Are your customers sitting in the nosebleeds, or court side? Could they fill Madison Square Garden, or fit on the team bus? Understanding your audience is key to crafting an endorsement marketing campaign that will leave a memorable impact on your current and future customers.
The search for the perfect athlete endorsement doesn’t start with the athlete, it starts with the audience. Find your target market, listen to their conversations, and discover what, or more importantly, who is influencing their behavior.
This will guide your brand to the right athlete for your campaign.
Location, Location, Location
As athletes move from hometown hero to worldwide stardom, they build highly targeted regional influence. Approximately 1% of professional athletes have worldwide recognition and influence. If you’re looking to reach them all, go with the big boys. If you’re looking to market in a specific region, ask yourself these questions:
Which athlete grew up here?
- 15% of an athlete’s audience hails from their home state (on average)
Which athlete went to school here?
- 21% of an athlete’s following is built from their collegiate career (on average)
Which athlete is currently playing sports here?
- 27% of an athlete’s following can be traced to the location of their current team’s state (on average)
These athletes are most likely to impact your core audience. If you’re looking to build a national campaign, try to find a balance of influence between multiple major sports markets.
Does Sex Matter?
We’re talking about gender here. Does your brand target males or females? Here’s some quick facts about gender in the endorsement marketing space:
Just two female athletes have over 1,000,000 Twitter followers (compared to 105 male athletes over the 1m follower mark)
- Serena Williams (3.5m+)
- Jessica Ennis (1.1m+)
Female athletes receive higher fan engagement than their male counterparts
- Females Average Engagement Rate – 0.96%
- Males Average Engagement Rate – 0.63%
A surprising amount of Male athlete’s followers are female
- Male 78%
- Female 22%
Be careful when crafting messages targeting only one gender. You could alienate half of your potential customers.
Age Affects Behavior
Targeting a younger demographic? Good idea. 66% of 18-24 year-old Americans who follow a company in social media are more loyal to those companies. It’s 60% among 25-34 year olds.
Want to reach grey-beards? Surprisingly, 37% of a professional athlete’s followers are between 35-54 years of age. Here’s a breakdown of the average athlete audience, by age:
- <18: 5.5%
- 18-34: 17%
- 35-44: 40%
- 45-54: 24%
- >55: 3.5%
The age of your audience will have a direct impact on the style of language in your endorsement message. Be sure to test your campaign content on consumers within your specific age demographic.
Speak Their Language
It is important to understand the communication habits of your core audience before jumping into an endorsement marketing campaign. Here are some questions to ask:
Where do they communicate?
- This will tell you which social media outlet to leverage in your campaign
What do they communicate?
- Use this to make your endorsement messages relevant to current audience interests
How do they communicate?
- The voice of your endorsement message should match that of your target market
Why do they communicate?
- Social media gives consumers a glimpse into an athlete’s life away from sports. Align your campaign to maximize this.
When do they communicate?
- Selecting the appropriate time to deliver an endorsement message can make or break your campaign’s success.
Hint: The best time to tweet, regardless of your audience, is between 1PM-3PM Monday-Friday.
Once you’ve researched the communication habits of your core audience, you’re ready to find an athlete whose voice resonates within this group of consumers.
Start your athlete search by understanding your core audience. Try this exercise:
There are X total users on _________________(Know where your audience communicates)
X of these users are located in ____________ (Target Region)
X of these users are _____________________(Male or Female)
X of these users are aged ____ to ____ (Know the age of your audience)
X of these users are interested in __________(Your Industry)
Now, which athlete has the highest impact on this specific audience (It’s probably not LeBron)?
There’s a good chance you’ll find an athlete with high influence within your core audience, and their endorsement won’t break the bank.
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