Getting Started: Endorsement Marketing Basics


What exactly is endorsement marketing?

Here at opendorse, we like to use the following definition:

“Endorsement Marketing is leveraging the trust between an influencer and their audience to market a product, service, or brand.”

In short, instead of building trust directly with your customer, channel your marketing through an already trusted source.

You’ve seen Michael Phelps or Ndamukong Suh endorsing Subway. That’s exactly what we’re talking about. And do you remember this gem?

These large-budget athlete endorsements have been around for a while. But you don’t need a big spend to use pro athletes.

All you need to do is borrow trust. And believe us, a tweet from a pro athlete costs a lot less than you think.

Why should I care about endorsement marketing?

Think of it as a way to skip a step when building a connection with your customers. This very scientific illustration says it all…


Endorsement marketing also results in these benefits for your brand:

  • Build more trust through top athletes. When athletes endorse your business, customers are 6x more engaged with the product. More trust = more love.
  • Reach your audience. Whoever your audience is (male, female, young, old) you can reach them by selecting the perfect athlete.
  • Turn social media users into brand ambassadors. The best part about using social media channels with athlete endorsements: those followers are already on Twitter! #GoViral
  • Improve conversions. Athlete endorsements increase brand recall and purchase intent by over 100%.

We’ll cover many more reasons later on, but you can see why the bigger brands spend billions on it every year. It just works.

Not to mention, there’s just something special about having an athlete tweet about your brand. A “cool” factor, if you will. But in all seriousness, the endorsement marketing industry is a $1.6 billion per year industry because its effective, not just “cool”.

Who uses endorsement marketing?

That’s the unfortunate thing. Right now, its the bigger brands that account for nearly all endorsement spending.

Why do so few brands use it? Mainly, because of the following misconceptions about endorsement marketing.

  • It’s really expensive
    • It can be expensive, but definitely doesn’t have to be.
  • It takes a long time to negotiate
    • To build an elaborate campaign, yes. For a tweet, not really.
  • Agents and their athletes are hard to reach
    • This is partially true, but a lot of solutions (ours included) make reaching an agent instant and painless.

As new social media channels have made athlete endorsements more accessible and effective, more and more brands have started utilizing it. In the past few years, the amount of small and medium sized endorsement deals have increased tremendously.

In the following Endorsement Marketing 101 lessons, we’ll show you how to access these athletes either on your own or through opendorse and take advantage of this huge opportunity.

How do I get started?

Over the next few lessons, you’ll learn how to build and measure your first successful athlete endorsement marketing campaign.

We’ve selected the most valuable and useful content from our years of endorsement marketing experience and created the Endorsement Marketing 101 lesson plan.

We’ve kept the whole series short and sweet, so you can get started with your endorsement marketing strategy ASAP. The rest of the lessons will only take a few minutes each to go through.

What are you waiting for?

Learn how to create an endorsement marketing plan >>

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).

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