After years of hard work, dedication, and effort to become the best in their chosen sport, an increasing number of talented sports people find that they can no longer cope with the financial burden of competitive sport and quit before realizing their true potential. The key to a successful and sustained career in the sport relies on performance and results and a good support network comprising family, friends, fans, and business contacts. All this is provided through Self Promotion in Sport.
“Why would anyone be interested in me?” people might ask, “It’s not like I am on the TV winning major events every week.” In reality, if sportspeople were on the TV regularly winning major events, they would have already achieved their goals, and therein lies the big “Catch-22” in sport – the rewards are there when you make it to the top. Still, you really need the support now to be able to get there! In response to who would be interested in me, the answer is simple; those who know about you, which again comes back to Self Promotion in Sport.
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Self Promotion in Sport starts with friends and family. Sportspeople need to keep their friends and family regularly updated regarding their efforts, goals, and achievements. One of the most efficient ways to provide this is through a personal sports website, which should be regularly updated. Well-informed friends and family should be thought of as the sports person’s free marketing team and be encouraged to spread the word about the person’s efforts, goals, and achievements. Once the free marketing team has been assembled and briefed, the team should be asked to help you build your fan base and develop business contacts, as necessary.
In the same way, as the sports person should create a buzz amongst people they know, the sports person should also ask their friends and family to do the same. If a sports person has a personal sports website, friends and family should be asked to email links to the site to as many people as they know. People are more likely to click on a link in an email to visit the site than type the address into a browser; however, when the sportsperson or their friends and family meet people who might be interested in following their career, a business card with the address of the website or at least an email address, creates a good impression.
Media exposure can be achieved in many ways. The internet is becoming the easiest way to gain exposure, as sportspeople can create and post their own articles, blogs, or message board threads. All such methods can present opportunities to insert links to the sports person’s personal sports website. Printed media exposure can be more challenging to achieve; however, it can provide excellent results. Free local newspapers are often looking for residents with interesting stories to produce an article on. When approaching local reporters, sports people should first write down a list of content to make a potential article interesting to the general public. Interesting content may consist of achievements, funny stories, career aspirations, charity work, or an insight into the sport such as “a day in the life of a.” Again, sports people should ask their friends and family to help generate interesting content.
For those eligible to accept financial support, equipment, clothing, modeling work, product endorsements, etc., members of their fan base could one day become excellent business contacts, so building a fan base at an early age is essential. Sportspeople should set realistic goals for business contacts. Many automatically think about lucrative contracts with the major sports equipment and clothing companies; however, they are unlikely to come to fruition until such companies can reap significant benefits from an agreement. The key to building successful business contacts is to think “small, local, and multiple.” It is not only the major companies looking for sports people to do product endorsements, modeling work, or help with branding and reaching their target audience. It is not only the companies related to a sports person’s particular sport who could be considered good business contacts either. Sportspeople should think about the products that their sport promotes and find several small local companies who may benefit from their affiliation. If the sports person has been proactive in their self-promotion efforts, there is a chance that the local companies may already know who they are!!!!
Sportspeople of all ages and levels need to understand that they need to play an active role in Sports Self Promotion. If they don’t, they could just be giving their competitors the edge.