreaking as an entrepreneur telling the world that they are going to market their company using social media. It is nothing special. To be a success, you are going to need more than that!

Thinking outside of the box means approaching situations in a way that is outside of the normal and expected. Don't contact sponsors like how everyone else does. Think of what the rest of the people have been missing that you know you could do better. Successful entrepreneurs make a living doing this well.


So What...

If you want to master this sponsorship game, you're going to need to start thinking like an entrepreneur. The business mindset, the will to work, treating customers well and the ability to think outside of the box will put you in a position to succeed. Business decision makers are business persons, so your best bet is your align your thinking with theirs. Now go and attract the sponsor of your dreams.

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