A brand ambassador basically sponsors and represent the brands that have paid for them to do so. The objectives behind this are brand engagement and increased market share leading to higher revenue. For some products, brand ambassadors have proved to be more effective than advertising. The idea that only elite athletes can be brand ambassadors is a myth. Here are some tips which would take you to the utopia of the brand endorsements you yearn for:
- Take baby steps
The key to being a successful athlete brand ambassador is to start small and try to slowly grow bigger. It is always advisable to initiate with little steps and grow gradually, opposed to putting all your eggs in one basket.
- Understand the mindset of companies behind making athletes brand ambassadors
Most companies are looking for individuals who can represent what their brand believes in and tell their story to the masses. This story leads to selling and marketing which is the core benefit sought from making athletes brand ambassadors. A brand is often looking for a celebrity to help bring some brand loyalty towards their company.
- Be present online
You must be comfortable with making yourself available to the public. Make good use of your presence on social media for marketing purposes. Blogging is a convenient and cost-effective method for developing the following base. Your followers from blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Social Media etc. is a ready base of the audience for your athletic performances. You may even want to start a vlog on YouTube, more and more ambassadors or influencers are finding a tremendous amount of traffic and views through video marketing on YouTube.
- Build your audience actively
Even if you win, it would be vain if no one is there watching and applauding that. If you have a good number of audiences, then only a company would be attracted to have you as a brand ambassador. Your audience may be quite different depending on which industry you find yourself becoming an ambassador in. For instance, you might receive an extremely good offer to do some advertising and branding for a museum display, which requires your name and face to be plastered over numerous exhibition walls. Do you think your audience will be young athletes? Or maybe students currently undertaking study.
- Figure out companies you wish to represent and what kind of sponsorship you seek
It is easier to approach things in the right direction when you have a clear goal set in mind before communicating with potential companies. In the starting phase, you might just attract entries to races or events, free products etc. In the long run, you would get paid large amounts for being a brand ambassador. It might be something as simple as deciding which shoe brand you would like to align yourself with. Maybe it is taking a look at the Nike release calendar just to see if you’d fit in with their advertising for new sneaker releases, or maybe you’d like a more underground company to represent like puma.
Research about the companies you want to advocate. It is easier to contact local companies which run at a smaller scale. It is fruitless to contact big business houses directly. It is better to find some connections or dig in some information from athletes the company has already sponsored. Hunting the right people is a struggle but it is important to crack.
- Contact companies
After research, the next step is to make contacts. If you are approaching big companies, understand that they must have already chosen and contacted the people for being their ambassador. For starters, you would just have leftovers bits of their marketing budget. Over some course of time, you would start earning and attracting big brands.
- Get clicked a lot
Balancing in busy schedules is tough. If you have photographs from everywhere, it is easier to promote the brands. Get solo photos with no one in the background.
- Connect with fans
Engagement with fans is very crucial. Connect with your fan base through online platforms and meetups.
- Be authentic
The last tip is being raw and real. Authenticity plays a big role in marketing and promotion. You should embody the brands you advocate. For instance, Christiano Ronaldo is a brand ambassador. The belief behind Nike is ‘athleticism’. Ronaldo had initial turmoil on his way to success. The authenticity brings out real emotions which are helpful for the brand image.
- Know the brands you represent
It is necessary to have detailed knowledge about the brands and products you advocate. This prevents unnecessary controversies.
- Practice what you preach
People appreciate the truth. You are expected to be loyal to not only the brand you advocate but also the statements you giving while representing them.
- Learn to balance
Being an athlete brand ambassador is difficult. You often find yourself juggling between commitment to team and brand associations.
Striving to be an ambassador is no easy challenge. Promoting yourself like a business and becoming a professional are the two more important parts when seeking brand support.