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Professional Athletes and Instagram

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

Since 2010, Instagram has been a great place for family and friends to share updates about their daily lives in an instant. Through the use of photos, people are able to share details about themselves for all to see. While most posts from personal pages on Instagram are about daily life, professionals are also using the platform as a networking opportunity. Being able to attract professionals to your page is no easy task. To make that first connection, it may be helpful to diversify your page to include a wide range of professional and personal interests. Sports and entertainment professionals have been using this strategy for years and are perfecting their crafts. Whether you have millions of followers or a few hundred, making your Instagram more professional can help you make your next big move. As Distinction CEO Alex Onaindia says, your Instagram feed should consist of content that is roughly “one-third personal, one-third professional, and one-third hobbies and interests.” Industry leaders are following this format, and you should too.

When you lead a fast-growing, global brand, chances are you get some social media attention whether you have your own accounts or not. Kevin Plank, Founder of Under Armour, takes his social media presence into his own hands with his Instagram page. Not only will you find promotional pieces for Under Armour on his feed, but you’ll also find posts that showcase his personal life and the causes he supports. Plank regularly shows off his kids and his wife, athletes Under Armour sponsors (like Cam Newton, Steph Curry, and Jordan Spieth), and his Baltimore/Maryland pride among other things. His feed is a great mix of his personal and professional lives, which gives potential connections a good idea of the person behind the business.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey takes a similar approach to his Instagram image. Giving fans an inside look at the Houston Rockets and his personal life makes for an engaging Instagram follow. Most of Morey’s posts include Houston Rockets news and behind the scenes. His last post is of Eric Gordon signing a contract extension to stay in Houston. While the Rockets dominate his Instagram, you’ll also find pictures of his dog, his family, his personal endeavors, and the occasional basketball-related internet meme. While Daryl Morey and Kevin Plank post similar things on their feeds, they have very different themes. Searching through their pages will give you a good idea of how they differ personally, even though they both have similar social media strategies. 

Someone who has a completely different feel and strategy to their social media is Maverick Carter, co-founder of SpringHill Entertainment, and LeBron James’s right-hand man. On Carter’s page, you’ll find posts that mostly highlight his business endeavors. Whether it’s highlighting one of his shows or pushing LeBron James’s brand forward, Carter definitely has more of a business focus to his feed. When it comes to personal interests, Carter will typically post about what music he’s listening to, his adventures in snowboarding, or his favorite wines. Being in sports media, Carter has a brand that he wants to keep, and he does it extremely well. When it comes to pursuing new business ventures, potential connections of Carter’s will know exactly what he’s all about.

Well-known sports and entertainment professionals across the industry will use Instagram to show people who they are and what they’re about. Professionals looking to get into the field should start doing the same immediately. Based on what phase of life you’re in, you can take a page out of Kevin Plank’s, Daryl Morey’s, Or Maverick Carter’s books when it comes to social media. Show people what you’re doing professionally, what's important to you, and what you’re interested in. Who knows, this may help you find your next great connection.

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