Maintaining life as an athlete takes a massive amount of dedication and focus. Not only does the athlete need to demonstrate talent on the field, he needs to translate that talent into an effective media presence. After all, the athlete is himself a brand and he needs to ensure he doesn’t water down his brand with an improper and unsuitable media style.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with one of my strategic business alliances, Forrest Dorsett, Founder & Principal of Dorsett Sports Marketing and Managing Partner at Fred Hickman Communications. We had the chance to dive into the subject of media training. Here is how our conversation evolved:
Michelle: As a brand marketing agency, what measures have you taken to emerge as a valuable resource for professional athletes?
Forrest: Recently, we have entered into a great partnership with Fred Hickman Communications to offer more of a “concierge” type media training and coaching platform. Fred Hickman has worked as a lead anchor for prominent networks including TBS, TNT, ESPN, Fox Sports and the YES Network. Today’s athletes are busier than ever with game and travel schedules, corporate sponsor commitments and non-profit appearances. Mr. Hickman will come to an athletes’ residence, hotel conference room or team facility. Mr. Hickman has in excess of 30 years experience in media and has conducted countless interviews with sports legends, coaches and front office executives. Secondly, as a result of many years in front of a camera, he is capable of providing tailor-made training sessions for his clients.
Michelle: Who are you targeting and who would make the ideal candidate for media training?
Forrest: Professional athletes, coaches and team administrators in the core leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL). We definitely have a full plate. Presently we are reaching out to a number of MLB teams as players prepare to report to spring training and with the 2011 NFL Draft quickly approaching, we’ve been in discussions with a number of sports agents regarding our value added services.
Michelle: Why do athletes need media training?
Forrest: Media training can help shape an athletes’ brand; how to better handle their day-to-day media obligations, connect with fans, increase his or her marketability and enhance their value to both their franchise and to themselves.
Michelle: What are a few of the core benefits an athlete would gain from media training?
Forrest: Well-spoken, accessible athletes who project a positive image can generate a vast number of marketing opportunities and lucrative endorsement deals. In addition, this acts as a springboard to better equip the athlete after their playing days, should they transition into broadcasting, business, coaching or front office after their playing career has ended.
Michelle: Do you have any closing comments or advice?
Forrest: Poor media etiquette can negatively impact an athletes’ brand and cost them their credibility. To succeed in the media the message must be clear, crisp, and compelling.
An articulate, well spoken athlete promotes not only himself but his team and entire organization. He promotes his personal brand wherever he is, whatever he’s doing, and whenever he speaks. He trains in the weight room, he trains on the field; doesn’t it make sense to invest in media training to fully complement his brand?