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Why Collegiate and Professional Athletes Should Use LinkedIn

By: Daniel Flores

LinkedIn was started in 2003 by Reid Hoffman. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn connects business professionals together to help them make connections and achieve greatness.

There are various different features and tools that help users connect with others. Users can find business professionals of any experience level, from CEOs and Vice Presidents to Interns just getting their career started. Job openings are another feature that LinkedIn offers. Whether users are looking for entry-level jobs or senior level, the opportunities that LinkedIn can create are endless.

Professional and collegiate athletes are people who could also greatly benefit from using LinkedIn. Most athletes primarily use Instagram and Twitter as their social media to post updates about their career, family life, or sponsorship/brand deals. However, there are a few athletes that are on LinkedIn such as Luka Doncic, Tom Brady, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Chris Paul.

In 2021, Luka Doncic announced his partnership as the Global Chief Hydration Officer with BioSteel on LinkedIn. Recently Chris Paul shared about his new children’s book “Basketball Dreams.” Tom Brady posted the trailer to his ESPN+ show “Man In The Arena” on LinkedIn. These are just a few examples of business endeavors that athletes have posted about on their LinkedIn pages.

These posts could also be posted to Instagram or Twitter but they flow more with LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you won’t see people posting about what they ate for dinner last night or their vacation to Hawaii. The content is centered on the work-related activities that users share.

Another opportunity that LinkedIn presents that can help athletes is connecting with business professionals. They can connect with these people to create their Rolodex which can be beneficial when their playing days are done. The business professionals can consist of CEOs, marketing agents, brand managers, and more.

Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is giving collegiate athletes the opportunity to jumpstart their careers in building up their brand and LinkedIn can play an integral role for those athletes. Collegiate athletes should create a LinkedIn profile while they are still in college to build up their professional network. This will greatly help them unlock more business opportunities if they continue to play their sport professionally after college.

Say a collegiate athlete wants to go into broadcasting after their athletic career, they could connect with other broadcasters as well as search for job openings on LinkedIn. Once connected with other broadcasters, they can send a direct message asking for advice about broadcasting. Another option would be to find the hiring manager's account and ask them if there are any openings at the company.

Former athletes are also using LinkedIn for their business careers. Super Bowl XLII champion, David Tyree, shares about his entrepreneurial activities, such as his camps and show appearances. 2008 NBA Champion, Kendrick Perkins, is another former athlete who has built up his LinkedIn profile. He posts engaging content which includes some of the behind the scenes as an ESPN NBA analyst.

LinkedIn is a platform that can help athletes take professional business to the next level.

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