So, you’ve established your team’s goals, defined your audience, and fine-tuned your athlete search. Now it’s time to recruit a stellar class of athletes to ensure your endorsement marketing campaign is a home run.
The perfect endorsement pitch can prepare you to hit a grand-slam, but be aware, some knuckleballs might get in your way.
In today’s world of athlete representation, there are plenty of characters who play a strong role in the decision making of professional athletes. Be prepared to work through a handful of gatekeepers before reaching the athlete(s) you’ve selected.
It’s often difficult to find the agency and agent that represents the athlete you’ve selected for your campaign. Pardon our simplicity, but a quick Google search can get you closer to the contact information you’ll need to get started.
Be prepared to shuffle through pages of “free agent” news, unless you add “-free” to your Google search. If you’re struggling to find the appropriate agent for your athlete(s), try the following resources:
- Player’s Association: The Player’s Association for your athlete’s respective sport will be able to put you in touch with the proper agency and agent for your athlete.
- Team’s Front Office: Contacting the athlete’s office will get you in touch with the appropriate personnel to introduce you to your athlete’s agent.
- Twitter: Yes, Twitter. Athletes and agents frequently connect and communicate via Twitter. Dig into your athlete’s recent tweets to discover which agent or agency is interacting to discover the appropriate lead.
Pitching the Agent
Once you’ve gotten in touch with the athlete’s agent, it’s time to pitch your campaign. Agents are busy folks, so keep your pitch short and concise. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
What kind of product/service do you provide?
Your athlete may have a conflicting endorsement agreement within your same industry. If so, agents will use this to quickly turn down your opportunity.
What is the product/service they will be endorsing?
Agents will use this question to qualify the relevance of your brand. If they think it fits the personality and vision of their client, you’re one step closer.
What is required of the athlete?
If your endorsement campaign requires travel, or a physical appearance, be ready to discuss covering travel costs and appearance fees. If you can tell the agent you’re going to handle the logistics of travel on your own, you’ll take the stress off his or her plate.
How long is the endorsement agreement?
Agents look for short-term agreements in highly competitive product categories, as a long-term agreement may forbid their athlete from jumping on a bigger opportunity down the line. In an abstract product category, agents will push for a long-term deal with a bigger payout for their client.
Who else is endorsing your brand?
Agents like to align their clients with other high-caliber athletes. If you are working with other athletes, flaunt that here.
Pitching the Marketing Rep and/or Manager
If you’ve impressed the agent, you will most likely be introduced to the marketing rep, or directly to the manager! These folks have strong personal relationships with the athlete. They have two focuses: short-term lucrative deals and long-term well-aligned partnerships. Be prepped to share the following:
Why did you select this athlete?
This will give you the opportunity to show your vision for the endorsement marketing campaign. Focus on the intangibles to help persuade the marketing rep or manager.
What are the logistics of the endorsement?
The manager will want to know the fine details of the endorsement, so they can inform the athlete of their requirements before agreeing to the endorsement. Take the stress off the manager and/or marketing rep and your deal has a better chance to be approved.
When will the athlete be compensated?
Managers and marketing reps pride themselves on getting their athletes paid upfront. Have a definite plan for compensation, which should include discovering the typical commission fee the agent, marketing rep and manager take on each endorsement deal.
10 Things You Need To Pitch An Athlete On
You’ve made it! Time to flatter and impress the athlete of your dreams. By the time you’re speaking directly with an athlete, they have most likely been prepped on the opportunity by their agent, marketing rep or manager. This conversation is all about the athlete; so prepare to share why they are perfect for your endorsement marketing campaign. Here are a few simple statements that will get you a long way:
You are a superstar.
Your fans are going to love this.
You are going to be alongside other superstars.
This is going to be the easiest endorsement deal you’ve ever done.
You are a part of our long-term vision for our brand.
We want to put you at the center of our marketing strategy.
We are big fans of what you do as an athlete.
You’re busy, and we know that.
We’ll send you plenty of free product.
We’ll pay you upfront.
Simply put: before you can build trust with your target audience through an athlete endorsement campaign, you’ll need to earn the trust of the athlete. Work through the system, understand the motives of each stakeholder and make your brand stand out from the crowd.
If your endorsement marketing campaign passes the test, you’re ready to perfect your campaign content to maximize reach and audience engagement.
Want to skip the tutorials? That’s fine with us; you can revisit them at any time. Log in to your opendorse account to build a campaign right now. Don’t have an account yet? Get signed up (it’s free).