How Player PR has Changed the Game
Modern sportsmen and specifically international footballers have become some of the highest paid sports people on the planet. The multi-billion dollar industry pays some of the biggest salaries in the sports world with top players earning well over $100 million a year between their contacts and their sponsorship deals.
Players like Bekham, Ronaldo and Messi have changed the game on the pitch, but there is little doubt that their PR played a role in their super stardom. As the growth of social media and the ability of football stars to connect directly with their fans is advances, so their visibility and profiles rise to meteoric levels.
PR and Self-Branding
Key to player PR is not only building a following on social media but more importantly building a brand around their name and their image. While many players are now active on social media, this is not enough to bring in the really big bucks and they have to work hard to ensure their brand is as recognizable as a popular soft drink or as identifiable as the yellow arches of a well-known fast-food outlet.
This means working together with their sponsors, fans and teams to look beyond just plugging merchandise and instead work to stand for a cause that is close to their heart. Whether this means highlighting environmental causes or poverty, using their fame to do good is increasingly popular and is changing the way that these sports super stars are thought of beyond the pitch.
Social Media is Key
Building a strong brand strategy does not mean that social media is not important. Just look at the most followed person on Instagram and you’ll see that it is essential. You may think a famous actress or certain boy band are top spot, but for more than a year now footballer Christiano Ronaldo has held the top spot-on Instagram. With over 200 million followers, the footballer has incredible influence at a global level and is not the only one.
There are a number of footballers, certainly more than any other sport, that hold top spots in the number of Instagram followers. This allows them to promote not only their own pitch time and antics, but work with a team of media and marketing gurus to leverage people power.
Team PR is Equally Important
Whether you are an ardent football fan or have never watched a game in your life, the likelihood that you have heard of some of the biggest teams is highly likely. This is not only because you may have spent Sunday afternoons listening to your dad scream at the TV while he watched matches, but also because these teams work extremely hard at making themselves globally recognized names.
With the growth of social media, the influence of sports brands and the lucrative price tag associated with the big football players, there can be no doubt about the influence on the game.
International sportspeople are huge business and although they may have become famous based on their abilities on the pitch, the court or the track, the argument as per this article is that their position is maintained by their PR.