A Major Games sparks fresh interest in elite sport and the life of an athlete.
It's the perfect time for athletes and sporting organisations to focus on brand and make the most of the media spotlight.
Why Brand Matters
A Major Games provides a unique opportunity for EVERY athlete to communicate and activate their brand, to achieve their vision and goals.
They don't need to have won a medal. They don't need to have gone viral during the games. It's about looking inward, pinning down how they want the world to remember them and preparing for extra attention on a global stage. Plus, it's a great time to tap into existing opportunities that activate their brand.
For an athlete that experiences profile growth during a games their brand can help them:
- Choose the right opportunities for them. E.g. Deciding which sponsors to say yes to and those that just aren't a good fit.
- Clarity of their values, what they stand for and how they want to be seen so they can protect their brand integrity and any brands or organisations they represent.
- Shape the narrative of their games experience and tell THEIR story in their own words.
For athletes that don't experience profile growth during a games their brand can help them:
- Realise they still have opportunities available to them. Athletes that don't experience profile growth (and were expecting it) often get stuck on what their next steps are post-games. It's vital they understand they've still had an incredible experience and they can and should share that story.
- How to tell their games story (the highs and the lows). Because while it might not have gone viral, it's still a great story and people will want to hear it.
- Learn to independently identify and approach opportunities to activate their brand. A lot of athletes secretly hold out for sponsors and social media followers to bang down their door after a games. It can happen but it's the exception rather than the rule. So after a games they need to be prepared to independently approach opportunity. And there are big benefits to this! Because they'll be gaining skills, broadening their network and taking a more strategic approach to who they align themselves with.
The Opportunities on Offer
So how can athletes make the most of a Major Games and what opportunities are on offer?
- Media engagements. It's no surprise that a games shines more media spotlight on athletes. And it's not just about medal wins. The media is interested in human stories and the person behind the athlete. The lead up to the Games (or after) is a great time to reach out to any media contacts and secure an interview or profile.
- Speaking at schools, events, business and corporates. They have a brand new story to tell (or a new highlight to add to any packaged speeches they have ready to go). It's a great time to book in speaking gigs, tell their story and build their profile in the local community.
- Social media. Now is a great time for athletes to amp up their content roll-out and make themselves more visible online. They'll likely have gained some new followers, so it's a good idea to keep them engaged. Plus, Games content is always a winner. So, they can be looking for ways to share their Games experience and create connection with their audience.
- Sponsorship. With the extra media attention, social media spotlight and credibility a games brings, more businesses will be on the lookout to sponsor athletes. After the excitement of a games, it's a good time to think about the kind of partners that best align with their values and brand and that they can offer great value to.
- Charity activations. After a Games, athletes can align their passion with their brand activities by giving back to a cause they love. Plus, being an ambassador offers great benefits for them, their brand and profile.
The Post-Games Game Plan
Now with all that mind, what's the post games game plan?
Let's keep it simple. During this time there are three things athletes can do to leverage a games.
- Stay visible. Whether they won a medal or had a different games experience than they imagined, now is the time to let the world celebrate their achievements. Use the momentum off the back of a games to connect with opportunity and tell their story.
- Communicate. A great way to keep that visibility up is by communicating their brand. Now that looks different for every athlete but it could be focusing on social media, starting a podcast or doing a speaker tour. They should be looking at the communication activities that are uniquely right for them.
- Activate. Find the opportunities that interest them most and go for it. Similar to communications, this is about staying visible but also maintain that momentum.
Want to learn more about Major Games and brand? Watch our free webinar for sporting professionals and industry on Leveraging a Major Games here.