Working With Elite Athletes (Part 1): Companies


Our four part series covers how businesses, schools, sports clubs and fans can best engage with sports stars.

In Part 1, we look at how companies can get bang for buck by partnering with athletes.

Whether an established corporate or an emerging startup, businesses can use sports stars past and present to grow their brands.

Many business leaders, event and marketing coordinators have preconceived ideas about the budgets required to book an elite athlete and what type of engagements are possible.

However, elite athletes are actively seeking more opportunities to develop skills outside of sport, grow their network and gain extra revenue.

Here’s five different ways for companies to engage elite athletes.

1. Brand ambassador

A well-executed partnership with an elite athlete can take a brand to new levels of growth. Big brands such as Nike, Swisse and many others have turned their businesses into global empires on the back of high profile athlete deals. However, even startups and small businesses can thrive on the back of a smart athlete ambassador deal.

Athletes bring credibility and influence, and should have an alignment of values with their brand partner.

Companies put together custom deals for their ambassador based on their needs. Typically, it can include use of the athlete’s image in marketing material and promotion, social media promotion, in person appearances and more. You can find out more about putting together the ultimate ambassador deal here.

2. Social media campaign

Companies use athletes to promote their brand or products through their social networks, typically Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Many sports stars build a large following on social media, and because their followers are often fans, the audience is usually high engaged with the athlete’s content.

PickStar has worked with large brands who have used sports stars for unique campaigns and engagements. As an example, SportBet has booked retired athletes for ‘Twitter takeovers’, viral videos, Facebook Live events and more.

It’s not just limited to the big name companies.

New drink brand, Mojo Beverages (Organic & Raw), uses PickStar to engage elite athletes across all sports and all locations in Australia to try their kombucha product and post about their experience on Instagram in an ongoing basis.

3. Guest speaker


Elite athletes are sought after as guest speakers for their insights on leadership, team dynamics, motivation, resilience and their entertaining stories.

Elite athletes understand high performance and how to get the best out of themselves, and many have developed their insights into keynote speeches that inspire business leaders and their staff.

Some top athlete keynotes are featured here.

4. Leadership / team building workshop

A speech from an athlete is great, but a workshop is even more engaging. Numerous sports stars have developed workshops around key topics, such as leadership and team dynamics, and actively work with corporate teams to help them excel in these areas.

A workshop creates a much more hands on environment where management and staff can talk about issues and challenges specific to their business and get personalised feedback. It’s a rewarding and illuminating experience.

AFL legend Matthew Pavlich recently hosted a workshop with accounting firm BDO.

5. Client experience

How do you build amazing client relationships? You go further than your competitors, not only delivering a great service or product but also create an experience they’ll never forget.

For example, regular Rolex customers are not usually the type of people to be blown away by the average client gift or reward. So the famed watch company found out that one of their top buyers was a big rugby fan, and organised a special lunch with his favourite player through PickStar.

In a world where we have access to more material things than ever before, and digital continues to dominate our lives, personal and unforgettable experiences are more important than ever before.

So, how does an elite athlete decide whether they want to work with you?

Your budget is just one consideration among other factors including location, availability and passion. Read more.

Read Part 2 - How schools can work with sports stars.

Read Part 3 - How sports clubs can work with sports stars.

Read Part 4: How fans can work with sports stars

Interested in working with a sports star? PickStar is Australia’s largest marketplace to connect with elite athletes past and present for any kind of commercial opportunity.

Choose from 1000+ sports stars, any budget, any location. Find out more.


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