Are You A Sponsored Athlete Or An Unpaid Salesperson?

Original post can be found here:

http://www.rxmuscle.com/blogs/the-business-fitness-modeling-and-showbiz/11790-are-you-a-sponsored-athlete-or-an-unpaid-salesperson.html

Are you an athlete
Most sports supplement companies and other fitness related companies aggressively promote their products through athletes who can sing the praises of their benefits. Who could be better at describing the efficacy of a product and how it enhances training or recovery than an athlete who not only already uses those types of products, but someone who has a following and who can convince new customers to purchase from the company which they represent?

Here’s where things get problematic. The pool of bodybuilding and fitness athletes is pretty massive, and the waters are teeming with athletes who are anxious to get their so-called “big break”. As a result of this, savvy marketing teams from fitness related companies often sweep up these individuals because they are enthusiastic and can propel a brand’s exposure. All the company needs to do is to offer some free product to the athlete and provide instructions on how to use social media to get the word out that these products exist. Then the athletes post images of themselves holding or using products, and add affiliate codes so that any orders which are generated through that athlete’s post are credited to the athlete. This can be a great way for an athlete to make some extra money while competing or chasing down fitness related gigs and projects.

It is important to bear in mind that such athletes really aren’t sponsored, but are instead unpaid salespeople who provide free advertising and generate sales via social media posts which direct followers to product websites. Yes, they get commissions if they have affiliate codes, but such commissions are nothing to write home about unless someone is really blowing the roof off in sales. This is in stark contrast to a true athlete sponsorship, in which an athlete is paid to represent the brand as a brand ambassador. The sponsored athlete is chosen for his or her physique, performance history and awards, facial good looks, charisma, enthusiasm, and often the size of his or her social media following. Usually a sponsored athlete signs a contract which stipulates that he or she will receive a certain amount of free product, and in most cases will also receive financial compensation which is either paid via a monthly salary or via a contest stipend. Though the athlete usually agrees to a set requirement or recommendation to provide social media posts for the company at regular intervals, the company pays the athlete for his or her trouble. Personal appearances and events are also part of the sponsored athlete agreement and clearly described in the written contract. The sponsored athlete is compensated for use of his or her likeness on advertising materials as well.

Obviously it is a far better deal to become an official sponsored athlete for a company. Otherwise, you are just providing free advertising and cheap labor in exchange for products which are sold at a significant markup from what they are manufactured at. If you post a selfie with product that somehow goes viral, the company will certainly love the boost, but I doubt you will ever see any type of compensation if you aren’t a sponsored athlete, which means you provided your likeness for free. The truth of the matter is that there are only a handful of athlete sponsorships to go around, with a massive surplus of athletes vying for those spots. The athletes who end up getting sponsorships stand out from the crowd in some way, or fit a brand’s look and philosophy so well that it makes sense to bring them on board to represent a brand. The rest of the athletes must navigate through all the companies out there to try to find an arrangement which benefits them in some way. Sometimes it is easy to sell a product, usually because the athlete enjoys using it so much that he or she doesn’t mind providing free advertising or labor.

Sometimes a supplement company will launch a contest which is based on social media posts. One company, which shall remain unnamed, launched a huge campaign this year that was patterned on this idea, and decided to award 5 of the entrants $10,000. Sure, that sounds like a good chunk of change, but if there were 8,000 entrants, then 7,995 walked away with nothing. At the end of the campaign, the company got tons of free advertising and all those hashtags they requested for “tracking” purposes also propelled their brand in a huge way. To be honest, this is a brilliant marketing tactic, but not the best move for the majority of athletes who participated. I have also seen companies launch contests in which entrants must purchase a product, then post on social media with hashtags to enter the contest. This is another form of free advertising for the company, a great way to generate sales, a brilliant means for them to boost exposure, and yet another way for athletes to be suckered into doing free advertising. I don’t see much harm in taking part in such a contest if you truly love a product and want to proclaim it, but just remember that it works wonders as an advertising tool for the company without any benefit for you.

One thing I will never advocate is purchasing products, even at a steep discount, while also representing a brand as one of its “sponsored” athletes. If you are asked to pay for a product while also providing free advertising on social media channels, run quickly in the other direction! Basically you are dealing with a company which doesn’t value you enough as an athlete to provide compensation for your advertising efforts. This isn’t the same as purchasing a product, finding out you like it, THEN posting something on social media which lets people know how much you like it. I know of several athletes who had done this, which sparked the attention of the company which manufactured the product, eventually leading to a sponsorship deal. But do not, I repeat, DO NOT PAY for products as a way to get false sponsorship for a company.

It isn’t a bad thing to work as an unpaid salesperson in the fitness industry as long as you know your place and value. Once your following builds, the smart thing to do is to leverage your visibility into getting an athlete sponsorship. The main thing is to make sure that you don’t get taken advantage of in the process.

Are You A Sponsored Athlete Or An Unpaid Salesperson?

Originally published on mensphysique.com on Wednesday, 12 November 2014

This was the most popular article I ever wrote for the site, getting over 2,700 likes.

SponsorshipSlide
http://www.rxmuscle.com/blogs/the-business-fitness-modeling-and-showbiz/11790-are-you-a-sponsored-athlete-or-an-unpaid-salesperson.html

Most sports supplement companies and other fitness related companies aggressively promote their products through athletes who can sing the praises of their benefits. Who could be better at describing the efficacy of a product and how it enhances training or recovery than an athlete who not only already uses those types of products, but someone who has a following and who can convince new customers to purchase from the company which they represent?

Here’s where things get problematic. The pool of bodybuilding and fitness athletes is pretty massive, and the waters are teeming with athletes who are anxious to get their so-called “big break”. As a result of this, savvy marketing teams from fitness related companies often sweep up these individuals because they are enthusiastic and can propel a brand’s exposure. All the company needs to do is to offer some free product to the athlete and provide instructions on how to use social media to get the word out that these products exist. Then the athletes post images of themselves holding or using products, and add affiliate codes so that any orders which are generated through that athlete’s post are credited to the athlete. This can be a great way for an athlete to make some extra money while competing or chasing down fitness related gigs and projects.

It is important to bear in mind that such athletes really aren’t sponsored, but are instead unpaid salespeople who provide free advertising and generate sales via social media posts which direct followers to product websites. Yes, they get commissions if they have affiliate codes, but such commissions are nothing to write home about unless someone is really blowing the roof off in sales. This is in stark contrast to a true athlete sponsorship, in which an athlete is paid to represent the brand as a brand ambassador.

The sponsored athlete is chosen for his or her physique, performance history and awards, facial good looks, charisma, enthusiasm, and often the size of his or her social media following. Usually a sponsored athlete signs a contract which stipulates that he or she will receive a certain amount of free product, and in most cases will also receive financial compensation which is either paid via a monthly salary or via a contest stipend. Though the athlete usually agrees to a set requirement or recommendation to provide social media posts for the company at regular intervals, the company pays the athlete for his or her trouble. Personal appearances and events are also part of the sponsored athlete agreement and clearly described in the written contract. The sponsored athlete is compensated for use of his or her likeness on advertising materials as well.

Obviously it is a far better deal to become an official sponsored athlete for a company. Otherwise, you are just providing free advertising and cheap labor in exchange for products which are sold at a significant markup from what they are manufactured at. If you post a selfie with product that somehow goes viral, the company will certainly love the boost, but I doubt you will ever see any type of compensation if you aren’t a sponsored athlete, which means you provided your likeness for free.

The truth of the matter is that there are only a handful of athlete sponsorships to go around, with a massive surplus of athletes vying for those spots. The athletes who end up getting sponsorships stand out from the crowd in some way, or fit a brand’s look and philosophy so well that it makes sense to bring them on board to represent a brand. The rest of the athletes must navigate through all the companies out there to try to find an arrangement which benefits them in some way. Sometimes it is easy to sell a product, usually because the athlete enjoys using it so much that he or she doesn’t mind providing free advertising or labor.

Sometimes a supplement company will launch a contest which is based on social media posts. One company, which shall remain unnamed, launched a huge campaign this year that was patterned on this idea, and decided to award 5 of the entrants $10,000. Sure, that sounds like a good chunk of change, but if there were 8,000 entrants, then 7,995 walked away with nothing. At the end of the campaign, the company got tons of free advertising and all those hashtags they requested for “tracking” purposes also propelled their brand in a huge way. To be honest, this is a brilliant marketing tactic, but not the best move for the majority of athletes who participated.

I have also seen companies launch contests in which entrants must purchase a product, then post on social media with hashtags to enter the contest. This is another form of free advertising for the company, a great way to generate sales, a brilliant means for them to boost exposure, and yet another way for athletes to be suckered into doing free advertising. I don’t see much harm in taking part in such a contest if you truly love a product and want to proclaim it, but just remember that it works wonders as an advertising tool for the company without any benefit for you.

One thing I will never advocate is purchasing products, even at a steep discount, while also representing a brand as one of its “sponsored” athletes. If you are asked to pay for a product while also providing free advertising on social media channels, run quickly in the other direction! Basically you are dealing with a company which doesn’t value you enough as an athlete to provide compensation for your advertising efforts. This isn’t the same as purchasing a product, finding out you like it, THEN posting something on social media which lets people know how much you like it. I know of several athletes who had done this, which sparked the attention of the company which manufactured the product, eventually leading to a sponsorship deal. But do not, I repeat, DO NOT PAY for products as a way to get false sponsorship for a company.

It isn’t a bad thing to work as an unpaid salesperson in the fitness industry as long as you know your place and value. Once your following builds, the smart thing to do is to leverage your visibility into getting an athlete sponsorship. The main thing is to make sure that you don’t get taken advantage of in the process.

Are You A Sponsored Athlete Or An Unpaid Salesperson?

Original post can be found here:

http://www.rxmuscle.com/blogs/the-business-fitness-modeling-and-showbiz/11790-are-you-a-sponsored-athlete-or-an-unpaid-salesperson.html

Are you an athlete
Most sports supplement companies and other fitness related companies aggressively promote their products through athletes who can sing the praises of their benefits. Who could be better at describing the efficacy of a product and how it enhances training or recovery than an athlete who not only already uses those types of products, but someone who has a following and who can convince new customers to purchase from the company which they represent?

Here’s where things get problematic. The pool of bodybuilding and fitness athletes is pretty massive, and the waters are teeming with athletes who are anxious to get their so-called “big break”. As a result of this, savvy marketing teams from fitness related companies often sweep up these individuals because they are enthusiastic and can propel a brand’s exposure. All the company needs to do is to offer some free product to the athlete and provide instructions on how to use social media to get the word out that these products exist. Then the athletes post images of themselves holding or using products, and add affiliate codes so that any orders which are generated through that athlete’s post are credited to the athlete. This can be a great way for an athlete to make some extra money while competing or chasing down fitness related gigs and projects.

It is important to bear in mind that such athletes really aren’t sponsored, but are instead unpaid salespeople who provide free advertising and generate sales via social media posts which direct followers to product websites. Yes, they get commissions if they have affiliate codes, but such commissions are nothing to write home about unless someone is really blowing the roof off in sales. This is in stark contrast to a true athlete sponsorship, in which an athlete is paid to represent the brand as a brand ambassador. The sponsored athlete is chosen for his or her physique, performance history and awards, facial good looks, charisma, enthusiasm, and often the size of his or her social media following. Usually a sponsored athlete signs a contract which stipulates that he or she will receive a certain amount of free product, and in most cases will also receive financial compensation which is either paid via a monthly salary or via a contest stipend. Though the athlete usually agrees to a set requirement or recommendation to provide social media posts for the company at regular intervals, the company pays the athlete for his or her trouble. Personal appearances and events are also part of the sponsored athlete agreement and clearly described in the written contract. The sponsored athlete is compensated for use of his or her likeness on advertising materials as well.

Obviously it is a far better deal to become an official sponsored athlete for a company. Otherwise, you are just providing free advertising and cheap labor in exchange for products which are sold at a significant markup from what they are manufactured at. If you post a selfie with product that somehow goes viral, the company will certainly love the boost, but I doubt you will ever see any type of compensation if you aren’t a sponsored athlete, which means you provided your likeness for free. The truth of the matter is that there are only a handful of athlete sponsorships to go around, with a massive surplus of athletes vying for those spots. The athletes who end up getting sponsorships stand out from the crowd in some way, or fit a brand’s look and philosophy so well that it makes sense to bring them on board to represent a brand. The rest of the athletes must navigate through all the companies out there to try to find an arrangement which benefits them in some way. Sometimes it is easy to sell a product, usually because the athlete enjoys using it so much that he or she doesn’t mind providing free advertising or labor.

Sometimes a supplement company will launch a contest which is based on social media posts. One company, which shall remain unnamed, launched a huge campaign this year that was patterned on this idea, and decided to award 5 of the entrants $10,000. Sure, that sounds like a good chunk of change, but if there were 8,000 entrants, then 7,995 walked away with nothing. At the end of the campaign, the company got tons of free advertising and all those hashtags they requested for “tracking” purposes also propelled their brand in a huge way. To be honest, this is a brilliant marketing tactic, but not the best move for the majority of athletes who participated. I have also seen companies launch contests in which entrants must purchase a product, then post on social media with hashtags to enter the contest. This is another form of free advertising for the company, a great way to generate sales, a brilliant means for them to boost exposure, and yet another way for athletes to be suckered into doing free advertising. I don’t see much harm in taking part in such a contest if you truly love a product and want to proclaim it, but just remember that it works wonders as an advertising tool for the company without any benefit for you.

One thing I will never advocate is purchasing products, even at a steep discount, while also representing a brand as one of its “sponsored” athletes. If you are asked to pay for a product while also providing free advertising on social media channels, run quickly in the other direction! Basically you are dealing with a company which doesn’t value you enough as an athlete to provide compensation for your advertising efforts. This isn’t the same as purchasing a product, finding out you like it, THEN posting something on social media which lets people know how much you like it. I know of several athletes who had done this, which sparked the attention of the company which manufactured the product, eventually leading to a sponsorship deal. But do not, I repeat, DO NOT PAY for products as a way to get false sponsorship for a company.

It isn’t a bad thing to work as an unpaid salesperson in the fitness industry as long as you know your place and value. Once your following builds, the smart thing to do is to leverage your visibility into getting an athlete sponsorship. The main thing is to make sure that you don’t get taken advantage of in the process.

Customer Service?

bad-serviceI went into a store today to make an exchange for products which I had purchased, and explained that I could not locate the receipt. The proprietor was rude and abrupt with me, responding to me with such derision that I came VERY close to telling him where to stick it and storming out of the store. However, I maintained a calm demeanor and continued to listen to his rant. He agreed to give me store credit for the items which was approximately 30% of what I had originally paid for the items, which I reluctantly agreed to. What bothered me was that I am sure he is quite accustomed to bartering in his homeland, but this is not something that is commonly practiced here in the United States. If I had the time to go to another store branch and deal with a nicer person, I would have, but I had to get this errand checked off my list.

I began asking him what he had in the store, and of course his store selection was a complete joke. He kept trying to sell me things I did not need, even when I showed him a LIST of items I was low on! I finally found one essential item which they had in stock (big surprise, it was the store brand), and when I asked what the price was, I almost fell over in shock. I flat out told him I could get that item (which was a BASIC item) online for a mere fraction of what he was charging. When I said that, I could see that he became immediately suspicious about my purchases, doubting whether I had truly purchased items from the store (YES, I had). I am not a liar and I don’t appreciate being accused of lying. His expression told me enough. Once again I wanted to walk out of that store.

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true...

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true…


I then asked him if he had a specific brand name product and he immediately tried to turn me to a product from a different brand which was not comparable to what I was asking about. He ARGUED with me, telling me that what he had in the store was the very same thing. I mentioned ingredients from both products to reveal the stark difference, but he persisted with his hard-sell attitude. It was very clear that he was accustomed to dealing with customers who didn’t know the first thing about the products he carried, and that he relied on feeding them convincing yet erroneous sales pitches to get them to spend a bundle of money on items they did not need.

One thing is for sure: the only way I would EVER step into that particular store is if I had an event there. In that scenario, I would be pleasant and would probably enjoy the look of confusion and embarrassment which would wash over the proprietor’s face. That would almost be worth the loss of money from the jacked up store credit I got from returning products I purchased there!