Archive for the ‘Athlete Branding’ Category

How the WNBA Can Grow and Reach New Fans

Growing the WNBA

With Basketball becoming one of the forefront sports across the country, its time for the WNBA to get the love and recognition it deserves. The league undoubtedly has taken a back seat in the professional sports world and has experienced some early growing pains.

Many point to the fact that its a female professional sport, but those rebuttals can quickly be put to rest as we have seen female soccer take off over the past 5-6 years.

So where can the WNBA Improve and Reach New Fans? 

WNBA Marketing

As we know marketing can make or break any professional company. Most companies struggle with targeting their market and capitalizing once they have their attention (if they get that far). The WNBA has been able to tap into that market, but I believe hasn’t been able to maintain their level of interest, mainly due to the lack of viral marketing (reminders of games and special guest in attendance). While its hard to compare the league to the NBA, its the only plausible comparison researchers like myself can draw from.

The WNBA must begin to market their special events (Latin Night, Special Performances, Possible Players reaching Records and surpassing them, Big Match-ups). The goal is here is to make the league seem larger than life and draw attention to the “entertain” aspect of the game. The Key to Professional Sports is to exploit that it is first and foremost an entertainment and second a sport. Yes that sounds backwards, but fans attend a game primarily for the entertainment factor. Reminding fans of the experience and talent they will be watching will draw fans to at-least attend 1 game. Once you have fans/consumers at games, you must engage them with entertainment so find ways to partner with local talent or big stars to make appearances and possible autograph signings. (I will expand on this with WNBA Partnerships).

WNBA Visibility

Currently the average WNBA fan must have NBA TV, a premium channel on most cable networks. What does this scream? Limited Visibility of the Talented WNBA Players! If you cannot draw interest to the fans sitting at home, how can you draw them to a game? The NBA has grown internationally because of the level of visibility via the internet and television. Granted the NBA has a tremendous amount of growth and history behind it, but the key behind it all is VISIBILITY.

The WNBA must go back to the drawing board and figure out how they can get more air time on ESPN, ABC, FOX or any other cable channel that will allow their “target market” to see what the WNBA has to offer in 2012. Visibility will remind fans just how talented the players are today in the WNBA.

WNBA Partnerships

Strategic Partnerships are key for the WNBA to grow in this rough economy. With the NBA as their best friends, they must build on the fact that many of their fans are their target market. Having NBA Players make appearances and promote the WNBA and their entreprenuerial endeavors will benefit both parties. For Instance, Dwyane Wade is currently traveling the US promoting his newest book A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball. This is perfect partnership for the WNBA and Dwyane Wade as they can both benefit on the media exposure as well as the revenue they can both draw.

Having Player appearances will draw in their target market and remind fans that the WNBA is everything basketball. Also bringing in special Performing Guest for the Half-Time Show will be huge. The NBA has really under-estimated of a good half-time entertain as most fans take this time to visit the surrounding vendors (do not want to take from this revenue), but fans also typically leave right before half- time. Keeping them there is key with half time performances by star singers or performers.

WNBA Mini-Series

Time to get Viral WNBA! Get a camera crew and start a WNBA Mini-Series. Fans would love to see what WNBA Players must do day in and day out to be a Professional Basketball Player. This will draw an incredible amount of interest by not only fans, but also endorsers. Reminding Fans just how incredible these females are will bring money back in the pockets of the WNBA Teams and Players.

In this Technology driven world, Professional Sports Team and Leagues must embrace the internet and learn how to profit from it. Using creative methods of marketing will continue to draw interest with fans and possible new markets.

These are my few suggestions for the WNBA to build and grow to a dominate professional Sport.

I would love to work hand in hand with the WNBA and the Players to make this happen.

I can be reached at 850-543-6119 or by email:

How to Turn Around Ochocinco’s “Hard Knock” Life

Branding Chad Johnson

As athletes build their career on the field, many forget how important it is to build their career off the field. Chad Johnson is one of the few players that has perfected the craft of captivating fans all across the world.

Many turn to his dazzling play on the field as to why he has gained such popularity but those that have followed his career credit his originality and activity on twitter as the propellant for his career.

Unfortunately, his career has taken a turn for the worst as he was recently arrested for allegedly head-butting his wife, Evelyn Lozada. This only was the start as shortly after he was cut from the Miami Dolphins and as well as cut from his recent sponsor Zico.

While many would find this to be a low point, I find this to be a time where can rebrand himself and remind fans why he has been #1 to so many for so long. So that begs the question, whats the strategy?

I would first publicly thank all your fans as well as sponsors for believing in you.  Johnson still currently has endorsements with Reebok, Degree Deodorant, Wonderful Pistachios as well as an iPhone moble app game.

To thank those Endorsements as well as remind NFL Scouts that he can still compete:

  1. I would hire a film crew that would follow me throughout my journey to get back into the NFL. Essentially recording every workout, practice, training session and while they are filming make sure to exclusively promote the products that have endorsed you and have stayed by your side. I would post all the exclusive footage on Youtube Channel where cans and scouts can follow you.
  2. I would also have the film crew follow you as you spend time with your family. The goal here is to not only show your dedication to the game of football, but also your dedication to keep your family happy and motivated. (This all goes back to public perception of you not being a “family man“)
  3. I would continue to be active on twitter, but with a goal of showing fans love and staying away from any rash statements that may trigger alarms to potential NFL teams. Reports have surfaced that NFL teams are watching his twitter account making sure he does not bring anymore “unwanted” attention his way.
  4. My next suggestion would be to continue to expand your side ventures. Building your brand outside of the football is critical as you approach the end of your career in the NFL. Growing OCNN Report as well as your recently announced Watch Collection is key!

These are just a few suggestions that I would give Chad Johnson and his team as they get through the media storm. Reminding analyst, writers and fans what his true values are as well as what his goals are will help change the headlines and hearts. 

Watch Ochocinco in an ESPN Commercial:

Jameer Nelson Recent ESPN Interview Should Have Magic Fans Excited

Orlando Magic fans can slowly creep out of their depression hole as they recently announced the Orlando Magic Head Coach will be Jacque Vaughn, former assistant Coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich. On Wednesday, Orlando Magic fans had even more to cheer about as recently signed Point Guard Jameer Nelson paid a visit to the David Baumann Show where he expressed how excited he is to be with the Orlando Magic for possibly the next 3 years.

For those that had never heard Jameer Nelson behind the Mic, he was very politically correct and was a shining example of how athletes should conduct themselves when being interviewed. During the interview, He was happy to discuss his recent contract,why the terms have been private, his plan to remain a Magic player even though he did opt out, as well as his stance on the recent Head Coach hire.

Don’t let the tattoo’s fool you, Companies in Orlando, now is the time to jump on the Jameer train and Book Jameer Nelson for an appearance, endorsement or a speaking engagement as this year will be breakout year especially with the current roster the Magic have. If you are looking for an athlete with no baggage, Jameer Nelson is your man.

To those unfamiliar with the history of Jameer Nelson, he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets, but immediately came over to the Orlando Magic which he now calls home. He has definitely embraced his home as Orlando Magic fans have expressed that he is very welcoming when approached around the city and embraces the city. His love for the game and positive attitude can help turn around the sour taste Magic fans currently have towards the Organization as well as its currently stance with Dwight Howard.

After hearing the interview with Jameer Nelson, I definitely foresee him becoming apart of the Orlando Magic Organization after he retires from the game. His knowledge along with his leadership can definitely prove to be beneficial to the Orlando Magic Front office.

To tune in the the Interview by David Baumann visit:

Watch Jameer Nelson Drop 25 Points on the 2012 NBA World Champions Miami Heat:

NBA Rookie Anthony Davis is a Marketing and Branding Genius in the Making

Mr. Uni-brow aka Mr. Kentucky Basketball himself Anthony Davis was officially named a member of the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s National Team & 2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team. This announcements came a day after his performance at the USA Basketball Exhibition versus the Dominican Republic where he displayed his array of skills.

Davis put on quite the show in the 4th quarter for his former Coach, John Calipari, who is currently coaching the Dominican Basketball Team. As the game played on, Anthony Davis proved to the world again why he is not only one of the best players in the nation, but also one of the most marketable players.

After running down the floor and receiving a pass from one his teammates, Anthony lines up a Three-pointer and sinks it. His showman ship came alive with a signal to the USA Basketball Bench as well as a smile to Former Head Coach John Calipari. The cameras and fans ate it up and truly became the highlight of the night.

While many fans recognize him for his unique and recently trademarked eye-brows, he also is quite the entertainer on the court. Add those up with his lovable personality and you have an Athlete Destined for Endorsement Heaven.

This will prove to be his shining moment, as he will have the entire world watching him during the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Expect him to flourish on the big stage much like he did during the 2012 NCAA Championship Game.

As a branding consultant, I would touch Anthony Davis image as he is on track for stardom and fast. Staying away from the club scene and keeping his child like attitude will bring in all the endorsements he could ever dream of.

Great Work Team Anthony Davis!!!

Check out Anthony Davis Playing for USA Basketball:

<<<<If you are needing to rebuild your clients brand, contact Anthony Fernandez by calling 407.476.4387 or fill out this Short Form

Deron Williams Brands Himself As Social Media King With Brooklyn Contract Signing

The Evolution of Athletes and Marketing was on display last night as Deron Williams took to Twitter to show the world that he was signing his contract with the Brooklyn Nets via his iPad. If you didn’t know already, the 21st century is here and Athletes are beginning to embrace different social outlets to inform fans of their big announcements, daily activities, opinions and outlook on life.

On two separate occasions, Deron Williams has had the Twitter airwaves all hot and bothered as he previously announced via Twitter that he will be returning the Brooklyn Nets. The media along with Twitter users worldwide went rampant as they re-tweeted his picture of the New Brooklyn Nets Logo and inserted their congratulations.

So what does this mean for Deron Williams and Businesses?

Now is the time to capitalize on his media exposure. It is evident fans around the world are awaiting his next tweet which can always be your product in the background. If you are looking to expand your market and gain new clients, reach out to Deron Williams team and secure him for some marketing campaigns much like Carmelo Anthony and Got Chocolate Milk recently did.

Companies are forever negating the fact that social media does not bring in new clientele or new business. That is only proven right if you confine your business within the perimeters of what society says to do on these social mediums. Expand your horizons and jump on the opportunity to leverage an audience that normally would turn the other direction.

Not to mention, this tantalizing traffic further opens the door to other Athletes making announcements via Twitter which can potentially lead to endorsements. As I mentioned before, every fan, analyst and/or twitter guru will be analyzing a picture that has been re-tweeted by thousands of people. Having an iPad being the center focus probably got some consumers to go out and buy one or simply raised awareness of the products abilities.

Signing with the Brooklyn Nets so far appears to be the right move for Star Guard Deron Williams.

Below is Video of Deron Williams showing why he is a Top Point Guard in the NBA:

<<<<If you are needing to rebuild your clients brand, contact Anthony Fernandez by call 407.476.4387 or fill out this Short Form

Carmelo Anthony Expanding His Brand By Partnering With Got Chocolate Milk

Many athletes take to the gym during the off-season to strength their body for the upcoming season, but it is also a perfect opportunity for them to expand their brand by partnering with companies that help fuel their career off the court/field. While it is imperative that players stay in top shape, they must also rest their body and find another way to bring in revenue.

A great example of this was on display Monday night as Carmelo Anthony teamed up with Got Chocolate Milk?™ for a live chat via the Got Chocolate Milk Facebook Page. The buzz quickly got around of the Live Chat as Carmelo Anthony along Got Chocolate Milk tweeted about the Live Chat. The Live Chat gave fans an opportunity to learn about the product along with catching up with Carmelo Anthony’s progress during USA Basketball.

Not only was this a great move by Carmelo Anthony, but it also proved to be extremely beneficial for Got Chocolate Milk as they were able to drive new potential consumers to their Twitter Page along with their Facebook Page. This type of mutually beneficial partnership is what companies in the market need to be hone in on as well Athletes. What many may not realize is this Live Chat presented an opportunity for Carmelo Anthony to expand his fan base by reaching out to an audience he otherwise would of never interacted with.

Increasing your visibility in a variety of markets is key for athletes when trying to grow your brand. These type of partnerships are what will help players like Carmelo Anthony live a fruitful life after his tenure in the NBA.

Below is the Video for those that missed the Got Chocolate Milk Chat with Carmelo Anthony:

Video streaming by Ustream

<<<<If you are needing to rebuild your clients brand, contact Anthony Fernandez by call 407.476.4387 or fill out this Short Form

Dwight Howard Marketing and Branding Mistakes, Can He Recover?

As the NBA Free Agency gets underway we suddenly see how players should conduct themselves as they move to new teams/cities, but we also see how player SHOULD NOT conduct themselves when they are ready to make a move.

The elephant in the room happens to be Dwight Howard as he has publicly drove the city of Orlando against him as well as fans all around the world. His statements and indecisiveness has made him appear not only fickle but a player who comes with baggage.

So the question is how does this hurt his Brandability?

Athletes must remember the minute they enter the NBA draft or even step foot on the Collegiate floor, they are suddenly a brand/business. Not only will their skills and abilities drive in revenue, but so will their brand/name. Tarnishing that name in any way can make organizations think twice in signing you to a contract or even businesses wanting to partner for an endorsement.

Protecting that brand from the start in critical as it can set the mark for the rest of their career. Many players in college have all the talent in the world, but forget that partying and flirting with the law cannot be apart of the playbook. They must steer away from the trouble and focus on the craft. In fact, if you look back at the history of NBA endorsements, the players that flourished are those that came straight out of High School to the NBA as they did not have the opportunity to tarnish their name in College. The NBA put a quick stop on players being able to declare to the NBA Draft out of High School, but this is more reason why players must protect their brand.

In the Case of Dwight Howard, he has presented himself as a unprofessional business man. Many reflect at the transition by Lebron James and say he went about the situation the wrong way, but in fact he did nothing wrong except make his announcement public and making it larger than life. Fans made his announcement a large scandal along with Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert, but unlike Dwight Howard, Lebron James did not make any public promises to stay in “X” city.

Dwight Howard on the other hand, has gone on record with Yahoo Sports as well as other news wires stating he wants to be traded, he only wants to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, he was black mailed by the Orlando Magic among other spastic unprofessional statements. These statements cannot be erased in the minds of Fans, GM’s, CEO’s, and current/future teammates.

From an outside perspective, many fans and analyst wonder why his camp or business manager are and why they have not stepped in. More so then ever, Dwight Howard needs his team to step up and make things better in the public eye.

The glaring question here is, Can Dwight Howard rebuild his image after the roller coaster year and a half? 

The Answer is Yes, but this must be done strategically. Take a look at Tiger Woods and Michael Vick and you will see that an athlete with Top notch skill can recover their image with the right moves.

Steps to Rebuild Dwight Howard’s Image

  1. Take to Twitter and publicly apologize to fans and the Magic organization (Dwight Howard has not tweeted since April 20, 2012.)
  2. Tap back into what brought you millions of fans- Your goofy, lovable personality (Take pictures via Instagram and Twitter)
  3. Team up with Adidas on making a new commercial that highlights your career along with your love-able personality. (help remove the villian label)
  4. After the fans begin to gain acceptance, Make appearances in Orlando to give back to the community (i.e. Non-Profit Coffee Shop Credos is in need of a New Expresso maker and they have done amazing things through the community, Great Partnership)
  5. Release a Video of some impressive dunks you have worked on over the summer (reminding fans of your skill, not your statements)

At the end of the day, he has got to return to the Dwight Howard fans came to love 2 years ago. Fans have quickly forgotten he was the Slam Dunk Champion, The Premiere Center in the NBA, Sprite’s and Adidas Premiere Athlete, as well as the iconic Superman. Unfortunately, fans have a short memory and its time for the Dwight Howard to rebuild his fan base and credibility with GM’s and CEO’s.

<<<<If you are needing to rebuild your clients brand, contact Anthony Fernandez by call 407.476.4387 or fill out this Short Form

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