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

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


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


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


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


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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Working Out From Home: How Brands are utilizing content to reach their audience at home

May 29, 2020 5:53:50 PM / by Pemba C. Sherpa posted in influencer marketing, Fitness, Content Marketing, Brand Marketing, at home workouts, growth marketing


While we are all practicing social distancing and staying home to bring down the curve. Some fitness brands are looking to help us lower our own unwanted curves from the safety of our home. Top fitness brands such as Peloton and Equinox have been very effective utilizing content marketing strategies to reach their target audience. Peloton has been leading the way with their own film studios which reportedly pumps out about 950 original programs per month. Equinox has started bulking up their social presence with the use of their social media platforms which now streams out live and pre-recorded workout sessions for all of its followers. Among both of these brands, there’s a resounding truth, content is king.


Peloton bike


Peloton arrived to the fitness community with a hot start, where the company was awarded 2016’s Fast 50 among many others. Founder and CEO John Foley doesn’t see his company as just a fitness brand. He sees it as a software, hardware, and content company. Anyone who takes a few minutes to analyze the company will come to agree with John Foley’s statement. One can even argue that the hefty price tag on the equipment/bike has to be justified by its added software, hardware, and content. John Foley and his team understands that, and this is why they’ve made it a mission to produce high quality content every chance they can. Peloton reportedly has celebrity instructors being paid six figures, many of who have their own cult followings. Peloton produces content like a media company, with reports showing at least 12 live classes per day and 950 original program content per month. In 2018, Peloton has even gone ahead and acquired the B2B music aggregation and streaming service Neurotic Media to sharpen their content marketing strategies.


Peloton Trainer


Needless to say, Peloton has made all the right moves to justify calling themselves a tech and content company. When you combine the top instructors with the production capabilities of a media company, your content will be top-notch. With Peloton leading in market share, we know that they didn’t stumble on to the number one spot. Peloton has made a conscious effort to lead with their product marketing strategies. It’s evident that a large portion of their strategy was focused on content marketing. Peloton has done an excellent job at understanding how the customers view their products at home. The company knows retention and loyalty are their key  when it comes to surviving with a subscription based business model in any industry. In late 2016, Peloton was able to show a record breaking 95% retention rate, and a 4.8 out of 5 stars in average per 1,000 reviewers. With the wheels turning in such a fine tuned machine, it’s easy to say Peloton has become a household name when it comes to working out from home.


Equinox gym


Equinox has a reputation for having the top tier facilities in the fitness industry. However, since the pandemic, everyone has been trying their best to stay fit from home. Equinox understands the importance of staying relevant with their customers, and this is where content marketing has helped them. Equinox has recently been beefing up their social media presence on all of its platforms by giving out quality content. Both members and non-members who follow Equinox on any of their social media accounts have been blessed with free workout videos that they can follow along with. Equinox has been making it a priority to produce and release quality content that all members and prospective members can enjoy.


WFh Equinox


This is a great example of content marketing, as we have relevant, organic content that is also in demand. Everyone at home now has the opportunity to choose from a wide list of at-home workouts. Everything from yoga, to high intensity training, and even zumba is now available for everyone through Equinox’s social media accounts. 


Content marketing has become more useful than ever, with everyone looking to capitalize on their new found time with entertainment, news, and workout classes. Brands such as Equinox and Peloton have taken the lead with their own content marketing strategies in the fitness industry. Now you don’t need a multi-million dollar media outlet like Peloton or a large budget like Equinox to execute your own content marketing campaigns. Opensponsorship is an online platform that enables brands to execute content marketing campaigns in the easiest way possible. All you need to do is tell us what you’re looking to do with your next marketing campaign. Our platform will then utilize analytics to show you the best move forward. Check us out here at

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Fitness Industry Marketing Strategies and Trends

Feb 19, 2020 2:38:34 PM / by Andre Maman posted in sports innovation, sports marketing campaigns, Parterships, trends, Fitness


This post is designed to help fitness industry professionals make crucial business decisions now to capture additional business in the future. In 2020 the fitness industry reached new heights. The industry is now valued at over 105 billion USD, up about 6 billion from 2019. Over the past 4 years the industry growth rate has averaged between 3-8%, with 2018 showing almost 10% growth. With the trend pointing decidedly upwards it is clear that fitness brands investing in this area will most likely yield a high ROI. The question now becomes what are the best, most cost efficient ways for a fitness brand to increase their market share? Here at OpenSponsorship we have the cost effective solutions to your problems.

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1. Boost your market exposure by investing in a booth at one of the major expos. Hundreds of thousands of avid fitness industry consumers pass through each of the expos listed below. For a one off cost you can gain loyal consumers by exhibiting your products. On top of this the expo allows for your brand to gain organic exposure and provides excellent B2B marketing opportunities.

Here is a list of this years hottest, most visited expos across the country and

  1. Arnold Expo Columbus, OH March 5-8
  2. Fibo Power, Cologne Germany April 2-5
  3. BodyPower Marston Green, UK May 15-17
  4. The Fit Expo San Jose, CA June 27-28
  5. The Fit Expo Anaheim, CA August 15-16
  6. The Fit Expo San Diego, CA November 14-15

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2. Take advantage by building and marketing your products to match the hottest fitness trends of 2020. The American College of Sports Medicine has conducted a survey every year for the past 14 years. In this survey they identify and expand on what they believe are the hottest trends for the next year based on the past year’s data.

Here are a few highlights from 2020’s list:

Wearable technology - Wearable tech has been the number one trend in fitness since 2016. This category includes fitness trackers such as smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices.

Exercise programming for weight loss and weight loss products - This category includes both weight loss training programs as well as weight loss tools and supplements.

Yoga - We all know that yoga is massively popular around the world, but in 2020 it will become an even larger phenomenon. Yoga apparel, gear and applications are sure to do well in 2020.

Recovery tracking and programming - Recovery will be a hot area in 2020. Consumers have increasing access to personal data, and this will affect the fitness industry. From wearable technology tracking more and more areas of health and wellness to the increasing importance placed on recovery tools by trainers and athletes it should come as no surprise that recovery products, programming and tools will be a big part of the 2020 fitness landscape.

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3. Ensure your brand is on the right track to gaining a loyal consumer base. Industry leaders have identified cultural trends and practices of brands that succeed in this highly competitive market.

Here are two industry practices and cultural trends you should care about implementing at your company or within your brand:

Consumer and member experience - The question here is how can you create the most engaging, best possible experience for your members or potential members? The answer is ease of onboarding. If your brand is easy to use, requires little equipment and does not break the bank you are on the right track.

Social engagement - From applications like Classpass to brands like Peloton it is clear consumers thoroughly enjoy the social side of fitness. Community brings motivation and affirmation in a way exercising alone cannot. Your brand should place an emphasis on its social side. Does your brand help connect your consumers with each other? Does your brand help create a sense of community within the industry? These are key questions to ask if you are creating and marketing a fitness product.

With so many incredible fitness products on the market it may seem daunting trying to get ahead of the crowd. If your product is part of a hot consumer trend, or if your brand prioritizes service, experience and engagement you are sure to have a lucrative 2020.

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