Many sports brands sell very similar products, but what makes the difference between those at the top and those trying to topple them? Nike and Adidas distinguish their names from the others because of the way they use stories. They aren’t just selling shoes; they sell an aspiration, a cause, or anything that a sport accomplishes.
Athletes are following a similar path when it comes to marketing themselves and building their image to their fans and casual observers. Experts from sports marketing firms in Arizona cite the following practices that enable you to use your narrative as a branding tool.
Fans want to know who you are and what made you. A compelling story of overcoming great odds or circumstances give an athlete an extra something that distinguishes them from everyone else. Many of the elite performers come from poor backgrounds, mid-tier schools, or don’t look the part of a “superman” or “superwoman” athlete. He or she may just look like some normal person in the street but has the ability to do great things.
Entitlement also turns fans off; an athlete going through the grind, getting dirty, experiencing embarrassment, and other negative experiences that a person overcomes makes for a good brand story. This inspires people who read about you or see the material you use through various channels. Aspiration is a potent feeling that elicits action from those that feel it.
Telling the Narrative
It’s not just about having a compelling origin story, but also the way you package and deliver it. Athletes now have more avenues to tell their narrative. They can bypass traditional media outlets or firms that control what they say or only show a part of it. Social media allows them to become authentic and narrate their lives the way they want to.
An athlete can display behind-the-scenes photos or videos of their daily routines, families, or personal thoughts on Instagram, Facebook, or even YouTube. Fans want to see a real person and not just superman or superwoman. A display of thoughtfulness, family background, and even flaws captivate people and make a story compelling.
In some cases, fans follow the story of an athlete wholeheartedly. They want to know the next stage of their careers or their evolution as a person from the time they were rookies to a seasoned veteran. The journey is part of your story and image as an athlete. The constant striving for perfection despite the challenges and mistakes make you appealing to fans.
Authenticity That Resonates
Marketers and businesses often use the word “authentic” in the industries they are in and when they initiate campaigns. More and more people are becoming disillusioned about campaigns specifically targeting them for advertising. Authenticity is a game-changer and what many fans and consumers look for. Be real (sometimes vulnerable) in publishing posts, some of the most outspoken athletes are well-respected in the sports they play.
These are some of the ways to use your story as a way to market your brand and build your image. Consult with a sports marketer to gain leverage and create influential branding.