Your personal sports brand can be built in such a way so as to transform you into a local or global signature brand, which can be leveraged to sell, endorsed and make a profit. As an athlete you can build and capitalize on your brand by creating proper personal marketing strategies, with well-defined branding activities which are in line with your life plan. Strategic building of your personal sports brand is crucial because it must be clear which values you bring to the marketplace in order to stand out from the rest of the athletes.
In our previous post, we have discussed the three dimensions of an athlete’s brand image – Athletic performance, Attractive appearance and Marketable lifestyle – which potentially influence consumer brand equity formation. Each of these dimensions consists of several sub-dimensions and they must be thoroughly analyzed before proceeding to create the athlete’s brand strategy.
Your personal sports brand strategy is based on how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering your brand message. And what you communicate visually and verbally is part of your brand strategy. You should be aware that a successful branding strategy encompasses all of the following elements:
- Create a Niche. You can do that by defining who you are and what your mission is, besides sports or through sports. You should choose your target market, audience and fans, and you should find out what your audience wants/needs from you and how you can fulfill your audience’s needs.
- Create a story behind the Brand. What is your personal style and what is your behavior on and off court? How do you, as an athlete, participate in the community and what communication style and methods do you choose to use? Where do you come from, what were your struggles so far and how did you overcome these struggles? These are all elements of your story which make up your brand.
- Create a clear Communication Strategy:
- Online strategy:
As an athlete you have to have an online presence which means you should design, build, promote, monitor and optimize your Online Marketing Platform which consists of:
- A Website
- Social Media Platforms( FB, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. )
- Web Broadcasting
- Organizing and commercially engaging with your fan base
- Inviting your fan base into your life
- Offline strategy:
You should also promote yourself Offline through appearing in charity or other events, using philanthropy or common good causes.
You should have a plan for managing events that might trigger a reputational crisis. This includes handling your public behavior/misbehavior through various media outlets and handling online criticism and public anger or malicious comments.
There is no doubt that as an athlete you can choose to cultivate your brand towards whatever direction you feel suits you and will benefit you the most. Developing your brand and working on your personal marketing strategy will help you stay up to date and in the spotlight for much longer than how long your athletic miracles endure and it will greatly contribute to your life-long success.
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