Lessons learned: 3 takeaways from a successful endorsement marketing campaign

Lessons learned: 3 takeaways from a successful endorsement marketing campaign

Consumer Product Case Study

In 2012, Kansas City-based iXL Do U, leveraged athlete endorsements to introduce their revolutionary sports drink to consumers throughout the city. Looking back, here’s what led iXL Do U? to success:

1. Endorsements don’t need to break the bank

As a startup, iXL does not have the big marketing budget you’ll find at Gatorade or Powerade. This forced iXL to find an affordable solution for their first athlete endorsement campaign. Through opendorse, iXL discovered three influential athletes on the Sporting KC (MLS) roster: Matt Besler, Kevin Ellis, and Jon Kempin.

These athletes delivered 15 Twitter endorsements for iXL Do U? over a three-week span, reaching 87,000 consumers. Due to the digital-nature of the campaign, the athletes were able to support iXL by simply hitting ‘approve’ on each deal, saving them time and effort, and saving iXL big bucks. The entire campaign was built, approved, and fulfilled for less than $1,000.

2. Send athletes product to increase endorsement authenticity

iXL Do U? sent dozens of cases of their sports drink to athletes prior to the campaign launch. Athletes were able to get a taste of the product they were endorsing, increasing the authenticity of their endorsement. Seeding product with professional athletes can lead to free endorsements of your brand. Furthermore, these athletes were willing to knock off the total cost of their endorsement in order to receive free product from iXL Do U?.

3. Simulating conversation between athletes increases consumer engagement

Throughout the iXL Do U? campaign, Matt Besler, Kevin Ellis, and Jon Kempin mentioned each other in their Twitter endorsements of iXL. These interactions showed consumers that iXL is a product worth chatting about. Naturally, the repeated exposure of the iXL Do U? brand led to higher engagement rates for iXL Do U?’s first athlete endorsement campaign.

The Result: in-store sales, big time buzz

iXL’s first athlete endorsement campaign helped introduce the sports drink brand to consumers throughout the Kansas City market. Of the 87,000 consumers reached through this campaign, 227 customers clicked to learn more about iXL Do U?. In addition to the direct results of the campaign, iXL’s sales team was able to leverage the athlete’s endorsements to pitch the product to new retail locations throughout the Midwest.

Reach: 87,000 |  Total Engagements: 227  |  CPM: $9.95  |  CPE: $3.08


How You Can Use This

Athlete endorsement campaigns don’t have to center around premier athletes and premier products. Startup companies are able to leverage local athlete influence to reach their target market at a fraction of the cost of the big boys. If you’ve got a physical product to send to athletes, do it. This will lead to increased authenticity of each endorsement and help decrease overall costs for your campaign.

When leveraging multiple athletes, be creative with your message content. If the athletes are within the same market, showing an interaction between athletes will help boost campaign engagement.

Think you’re ready to build your first athlete endorsement campaign? Sign up at opendorse here.

Looking to learn more? Check out our other case studies.

Related Content

The State of Sponsored Social

Get the full breakdown on 36,000 branded Instagram posts published on behalf of more than 3,200 sponsors in sports