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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How Instagram Fitness Influencers are Working Out From Home

May 6, 2020 12:35:39 PM / by Zack Smith posted in home fitness, sponsored athletes, sponsoring athletes, sports marketing, athlete influencer, fitness influencers

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The Coronavirus has thrown the world for a loop and forced many of us to make major changes to our daily routines. Schools are closed, restaurants are closed, we're stuck video chatting our friends instead of seeing them in person, and, scary enough, gyms are closed! However, our OpenSponsorship fitness influencers haven't let this keep them from staying in shape and they're now working out at home while they don't have access to their gyms.

Fitness Instagram influencers are social media influencers that regularly post content revolving around their daily workout routines. Exercise tips, workout routines, and overall health and wellness advice are what these fitness influencers have built their brand around and it is a big reason why their fans follow them. Therefore, fitness influencers have been forced to adapt to these circumstances and try to keep up their regular routine from home without access to their gym. Here's how some of our favorite OpenSponsorship athletes and Instagram fitness influencers are working out from home with the help of some awesome sponsors:

Tigertail and Marquis Dendy

Marquis is a USA Track and Field athlete with a few first place finishes to his name in the long jump, including the 2015 USA Outdoor Championship and the 2016 USA Indoor Championship.

He teamed up with Tigertail to help support his #StayAtHome workouts, and got a little visit from his dog as well! Tigertail provides several different products to help support the workouts and recovery of fitness influencers, like foam rollers, massage tools, and muscle recovery kits!

Steph Earl and IdealFit

Steph is a weightlifter and nutritionist fitness influencer that creates content for her fans about both workout tips and diet tips to live a healthy all-around lifestyle. She is one of our top female fitness trainers and posts a bunch of workout videos on her account, including the post below.

IdealFit sent her some equipment to help with her at-home workouts, and they have a bunch of essentials for any at-home workout. Check out Steph's post for an awesome workout routine you can use at home!

Bill O'Brien and Jabra

Major key to a great workout: blasting your favorite music. And with Jabra's help, fitness influencer Bill O'Brien was able to listen to his favorite music with headphones made for workouts. Bill is a professional lacrosse player in the MLL and also founded his own nutritional supplement company, so he's making sure to stay in shape even during quarantine.

Jabra's headphones are sweatproof and waterproof and can also track your heart rate, your mileage, and mapping out routes for your daily run. Hard to imagine working out without these headphones, and now Bill doesn't have to do so anymore! (P.S. Bill is also one of our many athletes on TikTok- check him out here!)

Especially during times like these, we're glad to be able to introduce and connect fitness influencers with brands they love to help support their daily routines. To learn more about these brands and other athletes you can sponsor on OpenSponsorship, reach out to a rep or send us an email at info@opensponsorship.com. These are just three of our top fitness influencers with some recent content we loved, but the opportunities are endless with the athletes we work with!

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