5 Things to Think About When Working with Sports Stars
For almost as long as advertising has existed, marketing executives have turned to sports stars to create meaningful connections between brands and consumers.
In recent years digital content has helped these partnerships evolve, with an ever-increasing number of brands seeking to borrow the credibility and visibility that athletes can offer. But working with sports stars can present a unique set of challenges to content creators.
Here’s five things to think about when filming with sports stars:
- Time will be tight. The daily schedules of top athletes are meticulously organized and time with them is usually very limited, sometimes as little as ten minutes. Preparation is key. You need to be ready to roll the second they arrive on set and ensure that the creative is achievable in the allotted time, because they’ll be whisked away on the dot. And sometimes you don’t know who you’ll get until they arrive – so prepare for all eventualities!
- Hire the right director. With a daily carousel of media obligations, athletes can become a little lethargic. Hiring the right director who can raise the energy levels and really get the athletes to engage with what you’re doing is absolutely key.
- Find out what they can wear. Many athletes are contractually bound to wear branded clothing for media appearances. Check in advance what they are obliged to wear and if there will be any other company’s branding that is unsuitable for your creative. You probably can’t do anything about it, but at least it’s not a last-minute surprise. Similarly, it’s worth checking the restrictions on what they’re not allowed to wear and make sure you ask them to remove all superfluous branding if allowed!
- Double check the terms of their sponsorship. Often contracts with sports teams require multiple team members to appear. This is to ensure that the endorsements clearly relate to the team rather than an individual player. Clarify this early on in case it effects your creative approach.
- Ensure your creative can be easily understood. Such is the volume of their media obligations that sports stars are almost never briefed before a shoot. You shouldn’t expect your talent to show up with any idea about what you want them to do. The success of your creative therefore lives and dies on your ability to explain it coherently. Keep your ideas simple otherwise they may not be able to execute it properly in the allotted time.