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

4 Reasons to Add Athletes to Your Website

Mar 16, 2022 12:59:44 PM / by J F posted in influencers, marketing opportunities, Marketing Recommendations, marketing strategy, OpenSponsorship, sports marketing, Brand Endorsements, brands, endorsements, Pro Athletes


4 reasons why Athletes are a good strategy when launching a new website

marketing, brand ambassador, new website, promotion

1. Putting an athlete image on the website above the fold / in the hero image can reduce bounce rates

social media, open sponsorship, media marketing

Starting a new website/ brand can often be hard to do. Currently, there are so many fake or uncredited websites. When creating a new website, adding reasons and things to the page can help it feel like a real page. Athletes are great ways to add credibility to your website. Placing an image of the athletes above the fold/ in the hero image can help reduce bounce rates, especially working with an athlete to do a quick video endorsing the launch of your new site. Athletes are often most credible as they can be easily looked up or are often already heard of. The sports world is massive and there are so many great athletes out there that cannot wait to be a part of a brand or company that represents who they are as athletes and also personally. 

2. Athletes can help to promote the new website through social and push traffic to you

Blog post, social media, credibility, new launch

Social media is a main component of our generation today. It is almost essential for companies and brands to have social media accounts in order to be successful. Using a professional athlete to promote your website can be game changing. They can reach many different target audiences and also in large amounts. Professional athletes can post on their social media promoting the product, service, or website. Again, it gives a massive weight of credibility!

3. Athletes bring credibility - having an athlete testimonial page can help to drive conversion

Testimonials are very important on any website. This is a moment for future customers to be able to witness and see how a product or service has been successful and how it can be beneficial in their lives. For customers, to see a professional athlete give their account for how a product or service benefited them can ultimately lead to new sales and customers. Once someone hears that a credible person used the product or service, they are often more prone to purchase it. Fun fact: Sports fans are 164% more likely to buy a product after an athlete they love mentions it. endorsement, ambassador, equity, royalty, product, service

4. Athletes are relevant to a wide audience - male, female, young, and old.

Through OpenSponsorship, you can easily choose from our roster of athletes to appeal to your brand's target audience. As mentioned above, an athlete's following can be large and can reach many different target audiences. Depending on your brand you can find a specific athlete that can help promote and endorse your brand based on their audience. Athletes are also more reliable because their following is often verified and all considered to be “real” follows. For example, if you are interested in a demographic of young adults between the ages of 18-26, then you are able to see that through our statistics of their following on our page.

athlete marketing sponsorship

OpenSponsorship is the largest digital marketplace making it easy for brands to partner with athletes. As you go onto our platform, you will be able to filter through 12,000+ athletes across 160 sports (including over 50% of the NFL and NBA) to help you select a specific athlete to help your brand or company excel. We support clients like Walmart, Sperry, FanDuel, and ESPN. We recently closed a $4.5M growth round, and are backed by NBA team owners, athletes, notable VCs, and world class accelerators.

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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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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


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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How influencer marketing can help your brand take off for the product launch

Jun 11, 2020 5:59:17 PM / by Pemba C. Sherpa posted in influencer marketing, marketing strategy, athlete marketing, Brand Marketing, product marketing, product launch


Let’s face it, you’re looking ahead to the product launch with anticipation but it’s paired with a whole lot of anxiety. How will your audience react to the product? Did you gain enough hype around the product to gather a sizable target audience? What will the reviews say? Will you hit the quota for sales or subscriptions? Where can you check to see if all the marketing you and your team did for the launch was successful? While all of these questions are running through your head, the clock ticks away towards the product launch. This is where influencer marketing with Opensponsorship comes into play.


Influencer marketing is the promotion of a brand’s products or services through influential endorsements made by users who have established a community of loyal followers. These users who conduct the influential endorsements are made up of celebrities, athletes, and pop-culture icons who have been recognized by their own respective audiences. Activating an influencer marketing campaign with such users will help you increase awareness surrounding the product, gain new traction in the market, and educate new audiences on the features of the new product.


Tarik Cohen- boosted (1)


We all know that authenticity is key, and this is why influencer marketing has been a top strategy for brands such as Anheusuer-Busch, Sperry, and Popeye’s. Being able to position the brand in the most authentic way possible has been proven to be the most effective way to reach the target audience. Placing the products in the hands of the influencers allows brands to cultivate authentic content. Content in the forms of videos, pictures, and testimonials have helped brands make the most out of their marketing campaign budget.


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Last but not least, connecting with an engaged audience is the best way to put your brand in a position to be seen. Studies have shown that sports fans who see a product or service when mentioned by an athlete are 164% more likely to purchase it. The positive impact of sports and the emotional connection with athletes, sports fans are a loyal, dedicated, and engaged group, making them a powerful segment for marketers to reach. Because sports reaches across demographics, marketers have multiple opportunities to target audiences in various age groups, regions, ethnicities and interests. 


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When it comes to marketing for product launches, Opensponsorship has successfully helped thousands of brands from Anheuser-Busch’s Bon & Viv Seltzer to Popeye’s to Vitamin Shoppe’s Isopure. Opensponsorship is an online platform which enables brands to utilize influencer marketing campaigns in a seamless and efficient way. Opensponsorship allows brands to work with a range of influencers, and as of this year Opensponsorship has over 7,000 influencers on their platform. Athletes help to drive sales, brand awareness, PR and engage new & existing customers.  Whether you are looking to drive sales to your own website, a partner website's such as Amazon or a retail store such as Target, athletes can be key to a successful product launch. 


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Opensponsorship offers a wide range of options and filters which allows brands to run their own influencer marketing campaigns in their own specific ways. The platform is full of features; 20+ filters when searching for influencers, up to date data on the followers for each influencer, average costs indicators, campaign template/builder, and many more. Sending messages to potential brand ambassadors, negotiating prices, and getting mid to end campaign reports are just a few of the features that makes the whole process seamless on the Opensponsorship platform. Here are a few tips that will help your brand create the next viral campaign with the Opensponsorship platform:

  • Data on the Following-to-Engagement Ratio – View the up-to-date on the potential brand ambassadors, and see if they have their followers and your target audience match.

  • Brand Alignment – Check the past histories of campaigns that the influencer has been a part of. View their most used keywords and phrases to see if they’re the right fit for your brand.
  • Always Negotiate – Utilize Opensponsorship’s proposals feature to negotiate the payments for your influencers using a campaign-based partnership model. This means the influencer gets paid for doing a series of posts as opposed to a singular, one-off activations. You’ll get more content and more bang for your buck this way.

  • Provide Custom Promo Codes – Opensponsorship allows you to integrate with your Google Analytics or Shopify account to provide each influencer with a custom UTM link This will allow you to measure any traffic driven back to the brand’s website from each influencers post, as well as the number of new users and transactions completed with total spend.


makes it easy for brands of all sizes to run their own content marketing campaigns. With more than 7,000 influencers and athletes on the platform, brands have the opportunity to specify every last detail of their marketing campaigns. Let's create great content that speaks to your brand and gather the hype for your next product launch!Get Started Today

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Athletes on TikTok

Mar 30, 2020 4:08:57 PM / by Zack Smith posted in ad, ads opportunities, how to find sponsorship, influencer marketing, influencers, LeBron James, marketing, marketing ideas, marketing opportunities, marketing strategy, marketing tools, NBA, open sponsorship, OpenSponsorship, shaquille o'neal, social media, social media athletes, Sponsor, sponsored athletes, sponsoring athletes, sponsors, sponsorship, sponsorships, sports, sports marketing, sports marketing campaigns, sports sponsorship, sports sponsorships, sports technology for athletes, athlete endorsement, Athlete Endorsements, athlete marketing, athletes on social media, Basketball, brand deals, Brand Endorsements, brands, Endorsement, endorsements, fan engagement, National Basketball Association, trends, Tik Tok


The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the sports world by storm, and athletes now have an unprecedented amount of time on their hands leading to an increase in the number of athletes on TikTok. Some are taking on new hobbies -see Giannis Antetokounmpo learning the guitar and Cody Zeller learning to cook and play the guitar (well, trying to). Some are doing their best to stay in shape at home- nice setup, Serge Ibaka! But most of all, athletes are more active and engaging on social media than ever before. The most interesting takeaway from this uptick in social media activity has been the increase in athletes on TikTok.

If you’re not familiar by now, TikTok is a social media platform where users can post short videos of just about anything they want- dancing, comedy, music, tricks, or one of the countless “challenges” that go viral on the platform. TikTok began to take off in 2019 has over 500 million active users, making it a great place for influencers, like athletes, to build their brand and engage with their audience.

The sports world began to take notice long ago, with teams, leagues, broadcast networks, and even team mascots creating accounts and regularly posting content, ranging from highlights, messages from players, and just normal funny clips. The NBA even invited TikTok stars Addison Rae, Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Chase Hudson, and Jalaiah to 2020 All-Star Weekend. The former three made videos with several NBA stars, including OpenSponsorship athletes Nikola Jokic and Pascal Siakam, and even helped out Aaron Gordon with this Dunk Contest dunk! And now, with athletes home and quarantining, they have had the time to join in on the fun themselves, and we love seeing athletes on TikTok.

Philadelphia 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle was one of the first- “the only logical thing for me to do at this point is to start making TikToks!” He has been regularly posting content, even taking the time one day to interact with a fan who was hoping an NBA player would notice his post. Star Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant joined in too, making a fake player introduction to help cope with him missing basketball. Young Thunder stars Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Darius Bazley teamed up in a different way than usual to perform one of the hundreds of viral dances that become popular on TikTok.

But it’s not just the young guys having fun on TikTok, even the world champ athletes are on TikTok! LeBron James and his family enjoy the platform, where LeBron’s son Bronny posted a video of the family dancing that LeBron later re-posted on his Instagram story. Retired athletes on TikTok include NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal who is a regular on the platform and collaborated with Forto Coffee to create a fun and energized post promoting their coffee shots that received over 310 thousand impressions and nearly 19 thousand engagements.

TikTok is the hottest social media platform in the world right now and athletes on TikTok prove that the sports world is taking notice. These posts garner massive amounts of impressions and engagement from fans and partnering with athletes on TikTok is the perfect way for brands to connect with these audiences. Talk to an OpenSponsorship rep today to take advantage of this opportunity, or send us an email

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How to Increase Sales Using Social Media

Jul 6, 2017 1:40:16 PM / by Max Kirshblum posted in increase sales, influencer marketing, instagram, marketing, marketing strategy, OpenSponsorship, sales, sales strategies, shaq, shaquille o'neal, social media, sponsorship, sports marketing, sports sponsorship, athletes on social media, Brand Endorsements, Facebook


How to Increase Sales Using Social Media

Anyone looking to sell a product or service needs to understand how to increase sales using social media. As the world continues to shift towards an online marketplace, digital marketing has not only become a powerful marketing technique to increase sales, but it has become a necessity. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram have grown exponentially in the last few years. Facebook has about 2 billion active Facebook users a month while Instagram has about 700 million. When looking at how to increase sales using social media, it's important to be aware of this growth. Because of it, social media has become the ultimate platform in which to target potential customers or clients.

Due to their popularity however, many businesses have set aside large sums of money to swarm people’s news feeds with ads. Thus, being a smaller company that stands out in social media has become increasingly more difficult. One has to ask themselves "how can one increase sales using social media in the most efficient and cost effective way possible?"

The Power of Influencer Marketing

One of the most efficient ways to increase sales using social media is through the concept of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a type of advertisement that focuses on one powerful individual in a certain market that usually has a large (and loyal) social media following. For more details on what influencer marketing is, check out a previous blog post “Why Your Company Should Be Using Influencer Marketing”.

Draymond Green Increase Sales Using Social Media

One of the benefits of attracting such an individual is due to the great influence and power that they have on social media. In a post entitled “Love it or hate it: Influencer Marketing Works” Daniel Newman offers countless statistics proving how one can increase sales using social media:

  • “Influencer marketing is the fastest growing and most cost-effective channel. (Tomoson)
  • Customers acquired through word-of-mouth have a 37 percent higher retention rate. (Deloitte)
  • Word of mouth generates 2 times the sales of paid advertising. (McKinsey)
  • Ninety-two percent of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source. (Tapfluence and Influitive)
  • Businesses make $6.50 for every dollar invested in influencer marketing. (Tomoson)”

In addition, there is another reason for how using an influencer can increase sales using social media. Generally on Facebook, posts with the most likes or comments are the ones that show up higher on news feeds. The problem however is that encouraging engagement on these posts can be difficult. With an influencer however, their followers are determined to have a connection with the influencer and thus like, comment, and share the post. With this engagement, the post is more likely to be located at the top of people’s news feeds. By being at the top of people's news feeds, it will lead to greater exposure for potential sales.

How Can I Get an Influencer for My Brand?

When determining how to increase sales using social media, influencer marketing is one of the most efficient & cost effective methods. Now, how does one attract an influencer to help increase sales using social media?

A common misconception is the idea that one needs to have connections to obtain these major influencers.  In reality however, at OpenSponsorship we have changed the game to better help you increase sales. OpenSponsorship is the leading marketplace for sports sponsorship.  We find ways to connect brands to professional athletes in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. Once paired with an athlete, your business is sure to take off. 

If you're a brand sign up for free here to access our roster of 2600+ athletes, teams and events. If you're an athlete, sign up for a free account here & start applying to campaigns posted by our brands.

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Overview of the Upcoming NBA Jersey Advertising Opportunities

Mar 31, 2017 5:01:12 PM / by Arsène Rasoamanana posted in ad, ads opportunities, jersey, jerseys, marketing, marketing opportunities, marketing strategy, marketing tools, NBA, OpenSponsorship, patch, sports, sports brands, sports league, sports marketing, sports sponsorship, Uncategorized, Brand Endorsements


It was the news that broke the internet in May of last year. No, not Kim Kardashian's bubbly balancing booty; we're referring to NBA commissioner Adam Silver announcing the opening up of NBA jersey advertising opportunities.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has approved jersey sponsors for NBA teams.

It was an unprecedented move in the U.S., at least for the major leagues (NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB), and it immediately ignited the interest of countless intrigued brands. But a year has gone by and most teams are yet to ink a deal.

Why Haven't More Teams Put Pen to Paper?

The main reason for the lack of movement seems to be the extreme difficulty in estimating the worth of such ads, as there is no data to go off in the new market. And without tangible evidence that these deals do in fact work in the NBA, we can understand the trepidation.

The ads are supposed to appear next season (2017/2018) when Nike will take over as the NBA’s official sponsor. This could therefore suggest that the teams have simply been waiting for the market to develop before signing the best contracts they can get; and once one team signs, the floodgates will open.

Let's take a quick look at some of the deals that have already been closed...

Philadelphia 76ers jersey patch sponsor StubHub.

Philadelphia 76ers (StubHub, $5million/year)

Boston Celtics jersey patch sponsor General Electric.

Boston Celtics (General Electric, reported $8Million/year)

Brooklyn Nets jersey patch sponsor Infor.

Brooklyn Nets (Infor, $8Million/year)

Sacramento Kings jersey patch sponsor Blue Diamond.

Sacramento Kings (Blue Diamond Almonds, $5million/year)

Utah Jazz jersey patch sponsor Qualtrics.

Utah Jazz (Qualtrics, $4Million/year)

A Few Different Ways to Look at These Deals

  1. The teams are given a significant injection of capital, at little expense; a small sponsors logo on their shirt.
  2. Feelings have been thrown into the mix. Sponsor’s director(s) are fans of the team and are willing to invest more money.
  3. Business opportunities and belief impacts the decision. “It’s really about making them win more games with my name on their jerseys. That’s a great message for us and our customers.” (Infor President Stephan Scholl)
  4. Deals involving the patches that fit with the team’s colors. It is worth noting that Brooklyn is the only team with an ad patch that doesn't match their team's colors.

Another Peculiar Perspective

Bizarrely, teams in poor form could become the most prized teams on the market due to their potential for change and the profit that would bring. We have seen this repeatedly in recent sports history; teams and franchises with average or even losing records in one season seem to turn it around in the next and tear up the league table. Nobody believed that the Panthers would go all the way to SuperBowl 50. Fewer still dared to dream that Leicester City would hoist aloft the EPL trophy last season.

Such sweet and surprising success stories have put brands on high-alert; if they choose wisely, they can secure cut-price deals with prospective champions and reap the rewards of their initial investment many times over once the prophecy is fulfilled. As a result, brands are willing to invest large amounts of money in the hope that a team with a rotten record will rediscover their form, rethink their strategies, and repay them with win-after-win.

We have 4 NBA teams on our platform that are still available for jersey sponsorship...

An historical moment in major American sports leagues history. Want to be a part of it? Get working with the teams on Opensponsorship before those patches are all sold out!

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