How One Campaign Can Change Your Business

In 1994, inventor and home electronics manufacturer Michael Boehm created a prototype for an invention he believed would revolutionize the grilling game. Originally titled the “Short Order Grill,” this angled cooking device simultaneously seared both sides of a piece of meat while allowing excess fats and oils to drain off of the cooking surface. The only problem: Boehm had no strategy to promote it.

On a hunch, Boehm used his network to send his prototype to a famous heavyweight boxing champion who had a history of successful brand ambassadorships. But the former boxer wasn’t interested in the campaign and tossed the prototype aside. Several months later, his wife discovered the device in their house and cooked him one of the leanest, juiciest burgers he had ever had in his life with the grill. He was instantly hooked. Thus, the George Foreman Grill, one of the best-selling infomercial products of all time, was born.

The George Foreman story represents one of the largest NIL deals in history, with the former boxing champion making $137.5 million on the deal. It serves as one of the most notable case studies for successful marketing campaigns. Just five years after the initial signing of the deal, the George Foreman Grill had transformed itself into a household name and has sold close to 100 million grills to date. If that prototype hadn’t reached the right hands at the right time, this success would never have been possible.

Today, the possibilities for successful social marketing campaigns are endless. Thanks to the accessibility of social media, it has never been easier to reach a wide network of new customers and followers. Successful partnerships between athletes and brands—whether or not they involve an industry-changing home appliance invention—are transforming lives and businesses every day.

These mutually beneficial relationships provide stunning results not just to the companies earning exposure for their brand, but to the students and professionals building their athlete personal branding as well. But it’s easy to get lost when searching for the right campaign that will benefit both a brand and an athlete—So how do you know which campaigns will elevate your business to revolutionary success? Here are some of the ways the right social marketing campaigns can elevate your brand, along with best practices to follow when navigating this revolutionary tool for your business.

For Brands:
Influencer marketing is an incredible tool for creating positive, lasting impressions of your brand, and it’s here to stay. By securing third-party endorsements for your business, you’ll be able to boost the reliability and credibility of your brand. In fact, 63% of customers aged 18-34 years-old trust what an influencer has to say about a company more than what the company has to say about themselves. As a result, influencers’ ability to relate and resonate with their audience often drives much better results in marketing campaigns.

Engaging in campaigns with athletes can also help companies hit several key metrics like reach, engagement, and marketing ROI. By identifying and measuring the metrics that matter, successful marketing campaigns can help you achieve monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals. Not to mention the boost in buy-in from key stakeholders in your company thanks to the impressive results generated from your marketing efforts.

For Athletes:
Securing the right endorsement with a brand can help you elevate your status from a micro-influencer to a macro-influencer as you amass new followers from your campaigns. It will help you to build your reputation in the athletic industry and beyond, and starting early on in your career will help maximize how much money you could be making with your deals. Long-term relationships with sponsors not only make your voice more credible and authentic, but the leads generated from long-term campaigns are often higher quality and more involved than short-term campaigns. The longer you build a relationship with a business, the more meaningful and high-value that relationship in the long run will be.

Plus, brand deals are a great way to earn money! You’ve worked hard for your accomplishments and deserve to see that hard work pay off. For college athletes, the recent NCAA changes in NIL legislation make monetary compensation a new opportunity for college athletes to explore. The ability to profit off of your name, image, and likeness has changed the game for college athletes building their personal brand. Each campaign adds visibility to your persona, extending your personal brand’s reach and allowing you to amass new followers. One social media influencer audit even found that athletes could be making $40 per sponsored post for every 10,000 followers!

Helpful Do’s and Don’ts for Brands and Athletes:

For Brands:

Do your research on the athlete to make sure they align with your brand values and would accurately represent your product or service

Do set benchmarks for success throughout the duration of your campaign so you can come back and assess what generated the best results.

Don’t get blindsided by follower count. You want your partnership to hit your target audience, and while it may be tempting to endorse an athlete with the highest follower count, remember that quality of audience matters just as much as quantity.

Do Set up your Icon Source account now to start getting connected with athletes that align with your brand!

For Athletes:

Don’t just measure value by which deal pays the best—take other factors into account. Looking at factors like company values and whether that brand is interested in building a long-term relationship with you will enrich your partnership in the long run.

Do think about a business’s goals and objectives when you’re reaching out to brands. If you’re able to sell yourself along the lines of what positive impact you’ll be able to provide for the business, you’ll make a much bigger impression on them.

Do use a platform like Icon Source to easily find brands that would love to work with athletes like you!

Conclusion
You don’t need to have a prototype for a revolutionary household invention in order to secure a successful partnership. You don’t need to be a world-champion Olympic medalist to make an impact on your followers and elevate your personal brand (hint – micro-influencers are still influential too). George Foreman originally turned down the deal with Short Order Grills because the up-and-coming appliance couldn’t offer much financial compensation. But paired with George’s love of grilling out, his passion for healthy eating, and the relationship Boehm was willing to offer, the partnership flourished.

All it takes is the right campaign at the right time to drive traffic to your business, grow sales, and change futures for the better.
Drew Butler

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