Brand Ambassador: An Athletes Ticket to More Publicity

It’s a win-win situation when a professional athlete and brand collaborate with each other to create a partnership. Nowadays, it’s hardly a new practice for professional athletes to use their celebrity standing to advertise products, not to mention to pocket the extra cash and public interest that comes with it. When athletes join together with a brand, they become more than just a sports star, they branch out into the business world and extend their personal brands to other facets in their careers.

Because social media has given athletes a direct line of communication to fans and allowed for a personal look into their day to day, brands equally need an athletes publicity and endorsement in order to tap into that conversation. Athletes social following is extremely valuable. The umpteen amount eyes that are on athletes at all times give brands a major step up in getting their product out to the media. On top of that, fans aspire to be like their favorite athlete. An athlete who supports and uses a specific product or clothing line is undeniably hard to pass up by followers. Fans want to “rep” their favorite athlete because in some way, they want to be like them.

An easy way to determine which athletes are ambassadors of which brands, take a look at their golf bags, hats, or polos, for instance, as they are all typically loaded with brand logos which means they have sponsorships with them. Let’s take a look at the ever so popular Adam Scott (who has one two consecutive PGA tournaments in a row these past couple weeks) and a few of the brands he represents:

1. Uniqlo

Unlike most athletes who we find wearing Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour, Adam Scott is the face of the Japanese casual wear designer and retailer Uniqlo. Scott was wearing the Uniqlo brand when he won the 2013 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

2. Titleist

Among the host of Tour player stars, Titleist considers Scott to be the leading light of their brand. Adam Scott’s golf bag is exclusively filled with Titleist clubs and his golf ball is none other than the Pro V1. Scott’s Masters win, using Titleist clubs and their Pro V1 ball, was estimated to provide more than $14 million in media value for the brand.

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Courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com

3. Oakley

4. Rolex

5. FootJoy

6. Mercedes 

From the sponsorships of Rolex and Mercedes, Scott is clearly endorsed by the luxury brands, which means he arrives in fine style to the course. These brand agreements typically include bonuses for major tournament wins.

Adam Scott has made up to $7.6 million from endorsements off the course and $8 million on the course in a single year. Along with the bonus of a higher pay grade, representing a brand extends a fan base to the point where fans themselves can feel like they can play alongside the stars. At some point in an athletes career, there comes the decision of retirement. If an athlete is lucky enough, they will have expanded their personal brand, to where they can create an entire clothing line or product line dedicated to themselves. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Roger Federer and few of the athletes that have been able to accomplish such success. Maybe someday Adam Scott will be fortunate enough to do the same.

The 411 on CSR’s

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Courtesy of http://www.hoffmancup.org

Reputation, relationship, and responsive rectitude. These are the three R’s that the Institute for Public Relations has committed to the CSR movement. Corporate Social Responsibility is a corporations initiative to engage and asses the company’s effects on social and environmental wellbeing. In other words, it answers the question of how the company is giving back to the world. In order for a company to have an effective CSR, the initiative has to incorporate the bottom line of people, planet, and profit.

As I have mentioned before in previous posts, a corporation, athlete, franchise, or team, must be aware of their personal brand and the mark they continue set. By having a CSR, it reflects an ethical and moral reputation, which in turn enhances personal branding. CSR’s also aid in distinguishing brands from one another. Fans and consumers are more inclined to engage with a corporation or athlete who stands behind a social responsibility. CSR’s go a long way in the eyes of the public. Like they alway say, no good deed goes unnoticed. Fans and consumers feel right-minded associating themselves with someone who is trying to help the community or preserve the earth’s resources.

Not only does the public appreciate a corporate social responsibility but incorporating a CSR into your practice also nurtures a positive workplace environment. Employees respect working for someone with a good public image. CSR’s create pride and belonging because of the feeling of doing something good for the sake of others.

There are multiple different facets of a CSR. Environmental CSR’s focus on eco-issues such as water and deforestation. Community based CSR’s revolve around improving the quality of life of the local community. Athletes or teams may focus on a single philanthropy, donating money to a cause, usually through a charity partner (like I mentioned in my PRo Ams and PR post earlier). Or there are HR based CSR’s in which enhance the wellbeing of employees and staff.

The PGA Tour has donated over $2 billion in support of over 3,000 charities. Not only does the PGA Tour donate money through Pro-Am’s but players on the Tour and the Tour itself are also involved in many different areas of community support. Here are the PGA Tour’s CSR movements:

  • Youth/Children
  • Military
  • Volunteerism
  • Health/Medical
  • Growth of the Game
  • Environment
  • Education/Leadership
  • Disaster Relief
  • Community
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Courtesy of http://www.sportsnetworker.com

Within each of these facets, the PGA Tour supports local and national organizations in a range of areas that affect the lives of millions in the communities where the players live and compete. Countless players on the Tour are also involved in charity work and support the same movements the PGA does. For example, there is the Tiger Woods Foundation and the Bubba Watson Foundation, both in which aid in helping those with needs. Through CSR’s, players and organizations no longer have to waste money on advertising themselves or campaigning. A Corporate Social Responsibility generates free publicity and engages fans and other business opportunities in an admirable way.

 

5 Key Tips on How to Boost Your Infographic

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Courtesy of @OregonMBB

Infographics are taking the PR world by storm and it’s definitely time to capitalize on it. In this day and age, with the digital word going on overload, information is thrown at you every where you look. Instead of writing out word for word statistics, data, or knowledge, infographics are visual representations of information in graphic format, that make data easily understandable and digestible at glance. When done correctly, they can present the information you need in a compelling and intriguing way. Infographics not only allow readers to easily understand your key message, but they are also extremely shareable (more likely to be shared on social media than your standard text article) and they are truly eye catching.

Time and time again I have seen different athletic teams use infographics in order to display game statistics. Sports PR professionals need to take advantage of the infographic and use it towards the benefit of fan viewing. However, it’s not as simple as it looks creating an infographic. It’s important to realize the “do’s and don’ts” when building an infographic. Here are 5 key points to keep in mind:

1. Know Your Target Audience

I don’t think PR specialists could stress this critical point enough…you must know who your audience is! It is of the utmost importance that you know what your audience wants and where your audience goes to find information. Do not make your infographic appealing to everyone, it needs to be specific and relevant to your audience in order generate the most attention and view-ability. The story you are showing through this infographic needs to be accessible and influential to your viewers. By knowing who your audience is, you can hone in on how to share the key message within the infographic and where the infographic should be shared to achieve share-ability.

2. Keep it Simple

The great thing about infographics is that they can compile advanced information into a simple visual form. Key things to know when creating an infographic are to keep is short, rather than long, so it is manageable in size, bring order out of chaos, don’t overdo it (i.e. leave white space and don’t clutter), and only use information that matters to the audience. Infographics need to have a single driven and focused point.

3. Show Things Visually

The whole point of an infographic is to show information graphically, so do it! Use graphs, charts, and timelines to show information. Use as many colors as you need to the tell story you want. Make sure to be careful with emphasis and strategically use size, boldness, fonts, and capitalization. Infographics need to have a tactical reason for every shape, size, color, or graphic, but, this is what ultimately makes the infographic so visually appealing and shareable.

4. Create a Story that Flows

Your data needs to have a story. This story is what leads you to illustrate your message. Whether your infographic is top to bottom or left to right, the story needs to flow from one phase to the next. Typically the end of an infographic calls for an action. This is a good way to determine how to create your story. The inverted pyramid is a good concept to think about when creating an infographic. You need to be able to connect the dots.

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Courtesy of http://www.nba.com

5. Check Your Facts

I cannot stress how important this key point is. Because many infographics focus on presenting data, it is crucial that the information you are pulling out is accurate. In order to do this use reputable and reliable sources, check and make sure the facts are true, and make sure that all of your data lines up with the numbers. Finally, cite your sources at the bottom of your infographic to assure that your are giving credit where credit is due.

Search volumes for these designs have increased by more than 800% between 2010 and 2012, while – since 2007 – the usage of visual data has grown by almost 1000%. The popularity of infographics continues to surge and the skills to create an effective infographic is essential to have in and PR professionals pocket. For the sports PR industry, creating infographics for fans is just another way for PR professionals to gather personalized information in a way that engages fans and keeps them in the loop with the latest game stats.

And the Secret Ingredient to Event Success is…

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Courtesy of http://www.thefantasygolf.com

When planning an event make sure and think PR, PR, PR. Whatever the purpose for hosting the event, public relations is key to have in a planner’s pocket for ultimate success. Sports teams and organizations use endless public relations strategies before, during, and after a game or tournament. Whether it’s clogging your twitter feed with details about the upcoming game, bugging you with emails to purchase tickets, or continuously updating the website with information on the event, event organizers should undoubtedly utilize PR to create a buzz of excitement and public awareness.

When using public relations for event planning, the tools and skills used can effectively generate attendance along with ticket sales, secure sponsors and advertisers, and encourage media to cover the event. Public relations specialists need to “think outside the box” when honing in on an event to produce a favorable outcome.image1

The use of PR for sports teams and organizations events is constant. The tactic they focus most on is none other than social media, because of the staggering ability to reach the target audience (fans) in seconds. It is critical that sports teams and organizations use public relations specialists during a game or tournament in order to keep fans engaged and involved. If fans aren’t aware of a game coming up or while it is happening, you’ve suddenly lost the buzz of excitement factor for your team.

Here are a few tips for achieving effective public awareness and appeal:

1. Know Your Audience

Any PR specialist will drill this pivotal objective into your head over and over again. If you don’t know who your audience is, you don’t know how to reach them or how they respond to information. By knowing your viewers and listeners you can tailor your messages for the best reaction and most view-ability. In the end, an event is only successful if you have effectively gained attention to it and created outreach. Awareness of who you are tailoring your message to will instruct you on which channels to release information and how to structure your key message.

2. Have a Hook

Every event needs to stand out more than the other. Because of this, it is important to focus attention on the attraction of your event and relay that in your message. Is there a particular athlete playing in the event? Is there something special about the location? Is the game more significant than any other regular game? Find out what the big draw is and capitalize on it. Attendees want to know what the event has to offer and what reason they have to attend.

3. Consistently Keep Fans in the Know

This is where social media really comes in to play. By continuously pushing information out about an event, your audience is always in the know on what’s what. Before, during, and after a game or tournament communicate to your audience what is going on and what is happening next. By doing this, there is no reason to have your event go unheard or unseen.

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Courtesy of http://www.eighteenunderpar.com

The PGA Tour is very successful in promoting events. Whether it’s through Twitter, Instagram, or their website, they are consistently pushing information to their audience about current or future events. Irregardless of whether it is tweeting live action videos of what’s going on on the course or pumping up their viewers for the upcoming must-see tournament, the PGA Tour knows who their audience is and what they are looking for.

Love is in the Air… Especially for these Legendary Athletes

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Courtesy of http://www.sbnation.com

In honor of today’s celebration, Valentine’s Day, I thought I would dedicate this post to love… and by love I mean recognizing the athletes who have received the most mania and admiration from fans among all other athletes.

It goes without saying that all professional athletes are extremely impressive. However, there’s something about these particular athletes that pushes them beyond the scope of a regular professional. These athletes are superhuman. Let’s take a look at the all time greatest super stars.

According to the Harris Poll here are the top-ranked athletes in history:

  1. Michael Jordan
  2. Babe Ruth
  3. Muhammad Ali
  4. Serena Williams
  5. Peyton Manning
  6. Joe Montana
  7. LeBron James
  8. Tiger Woods
  9. Tom Brady
  10. Wayne Gretzky

Now why are these athletes so highly praised? Well for starters, all of these athletes personal brands are on point. Despite maybe a few mistakes

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Courtesy of http://www.korkedbats.com

here and there upon a couple of these esteemed athletes, fans have continued to admire and respect them to this day. Whether it was defying expectations, breaking records, their significant charity work, or simply exuding a personal brand that set them so far apart from other athletes, these players have led their sport to the highest thrill. Fans have continuously supported these athletes and even if they have been long gone from the game, their names linger in the words of sports fanatics.

Every single one have these athletes have left an impact in their respected sport. Whether it was Michael Jordan’s highest record in history for most free throws made during a playoff game, Tom Brady and Joe Montana tying for most Super Bowl wins, or Wayne Gretzky’s most goals made in one season, these players are and will be considered the greatest athletes of all time.

Beyond just their talent however is the humbling connection they have given to the community. Every single one of these athletes has used their “celebrity” platform to assist others through donations, partnering with nonprofit organizations, or lending a voice towards a social impact. In 1984, Muhammad Ali announced that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Ali has significantly effected and aided in raising money through his charity event, Celebrity Fight Night, for the development of Parkinson’s research for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. Beyond that, he has been involved in countless organizations and charities. This shows just one of the athletes who have impacted the world.

Of course this list could be argued hundreds of times for who really is the greatest athlete but the point is, these athletes are being argued for. The out of this world talent these athletes have for their sport has put them on a pedestal. What keeps them there, even after they’ve been long gone from the game, is who they are and how they continue to make their mark on the world.

P.S. Tom Brady, will you be my Valentine? Valentines-Day-SETX-Weddings

Super Bowl Sparks Super PR

Let me guess, you watched the Super Bowl 50 last Sunday.

The answer is probably yes for most of you to my surmise. The holy grail of sports competition match-ups and one of the most watched television broadcasts in history, Super Bowl Sunday has become an “unofficial holiday” in the United States. This year, Super Bowl 50 accumulated an estimated 111.9 million television viewers and, let’s not forget on top of that, the thousands of attendees who were at the stadium watching.

What public relations has done for this event is turn Super Bowl Sunday into one of the biggest party days of the year and transcends the game of football. The halftime show, the must see television ads, and the food (Super Bowl Sunday ranking only behind Thanksgiving for the most food consumed on a single day), are all features of which have led towards the Super Bowl becoming one of America’s greatest pastimes.

Millions of people watching an event at the exact same time is music to public relations specialists ears. But, the Super Bowl can either be a PR winner or a PR loser (if all things go dreadfully out of plan). Although the Super Bowl is intended to have football at the center focus, there are at times, little instances outside of the game that grab viewers immediate attention. This year at the Super Bowl 50, there were a few occurrences that broke the internet. Let’s take a look and see how we can relate them to PR:

Lady Gaga Rocks Super Bowl 50 National Anthem

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Courtesy of http://www.usmagazine.com

Lady Gaga’s stellar rendition of the National Anthem on Sunday received much attention and praise from viewers. Not only were fans of the superstar utterly taken back by her performance, but star studded celebrities were also going off the charts applauding Gaga on Twitter. Lady Gaga said that performing at the Super Bowl was “one of the highest honors of [her] career.” Many can agree that her opportunity to perform was perfect for her publicity and respect. This was a brilliant move on behalf of her personal image.

Eli Manning’s Epic Blank Expression

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Courtesy of http://www.instyle.com

Perhaps my favorite hiccup of the Super Bowl was the hilarious memes created in result of Eli Manning’s unexcited expression the moment his brother, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, won the Super Bowl. The hundreds of memes spawned because of a video that was released on Twitter focusing on Eli Manning’s miserable reaction. Considering Peyton is his brother and had just made history, one would only assume Eli to have the complete opposite reaction after the Super Bowl win. A few days later, Eli Manning released a statement explaining his reaction. He stated, “[I was] just focused on whether he was going for two … And the defense had to step up and make some stops.” Regardless of what happened, I can’t help but laugh every time I see the unamused reaction. It was in Eli’s best interest for his likeness to respond to the accusations and make light of the situation.

 

Cam Newton Walks Out of Post Game Press Conference

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Courtesy of http://www.mydailynews.com

I’m sure every one has heard the saying “sore loser” and unfortunately, that’s exactly what people were describing Cam Newton as after he abruptly walked out of the post game press conference on Sunday. Scrutinized by fans and viewers, Newton was perceived to be disrespectful with how he handled the conference. Devastated by the loss, Cam Newton ignored questions during the conference and when he did answer, for the most part gave one-word responses. The Tuesday after the Super Bowl, Newton re-addressed the media at the Panthers’ facilities in North Carolina, stating that emotions took over and he simply hates losing. It was a solid PR move for Newton’s image to open up to the media about his absence of the press conference and explain himself. However, with no regrets on leaving the podium during the conference, he made it clear that he was still unapologetic about the way he acted.

Whether it’s a celebrity in the stands, a halftime performance, or a little mistake that is caught on camera, the Super Bowl brings endless attention and fame on top of the game itself. It’s all about how PR specialists handle these situations that can make a Super Bowl experience one to remember.

PRo-Am’s and PR

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Courtesy of http://www.thegolfnewsnet.com

With the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am coming up in the next week, I thought it was only fitting to dedicate this week’s post to the PGA Tour’s philanthropic support.

 

 

To take a few steps back, I will explain what a Pro-Am is and how it is connected to non-profit work. A Pro-Am is a one-day event, typically the day before the Tour event begins. Pro-Am, short for professional-amateur, is a tournament in which a professional golfer and an amateur are paired up to play a round of golf together. Amateurs will pay a buy-in to tee it up at the Pro-Am event. These buy-ins can rake up to nearly $4,000 to $5,000 per person.

PGA Pro-Ams are a win-win-win situation for the PGA Tour, the amateurs, and the charity that the tournament is connected with. On the PGA Tour’s behalf, Pro-Ams provide a profitable revenue stream for the event. For amateurs, playing in a Pro-Am is a remarkable and distinctive experience, and for the charities, the significant amount of money generated at the end of the event is dedicated towards the donation to the non-profit organization.

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Courtesy of http://www.atpbgolf.com

What’s especially significant about the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and what drives thousands of spectators and television viewers, is the participation of a star studded celebrity as the amateur along side a professional. This year the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is hosting familiar faces such as Justin Timberlake, Mark Wahlberg, and Aaron Rogers. All of the proceeds from this event benefit the Monetary Peninsula Foundation which continues to support hundreds of non-profit organizations.

So the question is, what do Pro-Ams like AT&T Pebble Beach have to do with public relations? Well think about it. Through these Pro-Ams, public relations specialists are promoting the non-profit work that the PGA Tour does for the community, which in turn, continuously enhances the Tour’s brand and image. Also, by involving Hollywood stars and other professional sports athletes in the Pro-Am, the publicity, eyes and ears on the event are expanded even more. The publicity of celebrities magnifies the popularity of the Tour at that event.

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Courtesy of http://www.wamgolf.com

Pro-Ams are a perfect public relations move on the PGA Tour’s end. For one, it invites fans in to play alongside their idols which in turn fosters an even greater connection to the Tour. Beyond that, a Pro-Am also gives a golden opportunity to push golf further than just a sport. Through charity, Pro-Ams connect the game to something admirable and life changing. The public relations strategy of linking the event to charity is an appreciable way to show the Tour’s service and moral.