This post is part two of our four-part, Ultimate Guide To Athlete Marketing series. Athlete marketing is our specialty at MarketPryce, where we empower hundreds of pro athletes and agents to connect with brands for marketing opportunities, and we are thrilled to be sharing many of the tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way.
If you want to view the whole guide, you can download it here for free!
With over 5,000 professional athletes in the major four US sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) and thousands more in less popular sports like UFC, Lacrosse or any Olympic sport, how can you make sure to work with the “right” athlete for your brand? You need to ask yourself just two questions, “Would this athlete really use my product and benefit from it?“ and “Would this athlete’s following really use my product and benefit from it?” Let’s analyze the partnership between former NFL Wide Receiver Eric Decker and Smucker’s to walk through these questions.
Would this athlete really use my product and benefit from it?
Smucker’s Instagram bio starts off with “Delighting families by making life more fruitful”. With this one sentence, you can tell that Smucker’s focuses their marketing on consumers who spend a lot of time with their families. You can imagine that Smucker’s focuses their attention on parents as most of its products are for kids. Taking one scroll through Eric Decker’s Instagram, you’ll see that nearly all his posts are about his wife and/or kids.
Decker is the parent of three young kids who are the perfect consumers of Smucker’s brands. Since most 7-year old kids do not go grocery shopping (surprise, surprise…), Smucker’s is forced to target the parents of these children. And a cherry on top for why Eric is the perfect fit for Smucker’s? An average post that includes Eric’s children gets 90,000 likes while an average post including just Eric gets only a third of that (around 30,000). Smucker’s wanted to make sure Eric included his children in the advertisement, to guarantee the highest chance of engagement on the post, so Eric included his son to deliver the best results.
Would this athlete's followers really use my product and benefit from it?
Since Eric Decker played in the NFL for nine years, you would imagine most of his followers are males who love football, right? Actually, 78% of Eric Decker’s 1.2 million followers on Instagram are female. This is most likely due to his famous wife (Jessie James Decker, 3.2million IG followers) and his appearance on the show “Eric & Jessie: Game On” on E! Networks.
If 78% of Eric’s following is female and 64% of his total following is between ages 25-54 (quite old for NFL players), is this still a good fit for Smucker’s? Actually, yes! Traditionally, women do more of the grocery shopping, so working with an athlete like Eric is still a perfect sponsorship deal for Smucker’s. Yes, the demographics of the athlete you’re working with matter, but what is most important is the demographics of those who are actually following that athlete. These are the people who are going to be influenced to buy your product.