The Future of Endorsements

I recently applied for a business development internship with opendorse. It’s a tech startup in Lincoln, NE(Silicon Prairie). They are a micro-endorsement platform that literally lets athletes sign an endorsement deal from their phone, in 6 minutes or less. I was asked to work on a project, and to make a blog about the sports endorsement history, and to create a blog. This was really fun for me, and I would like to pass along some insight and information about the industry itself, and golf in general.

The New Generation of Golf: the Nightmare for Nike Golf.

Some might say that golf grew in popularity thanks to a certain professional golfer, Tiger Woods. Some might say that with his downfall in recent years that the sport is no longer going to be fun to watch. I watched this year’s Masters tournament, and I’m sure most of you at least saw some highlights, and I’m sure we can all conclude that golf isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

I had some serious Déjà vu on Sunday evening. Mainly because a young golf star won the Masters, beating the household names everyone thinks about when talking about golf, including the Tiger Woods. This young man is beyond a star. Jordan Spieth, 21, is someone kids will be looking up to for decades to come. The other reason I had déjà vu, was the buzz around this one person, and his unforgettable tournament performance. He at one point had the lowest score at any point in the tournament(-19 under par), beating the once record low score of 18 under par which was recorded for Tiger Woods.

Jordan Spieth was seen wearing 16 different Under Armour golf logos. Jordan signed a 10-year deal with Under Armour in January of this year, and the company is already seeing this investment paying off. After winning the Masters, analysts saw golf merchandise sales accelerate, which made them raise the stock price target from $90 to $93 dollars per share. I know three dollars might not seem like a huge jump, but it is when the company also has 218 million shares outstanding. To put that win into perspective, it’s worth about 654 million dollars for the company.

Nike golf also signed a young name once upon a time. Back in 1996 Nike and Tiger teamed up to change the face of golf, which in present times, is almost an identical time in Jordan’s career. Nike Golf sales grew at 15 percent compounded annual growth rate from $120 million in 1997 to $700 million in 2008. Analysts are estimating for Under Armour to have similar success within its golf sector, from a current $200 million to $400 million in the next two to three years.

Jordan’s win is beyond good for Under Armour. It’s game changing. Other endorsement deals will be coming to Jordan’s doorstep in no time. This is where Opendorse can help you capitalize on getting in at the right time, with the right athlete, at the right price. There is a progressive change in social media. The amount of interaction has shifted from Facebook, to Twitter, and now to Instagram. More and more user involvement is reported quarter after quarter, and is a very visual way to place your product in the hands of someone who has a lot of followers. Take Lebron James for example, with 9.5m followers, his engagement is between 200,000 and 900,000 likes on a photo. This being said, that means the total of impressions can be much more. People like to tag people in the comments which directs them to the picture. This draws in potential new followers, but more importantly, another impression, or chance to influence someone with visual marketing.

The Opendorse platform is completely digital, alerts you when you have a deal, and sends out the campaign instantly. That simple, that fast, and you just got paid for it. They connect marketers with athletes, set up a campaign, and the deal is done within minutes. It’s truly remarkable, and there is so much potential. More and more brands are choosing high paid athletes, and only the star athletes. So many more athletes have a social media influence that can be capitalized on, and marketed to.

Feel free to do your own research, but some things are changing, and it’s happening fast. I just wanted to pass along a blog I typed up for the project, but I think the general public would enjoy giving this a read, as well as the tech industry in general.

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