NIL NETWORK INSIGHT
Recap: This article is a broad recap of where NIL legislation is currently at as well as a discussion with Icon Source founder and former motocross racer, Chase Garrett about athletes and their marketability. Garrett thinks that Brock Vandagriff, who will be a freshman football player at UGA this fall, has potential to be one of the top NIL earners of his class.
Observations: Vandagriff, with 13k twitter followers and 28k on instagram, has a decently sized following but nothing outlandish. Garrett credits Vandagriff’s NIL potential on the quality of his audience and other attributes such as UGA having uncertainty at the QB position. This demonstrates that there is more than just a number of followers that brands look at when partnering with athletes; they want someone who their audience admires and looks up to.
Athlete Tips & Takeaways:
- It’s not too late to start building your personal brand and social media presence! Having a unique brand and authentic followers is just as important, if not more important than your number of followers.
Michael Jordan has more shoe sales than points or championships. He’s a logo. His own brand.
That was earned due to massive success on the basketball court. People wanted a piece of him.
Nike recognized that and made sure people could reach out and touch — and of course spend money on — the Jordan brand.
The athlete was an original influencer.
Chase Garrett is a firm believer in that line of thinking.
A former motocross racer, agent and marketing rep for Red Bull, Garrett has seen firsthand how much an athlete can move the needle for a company.
“Brands like Nike, Red Bull, Adidas and Oakley have built their brands on the backs of athletes from the get-go,” Garrett said. “That was before there were social media analytics to really defend what the ROI was on in investing in these superstars. They were passionate and they knew that these individuals used their products and adored the brand, and they were working together. Suddenly, in the last 10 to 15 years, social media has come in to provide a lot of people with strong analytics to show how many eyeballs my content gets in front of. A lot of brands are a lot more responsive to engage in social media influencers and people who can provide that data. Through that process, athletes have been missed on a large part because it’s a little more challenging to get into their camps and understand how this works.”