The Business of Sport: Building A Brand

By Carole Beckford

Athletes can no longer be satisfied with just displaying excellent performances in their respective sport-ing areas. In today’s world, they have to focus on building a brand – capturing the right opportunities at the right time and maximizing those opportunities for top earnings. Experts say that a professional athlete has an average lifespan of just ten years. A good brand can provide economic opportunities for a lifetime.

The world of sport is no longer just physical. Athletes now need a combination of brain, brawn, sex appeal and many other factors which create a complete lifestyle package. The athlete’s role as an ambassador and/or superstar has become a more meaningful expectation as the athlete is viewed as the hero. Athletes dominate the airwaves, television screens, big screens and massive billboards across the globe.

How then can an athlete build a valuable brand in this globally competitive $600 billion sporting industry? A few tips:

  • Be competitive on the field of play
  • Surround himself or herself with a knowledgeable team of professionals who will seek out the best opportunities
  • Pick a mentor – one who will guide him/ her in making better business decisions in preparation for retirement
  • Explore developing a diverse package to appeal to a wider cross-section of fans

Those points can best describe ‘The Business of Sport’ – taking sustainable steps to ensure that an athlete’s name is synonymous with talent and everything else positive to make a favourable overall public impression.