PR for Top Athletes

Public Relations, Social Media, Branding

PR for Top Athletes
Let it be known that the really great athletes sometimes don’t do so well in the public eye away from their field. It’s not just about playing the game better than almost anyone else, no matter what the game. It’s also about keeping a good reputation, knowing how to speak and be understood while sounding like there has been a reasonable amount of education and culture included in life. On top of that, the best of the best learn about and use PR, whether on their own or with professionals guiding them. So who represents some of the top athletes in the world, past and present, and what are their strategies. Let’s look at three.

Michael Jordan
Here’s a guy who knows how to use what he has and amplify it beyond belief. On the court, he was probably the best player of his era, but his last official games happened in 2003 – 13 years ago. Recent estimates have him earning $80 million from endorsement deals. Guess what, a professional athlete no matter how lucky he is, may have as much as 20 years or so to get paid for his game. Endorsement deals are all about the PR, selling products because what you’ve accomplished makes you an icon.

To sell products, like the famous Nike Air Jordan sneakers – or, let’s face it, he still looks great in what he wears for Hanes in their commercials means more than just athletic achievements. It’s also looking good in print, in video interviews, and keeping a clean rep. Working hard to get and keep endorsements for “his Airness” are Athlete Promotions, a Sports Celebrity Booking Agency. Don’t forget, he also does a great deal of charity and non-profit work making the job of his publicists even easier.

Michael Phelps
Phelps is arguably, the greatest athlete of all time. During his 16 years in competitive swimming, he didn’t just dominate the sport, he owned it – hook, line, and swimmer. The man, at times barely older than a boy, won 22 Olympic Medals – 18 of them gold and 11 of those gold medals were in individual heats. He also set 39 World Records. You cannot even really compare him and Michael Jordan, since Jordan always had a team to back him up on the court.
Still, with all of that accomplishment and accolades, do you see him on every product connected to success or even water sports? No. Why, because not long after his final Olympics, a picture made its way onto the internet – Michael Phelps smoking a bong. And there went all the endorsement deals. At the time he was about 25 and let’s face it, a picture like that for most might not be a big deal, but the bigger your name becomes, the easier it is to crash and burn. That’s what happened with Michael Phelps. At least, not yet. The world loves a good comeback, and at 31, he’s still in fighting shape. We’ll see if the magic returns when he competes in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

LeBron James
King James is rapidly filling those large Air Jordan shoes for today’s game. LeBron has learned a lot over time – improving his game on the court as well as his PR game. He’s had some great advice, and he’s also made choices that boost his career, others’ careers, the city of Cleveland, or wherever he’s been in the past. James touts his claims of being the best, but he’s willing to bring other athletes a seat at the head table and share his gains with various charitable causes. Athlete represents LeBron.

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Business & Marketing Tips: PR for Top Athletes
PR for Top Athletes
Public Relations, Social Media, Branding
Business & Marketing Tips
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