6 Ways Emerging Sports Brands Are Using Celebrity Power

By Janil Jean , Jan 22 2015
Celebrity Power

Featured Image: Musclepharm

The roaring crowds, cheerful fans, the wounds of defeat and the celebration of wins – all these events paint the picture of the sports world that is never short of entertainment. But in this modern era, sports brands have added more color and glamor than ever before. While the top brands like Nike, Reebok, and Puma have set the stage to showcase sports goods, the emerging brands are not far behind. They are also introducing and implementing unique marketing strategies using celebrity power.  Some of the sports business professionals with a keen eye on different sports would agree it will be a part of emerging trends in 2015. This article will share some of the winning strategies of sports brands. Take a look!

1. Athlete as a living brand

The choice of an athlete to represent your brand can be crucial but once it’s done, the athlete can naturally carry the brand traits with his personal branding. While being an ambassador for a sports outlet, the social celebrity gets a chance to display the brand traits that are picked by his/her fans. For more on emerging brands endorsed by athletes, read on.

Zondo Sports

Zondo Sports is one of the emerging brands endorsed by young athletes. They have reserved a category on their home page that displays “Zondo Athletes” featuring Abi Fitzpatrick, 400m hurdles athlete, Luke Cutts U23 Pole Vaulter and Richard Buck 400 m Sprinter. Zondo is an innovative sports brand that deals with the design and production of high quality sports garments. I wouldn’t say it’s a unique idea but the way Zondo has done it is beyond impressive. Currently, they are looking for more athletes and they are sending what seems like an open invitation. They go by the tagline “got what it takes to be a Zondo athlete?”

Zondo Athletes opt


2. Short-term campaigns

The career of an athlete starts from college and it takes a lot of time before they become professionals. Now this raises concern in some brands because they tend to develop reservations while choosing young athletes to represent the brand because they are uncertain of their long-term image. To mitigate the risks of brand endorsements from celebrities, you can get them to sign short-term contracts.


It is the first and only energy bar designed and optimized for triathlon. It’s a positive energy snack for triathletes on the go. If you are a triathlete and want to become Jackoatbar athlete, all you have to do is fill a small form and if fall in their eligibility criteria, you will have a shot at becoming a Jackoatbar athlete. The athlete packages’ are part of their short-term Campaigns but always include product discount at mate’s rates and a pack of branded race tattoos. Furthermore, you will get an Athlete profile on the website and the tittle of Brand Ambassador. What more can you ask for?

A post shared by Jackoatbar (@jackoatbar) on

3. Feature established celebrities for long-term

Finding the right athlete to represent your image ain’t easy. Some are in their growing stages and they have yet to develop true identities. Usually an established celebrity is the final choice but simply because of the value offered by renowned sportspersons. However, the brand in pursuit of the right athlete should first have the self-awareness of its own values. Not every brand has the potential to take too many celebrities as brand ambassadors on board.

Muscle Pharm opt
Image Source: Musclepharm.com

Muscle Pharm

Muscle Pharm is the official nutritional supplement provider for the UFC (Ultimate fighting Championship). But that’s not the only reason for their massive following. The way they’ve featured athletes is a big reason for the overall success. The team of athletes includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, the crusade to promote fitness for four decades, Johnny Manziel from the famous Cleveland Browns, Colin Kaepernick, the award-winning Humanitarian Bowl MVP and Chady Dunmore, the sports and fitness model with several awards under her belt.

Muscle Pharm Athletes opt
Image Source: Musclepharm.com

4. Create room for athlete’s growth

The relationship between the brand and the athlete is built on mutual trust. If the athlete is giving his fanbase to the company, he/she will expect a return of favor and it’s not just the money they are after. Make the athlete feel like a star he or she truly is. Let them have their say and respect their decisions and in that attempt use every opportunity to give back. A few ways to go about the idea is by giving sponsorships to support talented sportspersons or teams.

VOmax opt
Image Source: Vomax.com


VOmax is a brand committed to enhancing all endurance sports via the development of well-rounded athletes. When grooming of athletes is part of company policies, there is a definitely a lot of scope of emerging athletes. The candidates willing to become ambassadors for the brand have to follow a set of duties for the promotion of VOmax. They are currently offering Sponsored Athlete Discounts and Free Product Sponsorships for selected candidates who are above 16 years of age.

Vomax Athletes opt
Image Source: Vomax.com

5. Get an edge from athletes’ fan base

Smart brands know the value of fans which is why they tap into the athletes’ fan base using Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. This gives them a competitive edge and generates new markets of potential consumers. Check out how Energy bits did it.

Energy Bits opt
Image Source: Energybits.com


Energy bits are the revolutionary algae tabs that are nutritionally dense and eliminate fatigue and hunger instantly. They make an easy replacement for energy drinks, bars and gels which is why they make a convenient alternative recovery supplements taken by athletes on the go. Energybits tap into the twitter fan base by featuring celebrities periodically. Many celebs have enjoyed the spot so far including Leigh Scarber, a barefoot running physical therapist, Mike Bowers, a triathlon coach and personal trainer, Brady Brassart from the NHL Minnesota Wild.

Energy Bits Athlete opt
Image Source: Energybits.com

6. Make your ambassadors an attraction

Some latest brands use quite a few sportspersons from a variety of sports to represent their brand such that the company image is formed around them. This involves using real-life sports photography, featuring the athletes or mountaineers on branding image instead of using models.

Pantagonia opt
Image Source: Patagonia.com


Patagonia Ambassadors are from diverse sports including trail running, skiing, surfing, Snowboarding, Alpine climbing and more. Just saying that they add life to the brand is an understatement. Patagonia certainly knows how to use celebrity power and for that smart strategy it’s on my list of those emerging brands that can prove to be a real competition for some big names in sports.

Patagonia Athletes opt
Image Source: Patagonia.com

If you are an emerging brand, you can capitalize by creating a strong relationship with new professional sports talent. Who to endorse and what are going to be the marketing opportunities will be your ruling factors of choice.

Which of these emerging sports brands stand out by using celebrity power?

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About The Author

Janil Jean is an idealist blogger and social media addict who loves conversations related to branding, storytelling, startups and small business technology and design.

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