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:
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.
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.
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.