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Brands Leverage Athlete Influence in Holiday Campaigns

athlete influenceThe holidays are fast approaching and many brands have turned to social media for their holiday campaigns. Some brands have made impressive efforts to increase their brand awareness and holiday specials by partnering with current and former professional athlete’s social media accounts. Athletes are among the most followed accounts on Facebook and Twitter and hold a lot of clout. Catalyst Public Relations conducted a study to determine how athlete influence¬† effects¬†consumers’ drive to social media. Below are some of their findings:
  • Sports fans who follow their favorite athletes on social media are 55% more likely to purchase a brand if an athlete mentions it on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Athlete mentions of brands on social media can have an even bigger impact on young (18-34), non-white fans (75% more likely to purchase) and those with kids at home (62%)

Athlete Influence in Holiday Campaigns Using Social Media

Thierry Henry – Puma

Puma used Theirry Henry’s Facebook page (pictured above) to advertise their “40% off Friends and Family Holiday discount” during a specific time period. Henry has over 900,000 fans and this post prompted 592 people to like it, which means potential new business for Puma.

Drew Brees – TRX Training

athlete influenceThe fitness equipment company, TRX Training, used New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees to advertise a holiday special. Brees has over 794,000 followers and has since tweeted another message about TRX Suspension trainers and will give one away to a follower who tweets him the best reason why they deserve one.

Landon Donovan – Seiko Watches

athlete influenceMLS star Landon Donovan also tweeted a that he was giving away a Seiko watch to a fan that made a submission in his “Best Goal Celebration” contest to his 593,000 followers. This tweet was one of the more genuine athlete tweets I have seen regarding the mention of a sponsor. Sometimes when an athlete uses a sponsor’s name in a tweet, it’s easily recognizable that someone else has written it, not the athlete themselves. But you can see that Landon tweeted this out as his personality shined through. If brands want to be more effective in partnering with athletes’ social media accounts in the future, they should make the tweet unique to the athlete instead of something that looks lika it was written by a PR rep.

Summer Sanders – Schwinn Bikes

athlete influenceFinally, Schwinn bikes used former Olympian, Summer Sanders’¬†Twitter account to promote their “#10DaysofHolidayGiveaways” campaign, which directed users to visit Schwinn’s Facebook page. This is a great cross promotional tweet as it directs users to both Schwinn’s Twitter and Facebook page. It also educates fans of Summer Sanders (17,000 followers) about the promotion and their affiliation with Summer.

Athlete Influence Impacts Purchase Decisions

Brands looking to tap into a tech savvy demographic and actively engaged sports fans should look into sponsoring athlete tweets more in the future. As the Catalyst study found, fans are more likely to become consumers of a brand if their favorite athlete is a fan of it. The sky is the limit to capture the fan through social media and marketers can get very creative using the athlete’s likeness to promote their product.

Have you seen any other great holiday promotions that professional athletes have posted on Facebook or Twitter? Do you think it’s effective for brands to use the popularity of athletes’ social media accounts to leverage their product and services? Leave your comments below and feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook & Twitter.

 

 

 

 

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  1. Shoppers, Social Media and Summer Sanders | Fletcher Digital's Blog - March 12, 2012

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