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

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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

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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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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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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

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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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Sustainability is key for brands and athletes

Oct 15, 2020 12:13:56 PM / by Ashton Jimenez posted in influencers, branding, sustainability

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Nearly 70% of people in North America prefer brands that are sustainable or eco-friendly. The consumer market is more concerned about the environment than ever, providing an opportunity for sustainable brands to grow their customer base. Whether it's the fashion, food, beauty, or other consumer packaged goods (CPG), consumers want to support environmental-friendly brands.

In marketing these brands, it is vital to highlight their sustainability on social media channels and beyond. Sustainable brands must showcase their commitment to the environment, which can be supported by an influencer marketing campaign. By partnering with an influencer who fights for the environment and has a large following, a brand gains a spokesperson and a whole new customer base. Who should your brand use for your next influencer marketing campaign? Athletes, and here is why.

Athletes are often under-utilized tools in a brand's marketing strategy. Their unique position as a sports figure creates a dedicated fanbase that most other influencers are unable to achieve. The loyal fanbases of teams and organizations around the country transfer to their star players. To many, athletes are role models, trendsetters, and influencers on the lives of their fans. An athlete partnership can help bring new exposure to your brand among loyal fans who trust and support their favorite athletes.

Athletes can be great ambassadors for sustainable products. Many athletes are passionate about social causes like the environment and have lifestyles that can support your brand. Whether they thrive on a plant-based diet or advocate for clean air, athletes are the perfect spokesperson to share your brand with others. This trend in consumer preference for sustainability is here to stay, so showcase your brand with an athlete partnership.

Over 7,000 athletes are on the OpenSponsorship platform eager to partner with brands that they believe in and share similar values. Sustainable brands have found great success partnering with athletes through our platform, and you can too!

 

Here are some examples of partnerships centered around eco-friendly goods:

Jamal Adams x Quorn

For Jamal Adams, a professional football player for the Seattle Seahawks and pescatarian, Quorn was perfect for him. Quorn's committed to providing great meatless options for vegetarians and pescatarians, and this partnership is one of many they have completed on the OpenSponsorship platform. 

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Chantae McMillian x Natreve Wellness

The track and field Olympian Chantae McMillian has prioritized sustainable products, partnering with a range of eco-friendly brands including Natreve Wellness. Their vitamins and supplements feature vegan ingredients and their company is committed to remaining plastic and carbon neutral!

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Vincent Poirier x Gutzy Organics

Vincent Poirier plays for the Boston Celtics and the French National Team and relies on organic foods to keep himself healthy. He recently partnered with Gutzy Organics, which provides organic plant-based snacks with probiotics that can help maintain a healthy gut.

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Your brand can benefit from partnering with one of our great athletes in your next marketing campaign. To learn more about some great athletes who are committed to the environment, check out this rate card! Join OpenSponsorship today to partner with an athlete that shares your brand's values and can bring your product to a new audience. 

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Female Athletes as Influencers for Cosmetic Brands

Sep 1, 2020 11:42:49 AM / by Ashton Jimenez posted in influencers, marketing opportunities, cosmetics

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Many cosmetic brands use influencers as a significant component of their marketing strategy. Not only do influencers validate the brand's products, but they also expose the brand and its products to the influencer's large followings, creating many potential customers. Athletes are social media influencers with loyal followings that want a peek into these athletes' daily lives and routines, making them ideal candidates to partner with cosmetic brands.

Female athletes can be excellent additions to any cosmetic brand's influencer marketing campaign for several reasons:

  1. Many female athletes spend much of their time practicing and playing outdoors, meaning they have increased sun exposure. Also, sweating increases the skin's sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation, leading to further sun damage. In order to keep athletes' skin healthy and safe, various cosmetic products would be essential to their daily routine. A partnership between a female athlete and a cosmetic brand could be a great addition to its marketing strategy and drive increased sales.
  2. As a professional athlete, media appearances and public attention are closely related to an athlete's sports performance. Female athletes are often in the spotlight, making their faces immediately recognizable. This creates a unique opportunity for makeup brands to support and empower these female athletes with their products. Whether it be a television appearance or walking the red carpet of an award show, female athletes have the opportunity to showcase their beauty habits and your brand's products.
  3. Lastly, through partnerships with female athletes, cosmetic brands can tap into new audiences that are very loyal to their favorite athletes. The brand can achieve increased success by optimizing female sports fans' passion that is often overlooked in the male-dominated sports sponsorship arena. For cosmetic brands, their target audience is fans who will be inclined to buy a product their favorite female athlete is endorsing.

Using OpenSponsorship, cosmetic brands have reached new audiences by partnering with one of our female athletes. Here are some examples of partnerships that have started on our platform: 

Shelby Rogers x Birchbox

Tamera Young x Universal Beauty

Tamera Young x Universal Beauty

 

By signing up with OpenSponsorship, cosmetic brands will have access to over 1,000 professional female athletes with diverse backgrounds and interests. Our platform will help you find the perfect athlete to partner with to help grow your brand and increase product sales by reaching a new audience.

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Top 10 Mexican Athlete Influencers

Apr 27, 2020 2:05:58 PM / by Zack Smith posted in influencer marketing, influencers, instagram, sports sponsorship, twitter, football, cinco de mayo, soccer, boxing, new york giants

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Cinco de Mayo, commonly thought of as Mexico's Independence Day (this isn't true), is a holiday that celebrates the country's underdog victory at the Battle of Puebla against France in 1862. Nowadays, the holiday has spread to the United States as well and is often associated with tacos and tequila, but the true meaning of the day is to celebrate the rich history and heritage of Mexico.

In the 1980s and 90s, brands began incorporating Cinco de Mayo into their marketing plans by positioning their product as one that should be consumed during holiday celebrations.

Corona Cinco de Mayo Marketing Campaign

Corona was one of the first, which makes sense given that it is a Mexican beer, and some even credit their 1989 ad campaign for making Cinco de Mayo such a widely celebrated holiday in the United States. Through their marketing efforts aimed at positioning themselves as a beer of celebration and bringing people together, they are now the leading beer brand in association and consumption around the holiday.

As seen from Corona, a strong marketing campaign can help consumers associate you with Cinco de Mayo celebration. Using influencers with Mexican heritage can be one way of launching your campaign, and there are several Mexican athletes who would make great fits. Here are our top 10 Mexican athlete influencers:

10. Hector Velazquez

Hector Velazquez is an MLB pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles entering his 4th season in the MLB, spending the previous 3 with the Boston Red Sox. He was born in Ciudad Obregon and prior to going to the MLB, he played six seasons in the Mexican League and two seasons in the winter Mexican Pacific League.

He can be found on Instagram at @hvelazquez76, where he has over 30,000 followers. He posts often with his wife and his two young boys. 

9. Will Hernandez

Will Hernandez is an offensive lineman for the New York Giants. He was drafted by the Giants in the 2nd round of the 2018 Draft out of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Hernandez's family moved from Mexico to Las Vegas before he was born, and his journey from there to the NFL was inspiring. Hernandez's family faced devastating financial struggles while he was growing up, forcing them to spend time living in a storage unit. These struggles led to his grades falling and the decision to drop out of high school and quit football to begin working for his father, but his coaches encouraged him to come back to school and the team because he had the opportunity to earn himself a college scholarship.

New York Giants guard Will Hernandez checking out his helmet during a game.
Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Well, they were right, and Hernandez is now a promising young starter for the Giants. He can be found on Instagram at @willhernandez71 with over 50,000 followers (and this hilarious photo of him and his dog) and on Twitter at @willhernandez76 with 15,000 followers.

8. Luis Urias

Luis Urias is an MLB infielder for the Milwaukee Brewers who was once one of the top minor league prospects in baseball. He spent time playing in the Mexican Pacific Winter League in 2014 and also represented Mexico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, a highly competitive international baseball tournament.

He can be found on Instagram at @luisurias97 with 77,000 followers and on Twitter at @luisurias03 with 18,000 followers.

7. Erik Perez

Erik Perez is an MMA fighter competing in the bantamweight division of the Bellator MMA promotion. He has been fighting professionally since 2008 and his three brothers, Jorge, Jair, and Ivan, are also professional fighters.

Erik can be found on Instagram at @goyito_perez with 54,000 followers and on Twitter at @goyito_perez with just under 42,000 followers.

6. Gilberto Ramirez

Gilberto Ramirez is a professional middleweight boxer. He held the WBO super middleweight title from 2016-2019 and was the first boxer from Mexico to hold that title. Gilberto made big changes to his life last year, including moving to Los Angeles, hiring a new trainer and replacing the one he had for years, and proposing to his girlfriend Priscilla (ESPN wrote a feature article about it here) for the good of his career- and things have paid off for him so far.

Gilberto can be found on Instagram at @zurdoramirez where he has just under 92,000 followers and is active in taking his fans along with him on his journey and his day-to-day routine as a professional boxer.

5. Jaime Munguia

Jaime is a 23-year-old professional boxer in the middleweight division. He held the WBO junior middleweight title from 2018-2019 and is currently ranked as the 7th best middleweight boxer in the world and the 2nd best from Mexico with a 35-0-0 record.

Jaime can be found on Instagram at @jaimemunguiaofficial with 142,000 followers. He most recently fought against Gary O'Sullivan, the world's 27th ranked middleweight fighter, and won in an 11th round KO, winning his middleweight class debut.

4. Sergio Romo

Sergio Romo is an MLB pitcher for the Minnesota Twins. He made his MLB debut in 2008 with the San Francisco Giants, where he was a part of three World Series champion teams and made one All-Star appearance in 2013. He is now on his 5th MLB team and has put together quite the resume for a 28th-round pick in the 2005 MLB Draft.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo closing a game during the World Series.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Sergio and his wife, Chelsea, have two sons named Rilen and Ryder. Sergio is active and has large followings on both Twitter and Instagram, sporting 169,000 followers on Instagram (@sergioromo54) and 250,000 on Twitter (@sergioromo54).

3. Jonathan dos Santos

Jonathan dos Santos is a professional soccer player currently playing for the LA Galaxy of the MLS. He was signed by the Galaxy in July 2017 after playing for Spain's Villareal CF. Dos Santos also represents Mexico in international play, being named to the Best XI in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and making his World Cup debut in 2018.

Dos Santos sports very high followings across social media. He has 2.2 million followers on Instagram (@jona2santos) and 1.4 million followers on Twitter (@jona2santos) and recently joined Tik Tok as well, where he has amassed 92,000 followers in just one month (@jona2santoss).

2. Giovani dos Santos

Narrowly beating out Jonathan is his brother Giovani, also a professional soccer player for Liga MX club America. He also played for the LA Galaxy from 2015-2019, spending two seasons playing with Jonathan and making two MLS All-Star teams. He also has a strong career in international play, winning one Olympic gold medal in 2012 and 3 Gold Cup titles.

Brothers Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos in a match with the LA Galaxy.
USA Today Sports

He has 1.8 million followers on Instagram (@oficialgio) and 3.4 million on Twitter (@oficialgio). According to his Instagram, he's been spending his quarantine working out, reading books, playing video games (he loves FIFA!) and cuddling with his dog.

1. Oribe Peralta

Taking the top spot is professional soccer player Oribe Peralta. He currently plays for Liga MX Guadalajara and has bounced around during his club career, spending the most time with Santos Laguna. Peralta has also represented the Mexican National Team, but announced his retirement from international play after the 2018 World Cup.

Peralta is an active user of Twitter (@oribeperalta), Instagram (@oribepm), and Facebook (Oribe Peralta) with 3 million followers on the former and over 1 million on the other two.

 

What do you think about our list? To learn more about any of these athletes and how you can use them in your next campaign, reach out to an OpenSponsorship rep or send us an email at info@opensponsorship.com

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Top 10 Instagram Influencers Who Are Mothers

Apr 22, 2020 4:59:41 PM / by Zack Smith posted in influencer marketing, influencers, instagram, sports, sports marketing, sports marketing campaigns, women in sports, affiliate marketing, mother's day

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In a few weeks, families around the United States will be celebrating Mother's Day and thanking their mothers for all of the sacrifices they make every day. In the sports world, female athletes juggle their athletic careers with their duties as mothers, often even having to take time off from their sport during and after pregnancy to care for their children and get their bodies ready to go back to competing.

For this reason, athletes who are mothers can be the perfect influencers to include in your brand's influencer marketing campaign around Mother's Day. Read below for OpenSponsorship's Top 10 Instagram influencers who are athletes and mothers and about the sacrifices they have made for their families. They deserve all the love coming their way this Mother's Day!

10. Glory Johnson

Glory is an 8-year WNBA veteran currently playing for the Atlanta Dream. In 2015, coming off of her second straight All-Star appearance, she announced that she was pregnant and would be sitting out the entire 2015 season. In October 2015, 4 months before her due date, Glory gave birth to her twin girls Ava and Solei.

It is common for WNBA players to play internationally to make extra money during the WNBA offseason, and things were no different for Glory. When she was playing overseas in countries like Russia and China, her mother and sisters cared for her children. This was becoming increasingly difficult for Glory and, after two seasons of playing overseas after her daughters were born, she decided to return home.

Glory Johnson and her daughters Solei and Ava.
Glory and her children Solei, left, and Ava, right, in their bedroom (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News) (Louis DeLuca/Staff Photographer)

In May 2018, Glory purchased her first house for her and her two two-year old daughters. In an interview with the Dallas News, Glory said, "Having to do it all by yourself is really, really tough. Pulling all-nighters trying to get everything done before the babies come was tough, especially through training camp, but it was all worth it." Glory set up bedrooms and a jungle-themed playroom for the girls, equipped with a projector on the wall, jungle green chairs, a grassy floor and a tree on the wall made of pool noodles, and, of course, a giant pink dollhouse. 

9. Montana De La Rosa

Montana De La Rosa and her husband Mark, both UFC fighters, are also parents to their 9-year-old daughter Zaylyn. Montana and Mark are the only married couple to be signed to UFC contracts at the same time, but that has taken anything away from their jobs as parents. Zaylyn is following in her parents' footsteps in the family business, too- she is currently the Texas state champion wrestler in the open division, which is nearly all boys.

Montana De La Rosa and her daughter Zaylyn.
Montana and her daughter Zaylyn preparing a snack. (Cooper Neill, ESPN)

Montana got pregnant with Zaylyn in high school and had to give up an opportunity to wrestle at Oklahoma City University, the 4-time consecutive national champions. She met Mark in 2014 when Zaylyn was 3 and got married two years ago. Their schedules are now mapped out entirely, full of responsibilities as both fighters and parents. In an interview with ESPN, Mark said, "She's a supermom. When I'm 100% into training, I come home and do house stuff here and there. She'll go into the gym and be a professional athlete. As soon as she's done at the gym, she puts her mom hat on. She's a good fighter, good wife, good mom." Montana made the decision to put her career on pause as only a teenager, which is tough to swallow for most that age. However, now, she couldn't be happier. Her career is on the rise, she has an incredible husband, and her daughter is poised to follow in her footsteps and have a career in the UFC as well.

8. Bec Rawlings

Bec Rawlings is an Australian MMA fighter and mother of two young boys. Her second was born just months before her first MMA fight in October 2011, leaving her balancing caring for her two young boys and training to begin her MMA career. On top of all this, Rawlings was also stuck in a physically abusive relationship with her now ex-husband.

Rawlings lost her first fight, but bounced back after that with five straight victories. After two years of hiding her abuse, Rawlings finally filed a police report in 2012 and made the decision to leave the relationship on Mother's Day of 2013. Her past only fueled the fire for her career, and she now lives safely and happily with her two boys.

7. Lauren Holiday

Lauren Holiday is a retired soccer player who played in the NWSL and represented the United States in the World Cup and the Olympics. She was a part of the World Cup-winning US team in 2015 and also won two gold medals with the Olympic team. In 2013, she married NBA star Jrue Holiday after the two met and started dating as students at UCLA.

Lauren and Jrue Holiday and their daughter Jrue.Lauren and Jrue showing love to their daughter. (Lauren Holiday/Instagram)

In 2016, shortly after Lauren's retirement from soccer and six months into her pregnancy, it was discovered that she had a benign brain tumor. She gave birth to her daughter, Jrue Tyler Holiday, in September and had the brain tumor removed one month later. After the tumor was discovered, her husband Jrue announced he would be taking a leave of absence to focus on the health of his family. In February, three months after her daughter was born and her surgery was complete, she posted a photo of her daughter on Instagram and said she "had never known suffering like (she) experienced the last six months." Three years later, the family is happy and healthy with their beautiful daughter.

6. Sanya Richards-Ross

Sanya Richards-Ross is a former Olympic track and field athlete who won four gold medals during her Olympic career. While training for the 2016 Olympics, she suffered a hamstring injury and announced her retirement shortly after.

Sanya Richards-Ross, her husband Aaron Ross, and their son Aaron II.
Sanya and her husband, Aaron, and son, Aaron II. (Sanya Richards-Ross/Instagram)

In college at the University of Texas, she began dating former NFL cornerback and 2-time Super Bowl champion Aaron Ross and the two eventually got married in 2010. Shortly after her retirement, Sanya and Aaron announced the birth of their son Aaron Jermaine Ross II and has spoken extensively about the incredible positive impact that having a son has had on their lives.

5. Jennie Finch

Jennie Finch is a retired softball star who was a three-time All American in college at Arizona and a two-time medalist in the Olympics with the US National Team. Her husband Casey is also a former MLB pitcher. The two are parents to three children, sons Ace and Diesel and daughter Paisley.

Jennie's first son, Ace, was born in 2007. One year later, Finch competed in the Olympics with the US National Team and posted a 2-0 record during the competition where the US won a silver medal. This would be her last Olympic appearance, but Finch's career continued on in the National Pro Fastpitch softball league until 2010. Finch absolutely dominated in his career here, posting a 35-8 record and a 1.08 ERA.

4. Cat Zingano

Cat Zingano is a UFC fighter and the mother of one son, Brayden. In 2013, the undefeated Zingano was set to fight champion Ronda Rousey for a chance at the bantamweight title. However, a torn ACL suffered during a workout stripped this opportunity away from her and left her with a long road to recovery ahead.

Months later, in January 2014, her husband Mauricio was found dead near their home. Tragedy seemed to keep following Zingano, and eventually she decided to spend time in Thailand to recover both mentally and physically. Away from the bright lights and constant media attention, she was able to get back into shape and recover from past tragedy.

She was surprisingly released from the UFC, but signed a deal with Bellator in August 2019 to begin fighting there. Even when things seemed like they couldn't possibly be worse, Zingano stayed motivated and has a fresh start ahead of her.

3. Candace Parker

Candace Parker's name has been in the spotlight since her college days, being dubbed the player that could transcend women's basketball and become the face of the WNBA. She did not disappoint in her rookie year, taking home the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in the same season. Then, 6 months later, Parker made the announcement that she was pregnant.

This, of course, meant that her career would be on pause. After giving birth to her daughter Lailaa, Parker returned to the court just 53 days later and didn't miss a beat. Nearly 11 years later, she doesn't regret a single second of it.

Candace Parker and her daughter Lailaa Parker.
Candace and her daughter Lailaa. (Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press)

In 2016, Parker was surprisingly left off the Olympic basketball roster. When coach Dawn Staley took over the program, she talked to Parker and tried to lure her back to be on the 2020 roster, but Parker refused. She told the Daily News, “I understand the responsibility of it now, later in life when somebody does my daughter wrong, or she doesn’t feel that she was respected, I want her to have the ability and the amount of respect for herself to understand when it’s time to move on."

2. Sydney Leroux

Sydney Leroux is a star soccer player for the US Women's National Team and the Orlando Pride of the NWSL. Her and her husband Dom Dwyer, another professional soccer player, welcomed their second child Roux in June of 2019. Less than one month later, Leroux was back on the field practicing with the Pride and in September, she appeared in her first match since giving birth.

She was visibly emotional on the field after the match as she was joined by her 3-month-old daughter and later described the moment in a heartfelt post on Instagram. The caption read, "I love this game. This past year was filled with so many ups and downs but I made a promise to myself that I would come back. No matter how hard that would be. It’s been a long road but I did it. 3 months and one day after I gave birth to my baby girl.‬"

1. Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. She has been in the spotlight since 2003 when, as a 13-year-old, she was the victim of a shark attack while surfing that nearly took her life. She survived, but lost her left arm as a result.

Surfer Bethany Hamilton and her family.

She was committed to continuing to surf and returned to competition in 2004, where she placed 5th in the NSSA National Competition in Australia. Her career continued into 2016 and she competed in, and won, several more events. In 2015, she and her husband Adam gave birth to her first son, Tobias, and later in 2018 they welcomed their second son Wesley to the world.

 

To learn more about these incredible athletes and many more and how you can sponsor them, contact an OpenSponsorship rep or send us an email at info@opensponsorship.com.

 

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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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