Money Smart Athlete Blog

How the Money Smart Athlete can use athletic performance towards financial success

By Constantinos Massonos, Contributor

Success in an athlete’s career can come in many forms; winning a league title with a club, breaking a personal record or winning an Olympic medal. In addition to a big shot of dopamine, success will also result in a huge amount of free, ongoing exposure through local and international TV, newspapers and magazines, and sports and pop culture websites. 

Financial success, on the other hand, comes as a result of hard work and the ability to manage athletic success and incorporate it into a personal brand building plan. Great athletes, such as famous footballer David Beckham, have managed to develop and commercially exploit their athletic brand by implementing well-designed strategies, which allowed them to stay in the spotlight for a lot longer than what their infield appearances would allow them to.

When developing a plan for building an athlete’s brand, the three main components that make up the brand should be thoroughly evaluated: athletic performance, attractive appearance and marketable lifestyle. Athletic performance incorporates all the features of an athlete related to his infield performance and in most of the cases, it’s the reason why sports fans will decide to learn more and follow an athlete. The features that make up an athlete’s athletic performance can be altered and aligned to the goals of a brand building strategy:

An athlete’s level of athletic expertise refers to his or her level of sporting performance defined in objective terms. It can differ substantially among athletes and top athletes, train and practice for many years to achieve an expert status. Athletes such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Michael Jordan and Cristiano Ronaldo are considered to be at a top level of athletic expertise in their respective sport.

The playing style or competition style of an athlete can separate him or her from the lot. Magic Johnson’s passing style in basketball, Rene Higuita’s Scorpion kick and dribbling in football and NFL Linebacker Dick Butkus’ aggressiveness are great examples of a unique competition style.

Sportsmanship, or how an athlete approaches the game in terms of fairness, ethics and respect for the game and the opponent can be a differentiating factor for athletes. Not a lot of athletes can take the title of a “gentleman”, but a few of them exist, like tennis player Roger Federer and soccer player Andrea Pirlo whose sportsmanship is considered to be of the highest standard.

An athlete’s competitive relationship, or rivalry, with other athletes, attracts the attention of the fans. Famous rivalries such as Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson in basketball, John McEnroe vs Bjorn Borg in tennis, Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazer in boxing, Diego Maradona vs Pele in soccer, Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady in football are just some examples of rivalries that have survived in time and still define the athletes involved.

Every athlete knows that you can’t play a game without a plan and building an athlete’s brand is no different. By finely adjusting the components that make up athletic performance and their brand, athletes can monetize and massively profit from quantifying the influence they have on their fanbase. For assistance on preparing your brand building plan, you may contact us at [email protected].