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Building a sports marketing career

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An athlete, though, is a person. People are complex beings and aren’t born with brand guidelines. You have to understand, help them identify themselves, and link that to their fan base.
“Yeah every athlete has a different story to tell, that’s for sure.
I’d say the biggest challenge is in being able to adapt strategies to each individual and not fall into the ‘one size fits all’ model. That being said, sport371 I think being able to overcome that challenge on a daily basis is what makes us successful.
When you start doing the same thing for each athlete, you lose the authentic factor that makes each player unique and that’s ultimately what fans enjoy about these guys.”
Another thing about sports marketing companies is that they have to constantly work closely with their athletes. Every step of the way. As much as you understand a personal brand, you can’t fully represent it. Not without the athlete involved. Which led me to my following question.

Collaboration in sports marketing
Where does the sports marketing industry stand in terms of collaboration? I asked this because it doesn’t seem to be a “laissez-faire” type of field. It really can’t be if the sports marketing agencies are truly interested in representing the uniqueness of their athletes. So I asked Jeremy.
Q: How important is collaboration in the sports marketing biz?
“You wouldn’t last long without it, and I think as a business we thrive on it.
We don’t bring any ego into this as a team. There are tons of smart, creative people out there and we love connecting and working with them. Every person has a different perspective on each situation, and we love hearing how other people view and solve problems.
I just think it’s important to keep everyone involved. As I said before, we love learning about new things from ongoing communication and discussion with the many different people we have relationships with out there.”
Keeping everyone involved is key here. Think about it like this. A sports marketing agency manages the presence of its athletes. Their public appearances as well as their online presence. A big part of that is social media.
Sports fans fall in love with their favorite athletes. They want to follow and get to know their athletes in a more personal way. That’s what social media can do for them. Provide that environment where authenticity is key.
Social media management for athletes is no easy trick. It has to be personal, so it has to be done in the most collaborative way. The athlete has to be part of the creation and review process. They have to ensure that the content published has their voice and personality.
And this is where Planable comes in. We’re a tool made for social media collaboration. What we do is get all the stakeholders involved on the same page. Literally.

Sports marketing and social media. How to do social media management for athletes?
1. Get everyone on the same page
When social media management involves more than one person, easy visibility is key. Keeping editorial calendars in spreadsheets isn’t visible. Sharing spreadsheets across emails, chats, text messages isn’t easy.
Teams that do social media in sports marketing need one place to unite all the stakeholders involved. Planable is the tool where you can invite everyone involved. With a link. Doesn’t get any easier than this.

sports marketing social media collaborate
As a sports marketing agency, you have more than one athlete to manage. Wasting time or losing files happens a lot in folders and sheets. The organizational system has to flow on its own.
sports marketing agency clients social media
What you see above is what we call “workspaces”. Consider them living folders. You can group all the brands of the athletes you manage, with their social media pages, their media assets, and the stakeholders involved.
2. Create and review social media posts on one platform
Reviewing and approving social media posts has to happen in the same place. Not in a dedicated column somewhere lost in the “May_Social_Calendar_Posts_ForApproval_final” spreadsheet.
Giving and collecting feedback flows naturally in Planable, too. You know, without the neverending emails, the pinging, the nagging, the calling. All those actions that make social media managers dream of retiring on an internet-free island.
In Planable, any workflow can run smoothly. The internal team in the sports marketing agency can initially create posts hidden from other stakeholders. They can add internal notes, go through their initial collaboration process. Once the content’s ready for review, they can make it visible to everyone involved. Feedback is given right next to the posts. With context and everything.
For those special-case posts, there’s a way to collaborate, too. Take sponsored posts for example. Brands usually want to take a look, too. You can simply create a private post link and send it to them. They’ll see the posts and will be able to leave comments. No login, no signup needed.
Oh, and approval is clear. It’s a green button that ensures everyone that the posts are reviewed and good to go.
3. Schedule & publish social media posts at ease
This is a no brainer. Copy-pasting is… you guessed it… a waste of time. When you have to copy posts from wherever you keep them to social networks or publishing tools, a deserted island starts sounding amazing again.
In Planable, the entire workflow is in one place. After the athlete, the team, the brands gave their ok, the content is automatically scheduled.
All done. Fast & easy.

Best sports marketing examples on social media that are just too good
So social media and sports marketing get along. They fit perfectly together. Managing athlete social media accounts isn’t that hard either. Not with Planable.
#hairflip #eyeroll #shamelessplug
Now let’s get into how the masters did it. There are some sports marketing examples that are soo amazing, we’re in awe. I chose 5 sports marketing examples that blew my mind. Take a look.
1. #WhatsYourGoal — Chicago Blackhawks
NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks had one of the most memorable sports marketing campaigns. #WhatsYourGoal was a social media campaign developed in 2015. The campaign’s purpose was to spark up the connection between the team and their fans while contributing to the community.
They challenged their fans to share their goals. The team then helped some fans fulfill their goal, documented it, and shared the results on social. It was pretty amazing. Here are a couple of amazing ones:

 

The campaign won social media. It had over 21,000 fan submissions rolled in via social media. It reached over 46 million people organically on Facebook. It received 4.5 million impressions on Twitter. It was amazing.
2. #DareToZlatan
Back in 2014, football rockstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Nike started an amazing social media campaign. It was called #DareToZlatan and it got a lot of attention.
Zlatan’s fans love him because, yes, he’s an amazing player. But also, because his personality is unique. He’s very much aware of his talent and doesn’t hide that one bit.
It was basically a hilarious Q&A that got fans even more in love with their favorite superstar. Here are just a few very cool ones:

 

 

It got 12M likes, retweets, and mentions. 13M organic impressions on Twitter and 10M views on Facebook and YouTube.
3. #ThisGirlCan
Sports fan or not, you’ve heard about this campaign for sure. It’s one of those big ones. The ones that future marketing students will learn about in college for a while.
This particular campaign was built with the mission to make sport a more accessible thing. It started with the idea that a lot fewer women than men exercise. And a lot of that was due to a specific stigma on women working out. Take a look at their latest video:

It’s inspiring and it’s just amazing.
4. I AM a CHAMPION!!
I thought I should also include a sports marketing example from a direct athlete. I remembered about LeBron James’ epic tweet that went viral. No brand involved.
OMFG I think it just hit me, I’m a CHAMPION!! I AM a CHAMPION!!

— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 22, 2012

The love that this tweet got shows just how much fans appreciate when their favorite players show humanity. LeBron James showed nothing but plain old pure excitement. Something so relatable, and yet something many hide. It’s just a reminder that authenticity wins crowds.
5. #overthehousechallenge
On the same note, here’s quite a recent video that went viral all over the internet. Mid-quarantine, Coby Cavil posted on his Twitter an amazing video. And as all amazing tweets do, it started a challenge:
Lol make this go VIRAL!! Try it…. #overthehouse #overthehousechallenge @espn @ESPNDallas VC: @Og__Kj pic.twitter.com/GD3b4y1aur

— CBG. (@cobycavil) May 4, 2020

It got a lot of media attention and fans jumped at the opportunity to show that they can too.

Building a sports marketing career
Looking at such cool campaigns, we inevitably wonder.
How does one build a sports marketing career?
I did a quick research to save you some googling. Before you ask, yes, there is such a thing as a “Sports Marketing Degree”. But they’re rare and mostly Master Degrees.
I’d be interested to learn, though, just how many successful sports marketers have such a specific degree. I honestly think that a background in marketing can help you make the change. Or a background in sports. So don’t get discouraged, #thismarketercan.
After looking a bit into the available jobs, they’re quite similar to what we have in marketing. From advertising to research, brand management, PR specialist, and event manager, they resemble the traditional roles we already know. But they come with a sports twist. Something quite unique is a sports agent. They usually represent athletes or sometimes entire teams. They work with licensing images and trademarks.
If you’re looking for a role in the field, there are some recruiting websites specialized in this field. I found Jobs in Sports and Work in Sports.
If you want to know more about sports marketing, the ball’s in your court now. If you want to start collaborating more efficiently, we offer a free plan for everyone to join the (social media) game.

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