Bad finance management, non-sports jobs, undervalued players after her careers or assuming the can’t keep living from her passion. A common shared destiny among most women’s football players.
Building a brand for a player is creating something she can take advantage from even after she retires. Actually, most professional women’s football players don’t earn as much to be relaxed after their sports careers, in contrast to other sports. Nowadays, the digital environment can change this for the good, allowing players to leverage their brands off the pitch being consistent and frequent with a positioned story.
In my day to day, I work developing brands for women’s football players to help them make an impact, connect with fans and ultimately grow their income. Here you have some of my learnings until today:
- As sports marketers we have two jobs, one is teaching why is worthy building a brand and the other is creating it. Logically, players are not sports marketers and need to see a clear sense and benefit from doing it.
- Describe a vision from the start. It’s critical to define which impact we want to make from the beginning, so all the brand can be grown from that goal.
- Spend time listening her. Listening, a lot, to learn as much as possible from her side, necessary and exciting to build the most powerful story.
Jeremy Darlow is a master of doing this, having worked with the best athletes to develop their brands, as Leo Messi, Snoop Dogg or Aaron Rodgers. In his insightful book Athletes are brands too, he describes the process of building an athlete brand in the following steps:
- Athlete influence: analysing her window of influence
- Brand identity: carrying a situation analysis and defining a positioning statement
- Brand voice: building a visual identity, creating the most conversation and crashing the biggest parties
Lucky us, he has his book available to download on his website, please don’t miss it: Athletes Are Brands Too
The way you develop the brand, here is where magic happens.