Branding and marketing strategy is essential for every athlete, regardless of age. For most youth athletes, the recognition and support help recognize the hard work they do, gain brand awareness, and create additional opportunities. That said, youth sports organizations admit that getting the attention of their targeted audience and maintaining it can be rather challenging. And, admittedly, some coaches have a hard time marketing youth sports.
Athlete promotions and sponsorships can give youth players a head start they need. In addition, they need their parents, coaches, and team to understand marketing and provide the support they need to grow further. And several sports companies and brands are interested in partnering with youth athletes via influencer and digital advertising campaigns.
From athlete promotions to sponsorships, social media, and marketing strategy, let’s discuss how to shoot and score in youth athlete marketing and why it matters.
Athlete Promotions & Sponsorships
Athlete promotions are player profiles for young adults, young people, college students, and Gen Z athletes that contain an athlete’s highlight video, academics, contact information, coach evaluations, an example of their playing style, and a personal note for college and professional coaches to review. Athlete promotions are critical tools in youth marketing as they follow youth trends and help the athlete develop their profile on social media platforms, build their following on social media accounts, connect with other young consumers, develop a marketing channel, satisfy their age group, and showcase their development with their family members, target audience, and potentially loyal customers.
For young people, having your coaches promote you to recruiters via youth marketing is another excellent way to get seen by the right programs and sponsorships. Sponsors view marketing efforts from youth players as an investment in their future. And those who follow youth trends see an inherent value in youth marketing as young consumers have significant buying power through their parents. Consumer behavior shows that mobile technology is the primary source of communication, connection, and sales for the new generation. Brands understand this, so they invest so much into their brand experiences and promote products on social platforms.
When Should You Start Promoting Youth Players?
A common question for many young people and their parents and coaches is when should you start promoting youth players? Market research shows that the answer is as early as possible. Early adopters of social media and youth marketing strategies know that college students are late to the game. The youth market is hot, and youth trends show that young consumers appreciate seeing young athletes.
Youth marketing strategies aren’t too different from adult marketing strategies. The only caveat is to ensure it is age-appropriate. Ensure the athlete develops their own identity, carefully considers their long-term youth marketing strategy before deciding to sell products, and creates solid relationships with their youth market customers.
Why is it Essential to Invest in Athlete Marketing?
Another common question from the parents and coaches of Gen Zers is why is it essential to invest in youth marketing and advertising strategy? The answer is that the youth market lives online. The number of social media users in 2022 is up to 4.48 billion. Market research highlights that youth marketing is highly effective and allows young people to develop greater influence, engage and become friends with other individuals outside of their hometown, and diversify themselves beyond one marketing channel.
Social Media Strategy for Increasing Brand Awareness
There are many different youth marketing strategies for social media. The common theme, however, is to increase brand awareness. Young people don’t need to worry about an income source as they have parents and caretakers to look out for them. Instead, their focus must be narrowed to their long-term youth marketing strategy, building influence with other young people, marketers, and consumers, understanding consumer behavior and increasing their market share. Building a solid foundation with solid relationships and friends will have a leg up when seeking to begin small businesses and create brands, products, and services later on.
Why Online Profiles are Paramount
Online profiles range from social media to websites. The key is to understand consumer behaviour, new trends, where other young people and young consumers like to spend their free time online, and any other important determinant in the young consumers. By developing a diverse and robust online presence with detailed profiles, a solid brand story, and a youth marketing strategy, you’ll have a greater chance of garnering attention from sponsors, potential partners, and recruiters.
SEO Strategy & Custom Content
Search engine optimization (SEO) is content designed to rank on a specific search engine results page, such as Google. SEO helps ensure your brand awareness efforts are not wasted, and your website is recommended to individuals searching for particular words, such as products or services.SEO encourages you to do market research, carefully consider your marketing strategies, tailor your ad campaigns, enhance your brand messaging to meet the needs of your existing customer base, in this case, young people, and establish your brand voice with your target market.
Marketers may develop custom content and new media for youth marketing campaigns, advertising companies, or youth-centric writers. Your goal is to appeal to your customers and create content that speaks to the young generations, peaks their interest, and makes them want to like and follow. Remember to consider youth culture and make the athlete’s specific brand clear, consistent, and likable.
Marketing Strategy for Newbies
Youth marketing strategies for newbies are no different than youth marketing strategies for seasoned veterans. Many brands focus on ad campaigns or other forms of paid media, but the key is to be consistent, understand your audience, trends, and culture, and create authentic and on-brand content. Youth marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple, engage with your customers, and focus on increasing your influence amongst your target customers.
Keep in Mind Your Youth Athlete’s Vision for the Future
The final piece of the youth marketing puzzle is to keep in mind the athlete’s vision for the future. This goes hand-in-hand with being authentic. Understand that while young consumers hold a great deal of influence amongst their generation online, they also need to be careful to spread the right message. Be positive, consistent, and transparent. Don’t take advantage of your young athlete and ensure they keep their focus on the game and having fun.
Enlist the Support of an Agency or Professional
For those interested in youth marketing but with no idea of how to be competitive, it is an excellent idea to enlist the support of an agency or professional. There are many agents, PR specialists, agencies, and freelancers with significant experience in the world of youth marketing who are well-equipped to guide advertising and marketing strategies and ensure the young athlete tells the right story to the right audience.