02/10/20: REP1 breaks down brand building for the modern athlete

 

 

Monday February 10, 2020

Looking at life outside the ballpark, athlete agency Rep 1 is coming off of its third annual REP 1 Athlete Summit, with the goal of informing, educating, and preparing clients for their lives outside the lines. This year’s attendees included football and baseball athletes such as James Connor, Cooper Kupp, Chidobe Awuzie, Andre Dillard, Eloy Jimenez, Rafael Devers, Aristides Aquino, and Diego Castillo, among the others. Each day of this year’s event focused on a specific theme, beginning on day one with a focus on business, led by keynote speaker Baron Davis On day two, clients attended the MacDill Airforce Base, where programming concentrated on mental health and leadership. Day three serves up masterclasses with partners that included Spotify, Chef David Williams and Rose & Arrow Estate, in addition to social activities, like the first annual REP 1 Sports Softball game, puppy yoga and more. Major sponsors included; Royal Bank of Canada, City National Bank, Entrepreneur Inc, Meister Seeling & Fein LLP, Crowe Soberman, Quest Nutrition, MLB Network, and more

Cynopsis caught up Arielle Moyal, Director of Marketing, REP1 Baseball to discuss the event, building an athlete’s brand and the agency’s approach.

Moyal on opportunities: The REP1 family is fortunate to work with a number of the most talented and influential athletes across professional football and baseball. As a client, focusing on your sport is priority number one. REP1 Sports makes sure clients have the tools to be the best at what they do. However, we also believe in demonstrating ways athletes can excel during and long after playing careers. Their opportunity as a professional athlete to find fulfillment and purpose beyond the game is limitless if they establish the right building blocks and dedicate themselves to this pursuit. Achieving success beyond the game is something we want clients to always be thinking about and REP1 finds creative ways to get that message across. Clients should focus on how on-field success is matched by their commitment to their families and communities, and the legacy each of them will leave long after their playing career. Those that seize the opportunities we present them will be better off in the long run.

On the key to building a brand: Authenticity. The more sports marketing evolves, the more brands are seeking relationships that feel honest. As the sports industry changes, the line between athlete, endorser, creator, and media personality continues to blur. Consumers tend to see right through fake story-telling, which can ultimately hurt the image of the brand and the athlete talent. I believe in telling clients that it’s not about driving in the same lanes as everyone else, it’s about forging your own road. What makes you unique. What drives you outside your sport. What interests you. What inspires you to be better. Seek alignments with brands and businesses that have similar interests, missions and values. Be thoughtful on social media but be yourself. Decide on a few pieces that define you and stick to initiatives that align with those pieces. Do these things and you’ll resonate the most with consumers.

On challenges: Athlete branding is always evolving. In the past, you noticed that athlete talent only got air time if they were at the top of their sport. Olympic winners. Michael Jordan. Etc. Overtime, you’ve watched sports stories change; people absolutely want to see their favorite athletes perform at the top but they also value behind-the-scenes content to feel like they are a part of their sports stars’ lives. The trend in marketing and PR the last five or six years has been leaning towards finding talent that are interesting on their own. Social media has played a big part of this awareness as well; athletes are able to control their own messages with fans instead of relying on someone to speak for them. So, as a marketer, I’m asking myself “how do we evolve?” If my clients are ahead of new trends, they’ll be better off. Pushing boundaries presents it’s own set of challenges, but if done right, can be extremely worthwhile.

On the Summit: While we don’t expect clients to walk away retaining everything we presented, we do believe each and every one of them should feel inspired by something we introduced during the program. If I had to list the top takeaways I wish our athletes walked away with, they would be the following:
· It’s never too late to start. There is a path to fulfillment beyond the game no matter what phase you are in. Investing now in your future and putting effort into how to use your influence should be in the front of your mind.
Preparation is everything, inside and outside the lines. Know your stuff before you strap on the pads in boardroom.
Success is not a singular action; it’s about teamwork and reliance on other people. But your inner circle is critical to your success and your happiness. Agents, financial advisors, and the people you choose to surround yourself with will mean everything.
Creative passions are important. Figure out what lights your fire. Whether it’s music, film, food, or another outlet, find something to hone your skills and ease your creative mind.
No matter how tough the task, there is an answer.

PROGRAMMING

ESPN is going long with Jessica Mendoza, signing the analyst to a multi-year extension. As part of a new role with a collection of new assignments, she will become the first woman to serve as a solo analyst for a national package of Major League Baseball game telecasts, including appearances on ESPN’s season-opening coverage, weeknight games and holiday baseball. Mendoza will also become the first woman to serve as a World Series game analyst on national radio by joining ESPN Radio’s broadcast team this season, as well as appear regularly on SportsCenter, Get Up, First Take, Baseball Tonight and other news and information programming. Mendoza will also continue to serve as the lead analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s College World Series this summer.

ESPN also announced that it had locked in Marc Kestecher to a multi-year extension. Kestecher will continue his role with ESPN Radio as lead play-by-play voice for the NBA in addition to calling a full slate of NFL, college football and college basketball games.

NBC Sports unveiled its plans for a 30th season broadcasting Notre Dame Football, anchored by three primetime games this fall on NBC facing Clemson (Nov. 7), Wisconsin (Oct. 3), and Stanford (Oct. 10). The Notre Dame on NBC season kicks off on Sept. 12, when the Fighting Irish host Arkansas at 2:30p, followed a week later by Notre Dame will hosting Western Michigan at 2:30p.

College GameDay Covered by State Farm hits East Lansing, Mich., on Saturday, Feb. 15, ahead of the Maryland/Michigan State clash. Host Rece Davis and analysts Jay Bilas, LaPhonso Ellis and Seth Greenberg will be live from Breslin Student Events Center, beginning at 11a on ESPN.

The Premier League is reportedly in the midst of preparing an OTT offering. The Sun writs that new CEO Richard Masters noted that the platform could be ready for testing as early as 2022, stating that “During the last [rights bidding] process [for the 2019-22 seasons] we spent quite a lot of time and invested a lot of resources in building our expertise and capacity in ‘direct-to-consumer’” and noting that “Eventually the Premier League will move to a mix of direct-to-consumer and [traditional] media rights sales.”

Judging starts Friday! Final days to enter the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards and there are still a few spots left on our judging panel. Do you know a creative superstar qualified to join our panel of industry experts? Click here to nominate yourself or a colleague to judge.

The Los Angeles Chargers and CBS 2 Los Angeles announced a multi-year broadcast partnership that makes CBS 2 the Official Preseason Television Home of the Los Angeles Chargers as well as a year-round media partner. CBS 2 will have exclusive rights to over-the-air English language broadcasts of all Chargers preseason home and away games – excluding games nationally televised by a National Football League national television partner other than CBS – throughout the Los Angeles market. Jim Hill will lead the station’s coverage of the Chargers during CBS 2 newscasts and weekend editions of “Sports Central.”

Meanwhile, NBC Sports Bay Area and the San Francisco Giants announced “SplitKast,” a first-of-its-kind MLB broadcast. Color commentator Mike Krukow will join Duane Kuiper for 22 N.L. West road games (during the 2020 MLB season via live remote from the NBC Sports Bay Area studios in San Francisco. He will provide commentary as Kuiper calls the game from the stadium’s broadcast booth. “SplitKast” will debut on the Giants season opener on March 26.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

With the Daytona 500 revving up this weekend, NASCAR and K&N Engineering announced a multi-year extension that will maintain the company’s designation as the “Official Performance Filter of NASCAR.” The company will maintain its contingency sponsorship and decal program within the NASCAR Cup Series through 2021 and will evolve its support of grassroots racing by becoming an Official Partner as well as a contingency sponsor within the ARCA Menards Series.

Meanwhile, for the 12th consecutive season, Richard Petty Motorsports and the U.S. Air Force will again team up for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, continuing their partnership with the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE driven by Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. “The U.S. Air Force is excited to continue its partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. The partnership provides a strategic platform to generate public awareness about the U.S. Air Force’s core values and mission,” Major Ross McKnight, Chief, Air Force National Events Branch at Air Force Recruiting Service, said.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Continuing the theme, NASCAR and Penn Interactive entered into a new multi-year partnership that designates Penn National an authorized gaming operator of NASCAR in the United States. The partnership marks Penn National’s first with a professional sports league and will center around a brand new, free-to-play, mobile game titled NASCAR Finish Line, which offers users the chance to win a $50,000 jackpot every race. In addition, NASCAR and Penn National have extended their long-standing race title sponsorship for the “Hollywood Casino 400” at Kansas Speedway through 2026.

The XFL announced a partnership with FOX Bet that makes the mobile sports betting brand an authorized gaming operator of the league. FOX Bet will promote and offer XFL-centric betting markets to its customers and create a special FOX Sports Super 6 game for each week of the XFL’s 10-week regular season. As part of the agreement, FOX Bet has the right to use the XFL’s official data feed, league marks, team logos, player and coach likeness and certain league content across its FOX Bet sports betting app and FOX Sports Super 6 free-to-play game.

Sportradar also announced a partnership with the XFL, and will provide fans and partners quick access to data, statistics and league information. As an official sports data partner of the XFL, Sportradar offers a play-by-play data feed specifically designed for media usage, including websites, apps and digital platforms like fantasy sports. This ensures that anyone following XFL games and engaging with league content has access to the most up-to-date data and statistics.

ATP saw its digital media channels draw record-setting engagement with tennis fans in January, with interactions on ATP social media channels hitting an all-time high in the month, with record monthly interactions on Facebook (2.39m) and Instagram (11.5m); while a total of 192m video views were recorded across ATP and TennisTV social media channels.

ESPORTS

Envy Gaming announced a season long partnership with Greyhound. The deal will see Greyhound provide exclusive intercity bus transportation onboard its fleet to Envy’s professional esports teams during the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League matches played in North Texas in 2020. “When looking at the esports industry, we realized that our brands align in many ways: modernizing entertainment, utilizing new technologies, and delivering a product that’s accessible and convenient to the greatest number of people,” said Lourdes Brown, Director of Marketing at Greyhound. “We’re proud to be partnering with Envy Gaming and excited to provide fans across North America a better, more affordable travel option to see their favorite teams this season.”

Omen by HP unveiled a partnership with esports host Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere, with multiple collaborations in the works. “We are thrilled to announce we’re teaming up with celebrated League esports host @sjokz!” the company Tweeted. “We’re planning some pretty snazzy collaborations this year, so follow her and stay tuned…”

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On This Day
1992: Bonnie Blair wins gold for the USA in the Winter Olympics.

In the Know
How long is the actual Olympic oval track in short track speed skating? (Note: not the length of the race.) (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Athlete Edson Arantes do Nascimento is best known by what name? Answer: Pele. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Barry Katz-NEP/NY; Brian Ricco-MultiVision Media, Inc./NY; Sean Walker-OMG/NY; Lino Garcia-Unanimo Deportes/Miami; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; James J. Pepe-Villain Barbecue/Bethlehem; Peter Lasser-Lasser Productions/Atlanta; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; John KuklaKWFW/KDFI/Dallas; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; David Hauptman/Denver; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

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