For every athlete, personal brand comes down to two worlds: “There is a world in which the athletes perform, which defines their brand. But it’s important to understand that there is a life away from the pitch and beyond their careers, in which they want to engage with purpose and be defined by that legacy going forward.”
That’s what Simon Oliveira, Managing Director and founder of KIN Partners, had to say about building an athlete’s personal brand on the SportsLoft podcast alongside Greenfly Co-founder and CEO Daniel Kirschner. KIN Partners works with a roster of talent that includes David Beckham, Neymar Jr, Liam Payne, Owen Farrell, and Katie Boulter.
The fact is in today’s digital world, technology and social media has made it easier than ever for athletes to build their personal brand. As Simon points out, “Whilst a player is at a team or franchise, there is a mutual connection between the two in which they benefit each other.”
Being the heart of professional sports, athletes are in a unique position to engage an audience. Fans often build a relationship with the athletes first, and that can lead to a stronger relationship between fans and athletes than between fans and the teams or leagues. For many sports organizations, this can be a great thing.
Daniel highlights the role Greenfly had in helping Major League Baseball to encourage players to build their personal brands: “Baseball has an audience that is aging, but one group that has not been aging are the athletes. They’re young, they’re digital natives, they’re very adept. MLB realized that the way to really build connections with a younger audience was through the athletes… When MLB did an analysis of their athletes that were using Greenfly, they found that the amount of content they were posting went up 24% and athlete’s followers grew by 52%.”
Listen to the podcast to hear more about:
- How athletes can build their personal brands
- How technology makes it easy for athletes to connect in an authentic way
- Which athletes you should look to as a model for brand building