This post is part three 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!
You will be working with one of two people on athlete marketing deals — the athlete or the marketing agent for the athlete. There isn’t a preferred option on whom you will want to work with, as each has its pros & cons, let’s dive into both below.
If you are working with an athlete directly on any marketing deal, the chances that you’re working with a micro-influencer (less than 50k followers) is quite high. The more followers/fame an athlete has, the more likely the athlete will have an agent to represent them. While you may be paying less money to athletes without agents (because most agents get paid on commission on top of what athletes get paid), this doesn’t mean you should look to take advantage of this athlete and pay them less than what they are worth Remember, this is an investment. If you pay less money on any other type of advertising, you are going to get worse results.
Without putting all athletes into the same bucket, it’s safe to say the typical athlete knows less about marketing than you do. You make a living marketing your product or service (especially if you are reading this guide), and an athlete makes a living competing at their specific sport. If you are working directly with an athlete, this is a great opportunity to educate them on what type of deal will work best for your brand (we’ll get to goals & deliverables a little later) and any tips you can provide to help them. Hopefully, they will want to learn from you and make the most out of this deal. Put time and effort early in the process to prove that you genuinely care about the athlete and a long-term partnership.
Lastly, don’t get frustrated if it takes athletes longer to respond than you’d like. Don’t be afraid to follow up. Remember, athletes are famous for traveling & training 24/7, so marketing may not always be top of mind for them.
For many (mostly false) reasons, some brands do not like the idea of working with sports agents. Hopefully, after you read this, you will not be one of those brands. There are a lot of positives to working with a sports agent. Fast communication (remember, it’s their job to close marketing deals for their clients), expertise in the industry (chances are they have closed deals with similar brands), and working with a large pool of clients they represent should all be positives that brands can take advantage of.
Most agents will try to negotiate a higher price for their clients. However, this should not scare or intimidate you. All agents have a cost in mind for their clients when going into a negotiation, and nearly all will begin negotiations at a higher number than they would ultimately accept. Like any negotiation, stay calm, know what number you want to pay, and make sure you always keep focus on the outcome of the deal, not just the money you are paying to make it happen.
How Much Do I Pay An Athlete?
Unfortunately, there is no “right” answer when asking yourself this question. There are many articles on the topic of “how much does social media influencer marketing cost”, so I’d recommend doing your research before agreeing to any amount of money.
Luckily, we here at MarketPryce have built our own “DealScore” technology that allows brands to understand and compare different athlete costs with one easy-to-read number. Once you post a Campaign on MarketPryce, you will be able to see athletes applying at all different prices. Don’t get overwhelmed, as you will easily be able to separate the good deals from the not-so-good ones using our DealScore.