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  • Writer's pictureCarlie Green-Medina

5 Tips For Working With Athlete Influencers

Stephanie Gilmore, Audi Australia, Steph Gilmore, Athlete Endorsement, Agency X Talent Blog,
Stephanie Gilmore for Audi Australia. Image via Instagram

Progressive brands are discovering the significant sales an athlete influencer can generate through their engagement with followers, high-levels of fan trust in their product endorsements, and reach to thousands of fans.

Read our 5 easy tips for how brands can collaborate with athlete influencers to drive results, build brand awareness and ultimately yield strong returns.

1. Have A Clear Goal & Strategy For The Campaign

Brands who want to have successful athlete influencer marketing campaigns need to develop clear goals and ensure that the athletes understand what success metrics are. Some examples of campaign goals may be to increase membership, grow social media presence or drive sales. When brands have clear goals, athlete influencers are more likely to be able to assist in fulfilling these goals.

Brands can do this by creating a strategy and execution plan on how the goals can be achieved. Elements to the plan should include the campaign goals and outline how these will be measured. When planning the execution of the campaign ensure that the athlete has clear deliverables in an agreement. This ensures both the brand and athlete are aware of the campaign requirements and each party has a contractual obligation to deliver the desired results.

Convey campaign goals and expectations clearly to the athlete.

2. Use Discount Codes

Brands looking to sell products can assign a unique discount code to their athlete influencer. Shopify released a study revealing that businesses with active discount codes are 8x more likely to make a sale. Discount codes also help brands to reach new audiences and decrease shopping cart abandonment.

Additionally, it’s great when brands assign unique codes to an athletes name, for example, if a brand was using Roger Federer they could use the code “FEDERER20’ ” for 20% off!”. This option allows brands to easily analyse the sales driven by specific athlete influencers and fans can build a relationship with the brand through the familiar connection they already have with an athlete. To customers, the purchase feels more ‘personal’ when brands or products have been personally endorsed by an athlete. After all, this trusted and the valued connection between the fan and athlete, is what makes an athlete influencer a rewarding choice for brands.

Assist your influencers in driving sales by offering unique discount codes.

3. Have Giveaways or Contests

Brands can offer products, services or experiences as prizes to athlete influencers who can then promote the giveaways or contests to their followers. There is no statistic needed to demonstrate people’s willingness to win something for free! These types of prizes can typically draw significant attention and engagement from the athlete's followers. Brands and influencers should include promotional mechanics that meet the goal of the campaign, options may include following the brand's social media account, repost the giveaway image or tagging a friend. Be sure to include access to the promotion’s terms and conditions and ensure that you are complying with the terms and conditions of the relevant platform for promotions.

Giveaways and contests are a great example of options which benefit both the brand and the athlete and are sure to deliver results.

4. Ensure Influencers Use Branded Content

Strategic brand hashtags are easy for influencers and followers to use and highly effective in influencer campaigns. Branded hashtags encourage engagement on posts and create campaign momentum. For example, if a hashtag is required throughout a campaign or used for a ‘social movement’ like the example below, it’s continually building brand awareness. The LeBron James “More Than An Athlete” movement now has approximately 25,000 posts.

LeBron James, More Than An Athlete, Agency X Talent Blog,
LeBron James. Image via Instagram

Instagram now allows you to follow a hashtag, creating another way for followers to discover brands and continue to engage with a product or campaign they are specifically interested in.

Brands should ensure that the athlete influencer tags the brand’s account in the photo and caption to ensure followers see the brand from multiple touch points. Considering every consumer is different, it’s imperative for brands to be optimising every chance they have for a potential new customer to learn about their brand.

Be sure that athlete influencers have clear guidelines for using branded content.

5. Ensure that the Athlete Brand and Brand Compliment Each Other

Ensure that the athlete is a true advocate of the brand or product and that the athletes personal brand aligns to that of the brand. Otherwise, brands risk negatively impacting their brand and the overall performance of the campaign. Athletes are often extremely busy, and they’re not marketers, therefore, brands need to make the campaign easy for the athlete influencer to execute by sending information packs about the brand including specific information that they are required to deliver for the campaign. Always ensure that the athlete doesn’t assume anything incorrect about the brand, product or service when promoting it.

Brands can also send examples of great content which gives the influencer a higher chance of meeting their expectations. If they want to go the extra mile, these examples could also reflect the athlete’s style or personality.

Know your athletes’ personal brand and ensure they have everything to execute a great campaign successfully.

These 5 easy tips are great options to assist brands in executing successful athlete influencer campaigns. With an increasing number of brands engaging athlete influencers every day, it is imperative for brands to ensure that their campaign is optimising every opportunity to stand out from the crowd.


If you’re not sure how to find the best influencer, check out our blog “How To Find Influencers & Pick The Best Fit” which identifies all of the key factors brands need to consider.

Contact the Agency X Talent team today to speak about our range of engaging athletes for your next influencer campaign.

To find out more, visit our website or contact us direct at


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