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Athlete Personal Branding; Values are important

Lucy Bowden is studying a Bachelor of Creative Industries and is not only an accomplished triathlete, but also a very talented photographer and blogger, contributing many inspiring and useful insights to the wonderful world of sport. In her latest blog, Lucy writes about Athlete Personal Branding and talks about the importance of your values and being able to articulate them in everything you do. Thanks for your contributions Lucy- and please keep them coming!

Athlete Personal Branding; Values are important

I first got introduced to the term personal branding back in 2015, whilst undertaking an Athlete Mentoring Program by founder of Next Level Elite Mentoring, Stewart McCully.

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding, isn’t it for the famous? No, regardless of your industry or professional status, your personal brand has the power to make or break all kinds of opportunities for advancement.

As Michael Stelzner explained, the process of personal branding involves finding your uniqueness, building a reputation for the things you want to be known for, and then allowing yourself to be known for them. The end goal, ultimately, is to create and express a message that can be your asset.

Creating a personal brand that you are proud of starts with understanding your values, what you appreciate in yourself and in others. As Jo Gifford explains, your values define the way you act, behave, interact and what you stand for. Taking charge and being clear on them affects, both your career and personal life.

Being able to articulate your values in everything that you do, both online and offline is the key to mastering your personal brand.

The Importance of Personal Branding

For an athlete, personal branding helps establish credibility with your audience, connect and communicate with your fans, attract potential sponsors, and more, as Paul Jackiewicz discusses.

Building a strong personal brand within sport will help maintain your presence long after your sporting career. How do you want your sponsors, peers and fans to remember you?

Everyone is a brand. Everyone has something they want to portray and be known for. As Jim Joseph from Entrepreneur Asia Pacific explains, when you interact with others, in essence, what you offer them is your brand.

“How they react either builds up that brand or detracts from it.” Entrepreneur Asia Pacific.

Keep in mind, not everyone is going to be interested in you and what you are achieving. Therefore, knowing your target market, who you want to interact with, inspire and those who hold similar values to you should be considered.

Take for example Oprah Winfrey, as Forbes explains, she is continuously building equity within her brand. Oprah does this by sticking to her core competency; being true to herself and challenging viewers to live their best lives possible.

Why All the Effort?

Building a strong personal brand, as discussed above, helps create character and brings a part of you to the lives of others near and far. As Paul Jackiewicz explains, it helps to bring awareness of your brand, creating further opportunities with sporting teams and brands, leading to life changing sporting contracts.

Creating a personal brand with the intentions to enhance your athletic career and gain attention from potential sponsors, it is important to maintain a well rounded, honest personal brand pre, during and post a sponsorship proposal.

A survey conducted in 2018 by CareerBuilder discusses 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees. Although this survey was conducted about employers and employees, it translates to companies looking for athletes to sponsor.

“People don’t do business with companies; they do business with people they like” Brand Yourself

Similar to the general public applying for jobs, an athlete needs to have the right image on social media that resonates with the brand you are approaching for sponsorship.

David Ancor explains, sponsorships are about credibility and creating a relationship, the importance of your public image cannot be emphasised enough.

Brands are looking for ways to build trust and relationships with the community. Growth and strengthening the brand is at the forefront of any company. Correctly evaluating an athlete approaching them is necessary to maintain the correct image.

Creating Your Personal Brand Online

It is important to promote yourself, but also showcase who you are which will eventually be your personal brand, defining how your audience perceive you.

As discussed by GRIN, a few extra pointers to help brand yourself online:

  • Define your branding goals – what is your purpose?
  • Showcase what you stand for, this is what you’ll be recognised and remembered for. What values would you like to portray, your mission and the vision message you’d like to engage with your audience.
  • Consistency, be consistent in tone, image and your message. You will build a much more organic and reputable brand if these are kept consistent throughout

Personal branding done right has a huge positive effect on yourself as a person, your squad and your current and future sporting career. How is your social media platform looking? How are you promoting yourself online?

Thanks for being here,
LB x

Lucy Bowden Photography

Lucy Bowden