When it comes to reaching a diverse group of audiences, few forums offer the universal appeal and built-in advertising command of college sports. Historically, talented athletes lending star power to the collective $1 billion industry have been barred from financially benefiting from NCAA team participation. That all changed a few weeks ago – and it could soon mean big opportunities for your company’s PR campaigns.
Following decades of pressure and questions surrounding if and how to compensate college athletes, the NCAA Board of Governors voted to allow athletes to be paid for the use of their names, images, and likenesses. While they still can’t collect a paycheck from the collegiate institution they play for, the ruling unleashes boundless opportunities for college athletes to cash in. And you better bet these transactions will be mutually beneficial: Organizations ready to partner with college athletes in this new capacity are poised to tap into a publicity gold mine.
This ruling frees individuals and companies to leverage the platform of these household names, and the outcomes will have a game-changing effect on business objectives. Most significantly, such a partnership offers companies an instant credibility factor that they might have struggled to achieve through previous PR tactics. Now, anything is possible. From a local perspective, partnering with the most recognizable athletes from your region on event appearances, promotions, or marketing initiatives quickly cements your brand with that of the athlete’s – which is already a “winning” one in the customer’s mind.
Companies of all sizes should think seriously about how utilizing a college athlete’s name, image, and likeness might enhance their current PR and marketing plans. We recommend starting by working with multiple athletes over an initial period of time, identifying which campaigns best align with your target audiences. From there, long-term partnerships might make sense to explore as a significant piece of your annual PR plan. No matter what route you consider, PIVOT PR would love to help you create a strategy that fits your unique needs – and is a slam dunk with your customers.