Most noticeably, we hear about professional athletes using their social media profiles to interact with their fans. More and more though, athletes are discovering the power of a self-branded website to share personal information as well as their accomplishments both on and off the field of play. In reality, there are a number of benefits to be reaped from a dynamic personal brand website.
Why Have a Website?
1. It provides a centralized location for all of the information about you.
A website is an excellent platform for the biographical information that your fans are craving. No one else should benefit from your efforts. Why leave it up to generalized Google search results when you can control the details on your own site. Not only fans but also media, sponsors, and others can more easily find accurate and up to date information about you. A self-branded website also allows you to share your social media profile information and can serve as a channel, in both directions, to increase your following and grow your reach.
2. It provides a platform on which you can advertise your sponsors.
It is easy for an athlete to be paired with his most notable sponsor but, in reality, most professional athletes are sponsored by a number of different brands. You can show all of your sponsors some love by featuring them on your website. Whether you post a brand logo or one of the advertisements they’ve made with you, a little reciprocation of attention can go a long way with these important business partners. You retain your market value with sponsors when they see you are committed to a collaborative relationship.
If you are a more novice athlete, your website can also be a tool to find sponsors. By communicating your athletic accomplishments as well as your personal endeavors with charities and other causes, you show prospective sponsors your all-around potential for representing their brand. Please remember this is true for any and all digital channels you use. The things you say, and post, and share speak volumes to corporations and organizations looking for professional athletes to partner with. Be responsible! Keep everything positive!
3. It provides a platform directly from you to redirect bad press or inaccurate reporting.
True, social media platforms can also be used to respond to unfavorable or inaccurate publicity. Your website, however, allows you a broader forum to communicate your message directly to the general public. Your website can be used in conjunction with your social profiles for this purpose. You can simply direct interested parties from a lead-in on your social media platforms to the full story on your website.
4. It provides an opportunity to promote any ventures in which you are involved.
Many professional athletes have their eyes set beyond their athletic career and start building their portfolio off the field or court while they are still active in their sport. If you have a personalized fashion collection or restaurant or anything else, you can use your website to tell people about it. If you have extensive outside businesses, you may want to consider multiple, linked sites to segment unrelated activities.
Your website is also a fabulous place to share the charities you promote and causes you support. You can easily link to the home sites of those organizations and encourage your fan base to join you in supporting those efforts. You can even link to payment gateways to let visitors to your site donate directly to those charities.
What to Include?
Your fans want to know everything about you from when you were born to the present. While you will, obviously, want to craft your personal story in a manner you are comfortable with, your website is an excellent platform on which to share this information. In addition to your professional athletic accomplishments, a timeline of sorts can tell people all about your childhood, your family, your schooling, and more.
2. Blogs and Newsletters
Regularly posted blogs are a great way to communicate with your fans. To encourage engagement and interaction, include questions at the end of the articles or invite comments from your readers. Either you or your management team can moderate the interactions. Periodic newsletters posted on your website and pushed out via email are another option to share your thoughts and exciting career or personal happenings.
Let your fans know when you will be at promotional events and public engagements. Include all of your athletic competitions. Include links to allow website visitors to purchase tickets to see you whether you are on the field, speaking to a group, or joining in volunteer work efforts.
Your website is an excellent place to offer the opportunity to join your fan club. You can easily set up an online system for payment and renewal of membership fees. If you do send out a newsletter or periodically push out email campaigns, have a registration that doesn’t necessarily sign someone up for your fan club but does ensure they will receive newsletters and email communications. You can also collect more contact information if certain sections of your website require some sort of registration to access. This can benefit not only your personal brand but also your sponsors and any charities and causes you support.
5. Social Media Buttons
You should definitely include on your website social media buttons that link to your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms you actively use. You not only increase your reach by doing so, but you also drive traffic back to your website by opening these channels.
6. Photos and Videos
People love images and videos and will readily engage with those sections of your website. Most website hosting platforms, like Squarespace, offer website templates with amazing photo gallery options. You and your management team (or marketing partner) can add photos and videos of your professional events, volunteer work, and other public engagements as they happen.
7. Team Information
It is becoming more and more common for professional athletes to compete for different organizations throughout their careers. Posting images and information about your current sports team is a great way to communicate your pride in that organization and appreciation for being a part of it. This also informs other sports teams what they can expect from you should they choose to pursue you to become a part of their organization. The same can be said for giving positive shout outs to the city that hosts your team. Fan bases want to know that the athletes on their professional athletic teams are supportive not only of the sports organization but the surrounding community as well.
The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing feel strongly that professional athletes should own their domain name and have an official website that can be used as a centralized location of digital information. Your name will be typed into search engines, so why not funnel that potential traffic to your own site? A high-quality, dynamic website will positively influence public perception, offer increased exposure to your sponsors, and allow you to keep your thumb on the pulse of your personal brand.
We’d love to take time to learn more about you and your vision for your personal brand. The SDM team will work with you to create a sleek, modern, responsive website that showcases your personal brand in the best possible light. Contact us today to get started!