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 50 Athlete Influencers to Watch in 2021

Jan 12, 2021 4:03:15 PM / by Ashton Jimenez posted in marketing strategy, sports leaders, sports sponsorship, athlete influencer, fan engagement

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Looking to expand your marketing strategy in 2021? Have you wanted to work with athletes but didn't know where to start? OpenSponsorship is here to guide you through athlete sponsorship for the coming year to elevate your brand's marketing plans. Below is a curated list of top athlete influencers whose engagement rates predict a strong performance for the coming year. 

This list of the top 50 athlete influencers to watch in 2021 includes the most engaging athletes as determined by a variety of measures. These athletes have consistently high engagement based on social media metrics from organic and sponsored posts. They are active on several social media channels, posting high quality, creative, and unique content. Rankings also considered brand feedback from prior sponsorship deals and their overall marketability. This comprehensive list includes athletes from over 16 different professional sports with audiences from all over the nation. These top engaging athletes are perfect for any brand looking to expand their marketing strategy into sport sponsorships.

  1. Lebron James 
  2. Mercedes (Sasha Banks) Varnado
  3. Amir Khan
  4. Robinson Cano
  5. Giovani dos Santos
  6. Wayne Rooney
  7. Kyrie Irving 
  8. Virgil Van Dijk
  9. Paulo Dybala
  10. Lonzo Ball
  11. Russel Westbrook
  12. Anthony Davis
  13. Bethany Hamilton
  14. Charles Leclerc
  15. Sky Brown
  16. Megan Rapinoe 
  17. Jorge Masvidal
  18. Alexis (Alexa Bliss) Kaufman
  19. Shaquem Griffin
  20. Julie Ertz
  21. Daria “Sonya Deville” Berenato
  22. Demarcus Lawrence
  23. Rose Lavelle
  24. Kendrick Nunn
  25. Xavier Rhodes
  26. Zach Ertz
  27. Kyle Juszcyk
  28. Maddy Forberg
  29. Emily Sonnet
  30. Nick Symmonds
  31. Hamidou Diallo
  32. Udonis Haslem
  33. Tee Higgins
  34. Brandon Zingale
  35. Corey Clement
  36. Kendrick Bourne
  37. Justin Jackson
  38. Devonte Graham
  39. Frank Clark
  40. Marcus Allen
  41. Ryan McElmon
  42. Big Neechi
  43. Leah Casciano
  44. Abby Dunkin
  45. Bill O’Brien
  46. Chantae McMillan
  47. Deshaun Watson
  48. Mario Chalmers
  49. Alexis Lete
  50. Ryan Greenspan

View all of these athletes' profiles and begin working with them now by joining OpenSponsorship! 

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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

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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 info@opensponsorship.com

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