Ever find it strange how much people trust a product when an athlete claims to use it? First and foremost, I’m not saying an athlete is lying if they make a claim to use a product. I’m going to go ahead and assume that they’re at least being legally careful if they don’t have a strong sense of ethics. I just feel it’s a little insane to think that people trust a product endorsement from their favorite quarterback more than an endorsement from a fellow shopper.
However, it’s absolutely true, and it’s a fantastic thing for marketing a product or company. Sports equipment and hygienic products, food outlets, alcohol companies, and automobile manufacturers have been doing it for years. Now other industries are beginning to get involved with big results. Remember when GoDaddy (the hosting company I dislike the most) began using Danica Patrick in their commercials? She wasn’t yet a household name, and neither was GoDaddy, but the partnership helped them both. It also created a huge influx of customers for GoDaddy.
The fact is, celebrity endorsement of any kind can be huge for your company if it makes sense. Surprisingly, it can also be within reach. According to Forbes.com contributor Mark Fidelman, the sports marketing industry is going through some dramatic changes to the way it works, and they potentially benefit your company. He reports about some interesting things, but the standout is the idea of endorsements being handled in online marketplaces. These “athlete stores” allow smaller companies to obtain endorsements from some of the biggest influences in advertising: athletes. Some of them are huge names, like Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (or for the insane, Michael Vick), to lesser known names, like Team USA cyclist Beth Newell.
The idea that these tools, once only available to the major companies, are being made available to the smallest of businesses is exciting from a marketing perspective. And, as these marketplaces grow, a wider variety of athletes will become available for your company to benefit from. Explore it, think about it, and let us know if you need help with it.