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AJ Hewish, November 6 2021

$500 for a Burger

What is an Athlete’s Post Worth?

Source: white whale mktg

What a time to be alive. The leaves are changing. Sun is shining and collegiate athletes in the NCAA are now eligible to profit off of their NIL. Amazing. But, before we go down the lane of candy canes and rainbows (we’ll get there soon don’t worry) we want to provide some examples and expert opinions so you don’t undervalue your own brand.

Arby’s, a fast-food chain restaurant in the USA, recently came out with a program for D1 running-backs where if you made a post saying “Tonight, I’m getting Arby’s!” they pay you $500. Sounds like a deal the average person would say ya take the money, but that’s when the real question comes in: what is an Athlete’s post worth? We decided to break this down on the latest episode of the wwm pod, for greater detail watch the podcast. In the breakdown, we used 3 RBs featured in the Arby’s campaign: Kyren Williams of Notre Dame, Max Borghi of Washington State, and TreVeyon Henderson of Ohio State, and we looked at what their average social value for an Instagram post was vs the social value of their Arby’s post.

Drum-roll, please…

All three of these athletes' posts pertaining to Arby’s derived more than the $500 they received from Arby’s. Shocker? Nope. And, neither is this: each athlete’s average compared to their Arby’s post dropped SIGNIFICANTLY! One RBs average was about $6500 a post, and his “Tonight, I’m getting Arby’s” post fetched him $1500 in value.

So, what does this mean? First, it is extremely important for athletes and their agents to understand their worth. That’s a major key and it furthers the point, why you shouldn’t take marketing advice from someone who has never done marketing before. Would you let your barber swap chairs with your dentist? Doubtful. Second, what’s your brand? Are you an outdoors person? Fitness? Food? Lifestyle? Etc. Who are you? If I visit your Instagram and I can’t figure out who you are, something is wrong. Your social media should tell a story that the viewer can read in 5 seconds or less.

This all comes back to the original discussion: how much is an athlete's post worth? Well in this case, if you’re a D1 RB Arby’s got the better of you this time around. They charged you far less than your worth and it devalued your brand, as your audience clearly showed you.

“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.” -George W. Bush

Contact white whale mktg, you won’t get fooled again.

Published: October 1st, 2021 - Issue 9 of The Sport Marketeer

Written by

AJ Hewish

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