04 Jun Nike Athletes: A Guide to Sponsorships & Endorsements
Nike, the sports brand giant, while commonly known for its great sportswear and sneakers, is also well-known for its endorsements and sponsorships. From collaborating with NBA legend Michael Jordan to working with golf legend Tiger Woods down to sponsoring great NFL players, a Nike sponsorship is a dream for any athlete — regardless of their sport.
But ultimately, becoming one of the great Nike endorsed athletes people look up to is no easy feat. Despite this, athletes shouldn’t feel discouraged from getting the sportswear brand’s lucrative sponsorships.
If you want to become one of Nike’s sponsored athletes and want to learn how you can gain endorsements later on, here’s your comprehensive guide!
But before we go into the details of sealing a deal with Nike, let’s first discuss the brand’s history with sponsorships and endorsements.
Nike, Sponsorships And Endorsements
Early on its career, Nike was considered an up-and-coming sports brand with a rather quirky looking logo. Things didn’t really change until the brand signed a deal with NBA legend Michael Jordan in 1984 and the Jordan brand was born!
The apparel line known for its signature shoes that carried the now well-loved “Jumpman” logo right after the player was contracted with Nike. Later on, the Jordan shoes became one of the sports brand’s best-sellers, bringing around $2.2 billion annually! Even now, despite being retired, Jordan still rakes in $100 million per year for the brand.
After that, Nike’s great sponsorships just came flooding in. The brand started making multi-million deals with athletes in the world like Tiger Woods and Joey Barton. While some of them fell through due to controversies, the brand was able to strike what would be their second greatest deal after Jordan, LeBron James.
But as the market became saturated, the brand started to feel an increasing pressure from its competitors Under Armour and Adidas. Both brands were growing significantly and Nike wanted to make sure it kept its spot.
With that in mind, the brand decided to spend more than $9 billion on sponsorships and endorsements in 2016 — double from its $4.7 billion spending in 2014. As a result, the value of the brand’s sponsorships and endorsements increased by more than 50%.
Today, athletes would need solid strategies just to be considered by the sports brand giant.
How to Get Sponsored By Nike
If you look up Nike sponsorships on Google, you’re likely to come across a page from the brand’s official site saying that they don’t accept unsolicited requests, explaining that they are the ones who usually reach out to athletes.
As we mentioned earlier, young professional players who want to catch the attention of the sportswear giant would need a solid marketing strategy. Here are some of the important things you need to keep in mind to be signed a lifetime deal by Nike!
Understand What Nike’s Sponsorships Are Really For
Ultimately, the purpose of the brand’s sponsorship scheme is to sell more products. Nike likes approaching athletes who are not only doing extremely well in their respective games but also has a great following. They want professional players who are passionate about their sport, someone that people can look up to.
But aside from increasing sales, Nike also uses its sponsorship scheme to boost its brand image and increase credibility. While the brand has ultimately gained the trust of consumers, the market is becoming more competitive as years go by. Nike wants people to know that while brands may come and go, they remain to be the most trusted brand by great athletes!
Build An Audience
Because of the increasingly competitive market and the growing number of digital marketing strategies available today, Nike wants to ensure they’re getting their money’s worth by signing someone who has carved an audience for themselves. As we’ve mentioned earlier while a player’s performance matters, the following he or she has play a crucial role as well.
Luckily, professional athletes now have the power of the internet and social media to help them cultivate a great following! Start by creating your social media accounts if you are yet to create one for yourself. Afterwards, you can start working on a social media management campaign that allows you to gain engaged followers.
A point often overlooked when it comes to cultivating a following is the importance of engagement. As a sponsored athlete, you must be able to entice your followers to purchase from your sponsor. That’s why you must also spend ample amounts of time learning how you can convert your followers into purchasing consumers.
Leveraging Social Media for Endorsements
The great thing about having an engaged following is it opens an athlete’s doors to endorsements! Just take a look at what happened to Michael Jordan.
Driving insane amounts of sales to the brand, Jordan started making money off the court! Endorsements is one of the several ways professional players can gain profit during off-seasons and if you show great ROIs, brands won’t think twice about offering you endorsement deals in the future!
Get Your Head in The Game
Ultimately, great focus on your performance is needed for you to truly get Nike’s attention. But admittedly, juggling one’s personal brand and winning games is not easy.
Luckily, there are great sports digital marketing companies like Creatitive more than willing to help you land that golden deal! Once you collaborate with their team, you can rest easy and focus all of your energy in winning your games. Their marketing experts will help you cultivate a great following on social media and develop a solid online presence!
Admittedly, the answer to getting a Nike sponsorship lies in having passion for sports and creating a community wherein you can share that same love with a loyal following!