• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

Recipe for Success

  • While Olympians have the momentum of the games behind them, they should be aggressive in seeking sponsorships, one expert said.
  • Athletes should also look for brands that align with their personality and values, another suggested.
Photo: Mandi Wright-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks

Steveson had already signed his deal with Kill Cliff before winning gold. He’s now part of the energy drink company’s “Fight Club,” a group of wrestlers who endorse the product. 

Between Steveson’s athletic prowess — he had already won an NCAA championship — and his personal story, he “was really a perfect fit to be in the Fight Club,” CMO and ESPN Sport Science Creator and Host John Brenkus told FOS. 

How can other athletes capitalize on their Olympic fame right now?

Full-Court Press

Olympians experience the height of coverage between about two months before the Olympics to one month after, Ishveen Anand, founder and CEO of sponsorship marketplace OpenSponsorship, told FOS.

During the Games, Lee experienced a 511% increase in Instagram followers and now has about 1.5 million, according to the platform. Gymnastics team silver medalist Jordan Chiles, who will join a UCLA team with projected value of over $1 million, experienced a 119% increase, and now boasts about 444,000 followers.

Athletes should take advantage of this golden window of opportunity to be aggressive with locking down deals, Anand said. Brands are looking for Olympians to partner with, at least on her platform. “There’s only a small part of athletes who can sit back and relax,” she said.

“Be proactive in getting sponsorship right now.” 

Brands’ Wish List

While racking up medals obviously helps, hardware isn’t necessarily the most important thing to brands.

“I think we live in a time where the whole picture is more important than a single snapshot of that one moment,” Brenkus said. “I feel like someone who values what they stand for, how they conduct themselves, their character, is far more important than any one accolade.”

Right now, brands are looking for athletes who align with their values and have an audience interested in their products. Kill Cliff, for example, was founded by a former Navy SEAL, Brenkus said, so making sure an athlete shares its values is paramount. 

Plus, the nearly 300,000 people who follow Steveson on Instagram would presumably be the audience interested in the Fight Club and Kill Cliff’s product, Brenkus explained. It’s much more useful for a brand like this to partner with a wrestler than with a Power 5 quarterback.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Will Caitlin Clark Restore Olympics to TV Ratings Gold?

‘Clark is a one-person Dream Team,’ says one marketing expert.

‘Nothing Is Off the Table’: New AAC Commissioner Isn’t Afraid of the Controversial Ideas

Tim Pernetti told reporters he’s specifically interested in private equity—and didn’t rule out athlete employment or unionization models.

Wrestler Says He Was Offered $300K to Throw Match, Calls Judges ‘Corrupt’

Frank Chamizo said the offer was made the morning of the match.
Noah Lyles

Money for Medals: Olympics Prize Payout Signals New Era for Athlete Compensation

Industry leaders continue to recognize changing factors across sports.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Inside the Most-Hyped WNBA Draft in History


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

Deion Sanders: NFL Teams Manipulate Draft Positions

Coach Prime joined ‘Front Office Sports Today’ to discuss the state of college football.
April 9, 2024

John Calipari’s Kentucky Exit Is As Slow and Awkward As a Dog in a Stroller

Calipari steps away from Kentucky with the Arkansas deal still unofficial.
April 10, 2024

Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer Retires With ACC Move Looming

She set the all-time coaching record with 1,216 wins.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 9, 2024

Simultaneous Final Fours: An Untenable Logistical Conundrum

The women’s Final Four has gotten much too big to take place at the exact same time—in a different location—as its men’s counterpart.
April 8, 2024

With Back-To-Back Titles, UConn Proves Basketball Is About More Than Power

Unlike in FBS football, a non-Power 5 basketball school can dominate.
April 8, 2024

South Carolina’s Title Win Smashes Ratings Records in Caitlin Clark’s Finale

The NCAA title game became the most-watched women’s college basketball game.
April 8, 2024

NAIA Votes to Ban Transgender Athletes From Women’s Sports

Could the NCAA follow the NAIA in its transgender women ban?