Advertisers are looking for Fans Endorsements:
Innovative Social Media within the NFL and other sports organizations will reshape endorsement deals and product advertising. The fan is becoming not just a source of revenue, they are a source of influence over corporate retailers and manufacturers.
Social media is making the sports entertainment experience better and creates a tangible connection between a fan and their favorite players, teams and leagues. Social media makes the athlete approachable and allows the fan to have a voice.
As fans gather to watch their favorite sports team and athletes compete, they will communicate in new ways. They will watch sports on a second device. They will talk about products, preferences, drinks, shoes, gum, shampoo, cars and more through social media platforms, along with the age old way of face to face. Advertisers will seek the direct endorsement of the fan and the right athlete to represent the fans (Reference the number of coveted HUGE Game TV ads pre-release through twitter, youtube and facebook this week).
Social Media is at the cutting edge of marketing and advertising and because of this consumers, fans and the public are going to reshape how brand loyalties are formed. Good ‘ol word of mouth. Advertisers are starting to pay attention to what customers want (what a concept) and utilizing User Generated Content (UGC) to develop products and services in a different way. Advertisers can no longer drive what they think customers want or will like. It’s the other way around.
This UGC and technological word of mouth is starting to shape how customers are willing to be advised about products and purchases. So when an athlete now endorses a product, he better be connecting with his fans via action and engagement or he or she will be dead in the water as far as influence is concerned.
A recent study showed that of the age group 18 to 34, 85% were willing and ready to take the advice and direction of someone they did not know about a product or service they were about to buy or use. Wow.
So as you watched the HUGE Game recently, and heard the NFL Commissioner talking about social media and how important it is, here’s a message and encouragement to all the Pro Athletes and Advertisers out there:
Don’t take your fans for granted, pay attention to them, interact with them using Facebook and Twitter just like advertisers will be paying attention to how you, the athlete, manage your social media. Your fans will be watching how you manage your social media as well and if you take care of your fans through social media and if build a valuable fan base, it will pay and pay well. Don’t post in dumb ways and understand that if you don’t want to leave money on the table, you need to have a smart strategy for social engagement.
UPDATE: Many of the 2013 Superbowl ad campaigns were centered around social media. They again released ads in advance using twitter and facebook. Audi, the first company to use a hashtag in the Superbowl was again successful with their social medial campaigns. So now the ABC of Superbowl ads, (Animals, Babies, Celebrities) may have to S-ABC Social Animals, Babies and Celebrities.