Athletes and Influencers are Evolving into Entrepreneurs
By: Tymier Farrar
The thought that anyone could turn their identity into an entire business was simply an idea years ago. Today, this concept has launched an entirely new aspect of marketing and entrepreneurship that most businesses could not survive in the modern world without.
There has been an evident trend into the notion that athletes and influencers are finding that associating their image, likeness, or following to a business or brand has allowed for plenty of success. Social media has created a platform that has developed personal branding into a form of a career.
Influencers have been known to initially earn their fame as ordinary people portraying their lives or opinions to the audiences who identify with them. In fact, this aspect of relatability is what makes Influencers so powerful: they can cultivate a relationship with their viewers based on empathy, and connectivity that average celebrities never could.
When influencers hit a certain degree of notoriety, they become their own “brand”. They appeal to a certain demographic, they make revenue by endorsing products that speak to their specialties or expertise, and they are accountable for producing content that will keep their viewers actively engaged. Furthermore, developing a branding strategy will set the stage for influencers to transition into entrepreneurial ventures easily.
Another key reason as to why key social media influencers are continuing to step onto the scene of entrepreneurship is because it has been evident that viable and key names that allow their image, name, and likeness to be associated with a particular brand, allows for a grand rising in productivity and feedback for that brand. Traffic may increase on their social media platforms, or visit to their websites receives more hits. Brands are creatively seeking many athletes and influencers to join their team, for they know that an association with their name brings in additional traffic, views, and followings, thus creating larger profit possibilities.
Examples of this popular trend include where Forbes reported that Savage x Fenty, Rihanna’s clothing and retail brand with Fenty, saw revenue growth of more than 200% last year and "increased its active VIP member base by more than 150%," according to a statement from the company.
Travis Scott and his deals with Nike and Fornite introduce another example of an influencer or celebrity who was able to take his name, image, and likeness, associate it with a Brand, that they feel align with their interests and values, and because of the partnership, both parties were able to create a more than a profitable relationship, and high-yielding success.
Furthermore, as much as we see influencers stepping onto the scene of becoming entrepreneurs, there has also been a popular and growing trend of athletes finding ways to invest in and develop brands that are tailored to their specific interests or needs possibly. It was evident that athletes' strong ability to draw in an audience on the tv screen, can be easily translated into sales and growing profits for businesses, as these same audiences can now be introduced and intrigued by these now endorsed businesses and brands that their favorite athletes sponsor or represent.
G.O.A.T. Fuel ® (“greatest of all time”) was created by NFL Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice, and his family. It is a lifestyle brand focused on bringing health-forward products and a G.O.A.T. mindset to consumers. G.O.A.T. Fuel® is backed by NFL Hall of Famer and legend, Jerry Rice. This energy drink based product, even uses the phrase, “BACKED BY A G.O.A.T” promoting basically their entire brand, by utilizing the fact that they have the endorsement and association with a once-in-a-generation football player, Jerry Rice.
Athletes that have really hit the ground running in their entrepreneurial regard can include: Derek Jeter, and his investments and foundings of Jeter Publishing, and The Players Tribune, Shaq, with the General Car Insurance, or Papa Johns, or more recently LeBron James is truly an epitome of this, with his recent investment and launch into Lobos 1707, a range of high-end tequilas and mezcal alcohol.
You should surely expect to see the world of athletes and influencers venturing into and launching their own businesses to continue to trend upward. With social media expanding daily, and new opportunities being developed where businesses can access larger followings and feeds from association with these athletes and influencers, don’t be surprised when one of your favorite stars seeks to partner with a growing brand, or develop their own, more and more in years to come.