In 2016, research conducted by Twitter [now X] found that consumers seek recommendations from influencers almost as much as they do from friends.
An individual with a significant online presence that has an influence over their followers and can persuade them to make purchase decisions are known as ‘influencers’; using these individuals for marketing purposes is known as ‘influencer marketing’ and it is becoming an increasingly popular practice across several industries.
42% of marketers believe that influencer marketing offers a significant return on investment (ROI).
What benefits can influencer marketing have on the sports industry? Sports personalities and athletes have usually grown a large community of followers due to their hard work ethic, and winning athletic performance. Often known for their attitudes to hard work and dedication to their sport – they embody a healthy lifestyle, body and mindset and usually inspire their following to adopt these same values.
With a large following both on and off the pitch, these individuals often have a highly engaged audience. Partnering with them increases the likelihood that your brand will be seen by your desired target audience. This partnership allows your brand to benefit from a wider reach, and highly engaged audience. As an extension to this, brands trying to break into new markets might try to partner with an influencer widely known in that nation (i.e. a UK brand wanting to move to the USA might try to enlist a well known American athlete, or sports player).
It is important to note, however, that for many athletes and sports personalities, being an influencer is not their day job, so they may need a little nudge, or help with the social media side of things. Once you get the right balance, however, often these partnerships are able to deliver significant results.
TOP TIP: aligning your fitness influencer marketing campaigns alongside big sports events such as the Olympics or the World Cup will give the campaign an additional boost.
Influencer categories, and what they mean There are several influencer categories – some that are generic, and some that are directly related to sports. The influencer categories that span several industries are:
Nano: below 10k followers Micro: between 10k to