For a college athlete to capitalize on the NCAA NIL ruling, it requires that they not only build a brand and grow a brand, but athletes must gather the attention, support, and trust of their fans. For an athlete - having more and more fans watching your videos, reading what you write, listening to what you say, visiting your website (you should have one), and engaging with your social media posts will help improve your brand value (the value teams, leagues, sponsors, partners, and companies believe you are worth).
While this seems easy, it can be harder than you think. Athletes are often competing for the same fan attention. If fans are paying attention to another athlete, they most likely are not paying attention to you. If they are not paying attention to you, then you are not fully maximizing the value of your athlete brand.
So how can you Engage and Delight your fan base and separate yourself from the competition?
- Build And Grow An Authentic Brand
- Engage Your Fans
- Delight Your Fans
Engage Your Fans
It is not enough to just grab the attention of a fan. You must keep their attention and ensure that they don’t put their attention on someone else. The best way to do this is to ENGAGE…...ENGAGE….and.....Engage more.
I teach my athletes that a simple shift of their mindset can help ensure that they engage their fans and build a real connection and trust and it all starts with 1. Service and 2. Gratitude.
For example, the old school mindset is that “I am the celebrity, the athlete, the public figure and the fans are here to support me and show m some love and attention. They are lucky that I am opening up and sharing with them.” The simple shift to a new more powerful thought of “I am blessed to have these fans supporting me and I want to give them as much value as I can. Thank you fans for following me!” So the best way to separate yourself from the competition is to engage with gratitude and engage from a place of service.
Here are five ways you can engage your fans:
- Have a strategy
- Give your fans a voice
- Provide them access to your world
- Create valuable content (consistently)
Delight Your Fans
An important aspect of marketing is Customer Delight, which means providing your customers with experiences that exceed their expectations. It is not enough to just meet the customer's needs, but real impact happens when you go above and beyond their expectations.
If an athlete takes this simple marketing concept and they exceed the expectations of their fans, they will produce a brand that has engaged and loyal fans. Why is this important? Here is a simple formula:
Fan Engagement x Fan Delight = Engaged and Loyal Fans
Engaged and Loyal Fans + Authentic Brand = A Valuable Athlete Brand That Can be Monetized…..Dollar Bills Yall.
Journal Exercise to Delight
How can you delight your fans? Try this simple exercise of journaling to identify ways that you can go above and beyond for your fans…….make sure to stay on brand.
- Ask yourself the following question: What can I do to exceed the expectations of my fans?
- Take 10 minutes to write down all the ideas that come into your brain (write them all down).
- Go through your list of ideas and circle the top 5 ideas.
- Take action and delight your fans using the top 5 ideas (be strategic).
So if you want to build a valuable athlete brand that creates value and helps you monetize on the new NCAA NIL ruling, it is a must that you take actions to engage and delight your fans.
Work With Us
With SCI’s athlete branding expertise, we will work side by side with you to develop and grow your brand to maximize fan awareness and loyalty, create a perceived value based on your performance on the court/field and your persona of the court/field; and create strong, favorable, unique partnerships.
Schedule a FREE strategy session with a former college basketball player at Arizona State University, former pro athlete, and SCI creations Athlete Branding Expert and CEO to discuss how you can optimize your platform and talents to get the most out of the new opportunities available for college athletes.