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Marketing with Olympic Athletes

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games are less than a year away. Athletes across the world are finalizing their preparations to compete among some of the greatest athletes we’ve ever seen. Athletes aren’t the only people preparing for the Games of the 32nd Olympiad, brands and agencies are gearing up to compete as well. The Olympic Games are some of the most-viewed events in the world. The 2016 Olympic Games brought in 3.6 Billion total viewers, according to Statista. On the social media front, #rio2016 on Instagram has 3 million posts, and tweets with the same hashtag were viewed 75 billion times according to Twitter itself. Partnering with the event itself is a great way to get exposure, but there are other effective routes you can take to get your brand name associated with the Games. Individual Athlete Marketing is a great way to associate a brand name not only with the Olympics but with a niche group of passionate fans who follow the athletes on social media. Roughly 11,000 athletes competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, so there are plenty of opportunities at varying levels and sports. Finding the right Olympic Athlete for your campaign is a fun and important process, and might be the best next step for your brand to get noticed on an international stage.

When partnering with Olympic athletes, it’s important to consider your budget, and who may fit your brand’s offerings the best. There are many great options to choose from, so don’t think you need to partner with the likes of previous Olympic legends like Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps to benefit from the partnership (although these are all great options and should be explored if possible). Certain athletes may have exactly the type of audience your brand is looking for, no matter how big or small their social media followings are. When you find the right fit for your brand, it’s off to the races.

With so many Olympic Athletes to choose from, a lot of them are bound to have empowering stories to back up their phenomenal athletic performances. Distinction client, Manteo Mitchell, is a great example of this. In the 2012 London Olympics, Manteo was a crucial member of the United States 4x400 Meter Relay team. In the first leg of the qualifying round, Manteo broke his left fibula at the 200-meter mark. He could’ve stopped at the first feeling of pain, but he ended up fighting through to finish his leg of the race. In doing so, the team qualified for the finals and won a Silver medal. Manteo is currently training to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games and uses his experiences to motivate others in the form of speaking events around the country. Manteo is a great example of an athlete who would be perfect for many brands. He's an elite athlete with integrity who has a powerful story and the ability to tell it. With his following, you’ll also find dedicated fans of the sport who will likely find a good use for the products he uses.

Finding a good fit for your brand is the first step in creating a successful partnership with an Olympic athlete. Diving deep into the personality, background, and experiences of each prospective athlete will help you find exactly what you’re looking for. With 11,000 athletes to choose from, there’s no shortage of potential candidates. Depending on your product offering, these athletes also have international appeal. Whether they have millions of followers or a small, niche following, there’s an Olympic athlete for every type of brand. When considering your next influencer marketing campaign, Olympic athletes are a great way to break into the sports space and get your brand name attached to one of the most established and historic sporting events in the world. The 2020 Olympic Games are coming up soon, so get to it! The world is watching.


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