Many talented athletes find themselves unable to handle the financial pressure of competing sport after years of hard work, dedication, and effort. A strong support network of family, friends, and business contacts is key to a long-lasting and successful career in sport. Self Promotion in Sport is the key to all of this.
“Why would anyone want to be interested in me?” People might wonder, “It’s no way I win major events every week on TV.” If sportspeople were regularly on TV winning major events, they would have achieved their goals. This is the “Catch-22” of sport. The rewards are great when you reach the top, but you need support to get there. The answer to the question “Who would be interested in me?” is: Those who know you. This again relates to Self Promotion in Sport.
Friends and family are the best way to promote yourself in sport. People who are involved in sport should keep their family and friends informed about their achievements, goals, and efforts. A personal website is a great way to do this. It should be updated regularly. Friends and family who are well-informed should be considered the free marketing team for the athlete and encouraged to spread the word about their efforts, goals, and accomplishments. After the marketing team is assembled, they should be briefed and asked to help build fan base and business contacts.
The sports person should not only create buzz amongst their peers, but also encourage their family and friends to do the same. Friends and family of a person who is a professional athlete should ask them to send links to their website to as many people as possible. People will click on links in emails more often than they do typing the address into a browser. However, it is a good idea to have a business card or an email address with the website address for those who meet the athlete or their family members.
There are many ways to get media exposure. It is now possible to get exposure through the internet. Sportspeople can post articles, blogs, or message boards. These methods may offer links to the individual’s sports website. Although printed media exposure is more difficult to attain, it can yield excellent results. Local newspapers often seek out local residents who have interesting stories to write about. Sports people should create a list of interesting content to make an article appealing to local reporters before approaching them. Sports people can share their achievements, humorous stories, career aspirations and charity work. They may also be able to provide insight into the sport by asking their family and friends for help in creating interesting content.
Equipment, clothing, modeling work and product endorsements are available to those who can accept financial support. The fans of their team could become business contacts. It is important to start building a fanbase early. For business contacts, sportspeople should have realistic goals. While many people automatically envision lucrative deals with major clothing and sports equipment companies, these contracts are unlikely to be realized unless such companies reap the significant benefits of an agreement. To build successful business relationships, think small, local, and multiple. Not only are the big companies looking for athletes to model, endorse products or help them reach their target audience. Not only companies that are closely associated with a particular sportsperson could be good business contacts. Look at the products promoted by sportspeople and try to find small businesses that could benefit from being associated with them. The chances are that local businesses will already know the name of the person who has taken initiative in self-promotion. You can do it!
Sports people of all levels need to realize that they must play an active part in Sports Self Promotion. They could be giving away their edge to their competitors if they don’t!