Here at Sports Speakers Bureau it’s easy to understand why brands hire athletes for endorsements.
Today’s sports heroes serve as inspirational role models to individuals all over the world. They transcend geographical areas, social status, race, and other labels to become these larger-than-life personalities who have the power to influence their fans in ways that traditional advertising simply cannot. We call it the power of celebrity and sports stars are some of the most important celebrity figures in pop culture today.
The curious case of Tiger Woods and the disappearing golf game is a prime example of how athletes can build well-rounded careers outside the lines and the ropes of the playing field through endorsements. Tiger Woods held a golf club for the first time at 2 years old. Now at 39, he’s back at the drawing board, searching for that sweet swing that made him one of the most dangerous players on tour for so many years. But his colossal career cannot be unwritten.
Tiger became a professional golfer in 1996 at the age of 20 and immediately signed endorsement deals with Nike and Titleist. Tiger attacked courses with unmatched power and raw emotion. He was an instant fan favorite, becoming the youngest ever winner of The Masters major tournament in April of 1997. And just like that, the striped cat was out of the bag. A couple months later Tiger was ranked the #1 golfer in the world. From then on golf fans across the globe have been glued to the television. Tiger has won 79 official PGA Tour events, including 14 majors.
A recent feature in Adweek estimated Tiger’s earnings to be just about $50.6 million from the dates of June 2014 to June 2015. Now get this – $50 million of that came from contracts with his 3 sponsors, Nike, Rolex and Upper Deck. Tiger Woods earns 83 times more money endorsing products than playing golf. His golf game is still paying dividends, even if he can’t find the fairway off the tee.
Fellow golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth all typically bring in more money in endorsement dollars than actual winnings and they’re not alone. Many of your favorite superstar athletes are celebrating bigger winnings off the playing field. Tennis stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both make 6 times more money from their sponsorships than winning events. This past year Lebron James made $20.8 million from NBA winnings while gaining a grand total of $44 million from his sponsors.
Athlete endorsement deals are not a one-way street. Professional athletes can help brands and organizations build brand recognition and brand equity that proves to be invaluable when it comes to convincing consumers to use your products or services. Think about how quickly brands like BodyArmor Superdrink and Fit Tea have gained brand credibility thanks to athlete brand ambassadors and effective marketing campaigns. Advertisements with familiar sports stars and celebrities are much more memorable than generic ad messaging.
A brand also needs to take into consideration what message they are trying to send to consumers. Who is going to best represent that message? Finding the appropriate athlete to endorse your product is crucial in the success of a marketing campaign. Sports Speaker Bureau can help your brand or organization vet potential spokespeople when you are looking to hire athletes for endorsements.
Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212)410-4243 to discuss how we can help you take your next marketing campaign or corporate event to the next level with a pro athlete fronting your marketing campaigns.