In the two weeks since July 1st, 2021, we’ve seen a lot of change in the athlete marketing world. Student-athletes across the country finally have the ability to profit from their Name, Image, and Likeness, and they’ve taken amazing strides in this short amount of time.
There are lots of national and local brands across so many industries getting in on the fun, but there is still so much room for growth. In the first 14 days of this new NIL era, we’ve already seen more than 100+ student-athletes sign up to MarketPryce, where they take marketing into their own hands and connect directly with hundreds of brands on our platform for marketing deals.
So, why should brands work with student-athletes? We’ve written extensively about why partnering with pro athletes for marketing campaigns is a good idea, but what about student-athletes? Well, it’s not just a good idea, it’s a great idea.
Here are three reasons why.
Reaching A Younger Audience
We’ve heard this question from brands so many times: “How do I get younger buyers to check out my product?” The 18-24 college demographic is a CRUCIAL one for brands, and understandably so. While most college students aren’t wealthy, they are, for the first time in their lives, away from their parents and given some independence on how they live their lives and how they spend their money.
This newfound independence can lead to some newfound purchasing power. In 2019, college students had $376 million in spending power. Compared with an older demographic, many are much more experienced at shopping online and more comfortable making purchases through social media platforms. If you want to reach a younger audience, working with an NCAA student-athlete is the way to go.
Peer To Peer Marketing
If you work with a student athlete, you’re capitalizing on something very rare in the influencer marketing space — a peer to peer relationship. When a pro athlete tells us about a product or brand, we have a lot of trust in them. At the same time, we’re not always able to relate to professional athletes, because well, they’re professional athletes.
College athletes have an inherent relatability to other college students and most normal people. Even if they are up at the crack of dawn to practice and have their faces plastered across ESPN, they still have to take classes, go to the dining hall, and do most normal student activities.
As a brand, you’re also able to take advantage of the network effects of a small college community. For example, if you send a product to a student athlete on the track & field team and she starts using your product, most of her teammates and other athletes she trains with will be exposed to your brand.
Gaining Media Coverage
If you’ve been tuned in to the NIL world, or even if you haven’t, you’ve probably seen and heard about some of the deals getting done. Seeing this kind of coverage for endorsement deals is somewhat rare. While there is usually a fair bit of reporting on professional athlete marketing deals, they’re usually concentrated on the world-famous superstars who are signing a deal with a multinational corporation.
We’re currently seeing small, regional brands get written about in national publications because they closed a deal with a student-athlete. This time is extremely exciting, so there is natural publicity built into any deal that you could capitalize on if you’re a brand. You could be the first brand to close a deal with an athlete at a specific school, or an athlete who plays a specific sport. The headlines write themselves. There is so much earned media potential built into these deals that will give your brand extra, free-of-cost marketing.