Blog Jan 26, 2022

The Value of Influencer Marketing in Sports Clubs

The Value of Influencer Marketing in Sports Clubs

Athletes have a long history of partnering with businesses, from sportswear brands to electronics or cereal. However, in recent years, with the increase in physical activity and social media activity among millennials, the actual value of influencer marketing in sports has been discovered.

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub 2021 Benchmark Report, the influencer marketing industry was set to grow to approximately $13.8 Billion in 2021. While we are waiting for the actual statistics for 2021, we can already easily say that influencer marketing on various social media is still growing in popularity, and its potential is increasing.

In the following article, we will take a quick look at:

  • How does the Method of Influencer Marketing Work;
  • Reasons Why Sports Clubs Rely on Influencer Marketing;
  • Why Are Sports Influencers Effective;
  • Examples of Successful Influencer Marketing in Sports.


To truly appreciate the value of influencers in sports clubs, we need to understand how it affects people on social media. The old ways of publicity, such as word-of-mouth, have their advantages. People in their communities and circles share trusted opinions about products and services. Hearing about a product from your friend or relative creates a sense of trust in it. 

On the other hand, we have influencer marketing which creates more unique feelings in customers. The influencers have larger numbers of followers on social media and can thus share content with larger audiences. Moreover, influencers have considerable domestic or worldwide recognition, are considered icons of the activities they perform, and most importantly, people look up to them

Influencer marketing thus doubles the incredible impact of word of mouth promotion with its impressive reach to create a lethal promotional weapon perfectly fitted in today’s world.

The Value of Influencer Marketing in Sports Clubs


As mentioned before, influencers and sports are strongly tied in today’s marketing world. Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that according to the 2019 Cascade Influencer survey, 45% of teams increased their influencer marketing budget in 2018, with nearly 25% of sports marketers having spent more than $20,000 on influencer programs. But what exactly causes the return on investment? 


Influencer marketing involves increasing fan engagement and brand awareness. The most important thing to ensure that you target the right influencers to your club or organisation’s fanbase is authenticity. Going for somebody famous won’t do the trick and won’t seem authentic. Get in touch with the right, enthusiastic and active influencers, and your fans will get a sense of familiarity with them. Sportspersons hold for such values as hard work, sporting spirit, loyalty, commitment, passion and patriotism amongst others.

If you wish to learn more about fan engagement, make sure to check out this article.


With the advent of social media, athletes themselves have now turned into influencers, and 3 of the 10 biggest Instagram influencers are athletes, i.e. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. Players who are active on social media are most likely to sell out their newest merchandise, weather their own or via the club.

Insta stories and Tiktoks are a great way of sharing unique insights from sports events through the eyes of the players. Not only does this help connect fans to their favourite players, but it gives them an “insider” feeling to the inner workings of their chosen team. In return, the club or the organisation increases the sale of their VOD, OTT, and other digital content.


So far, we’ve talked about two direct reasons why sports clubs rely on influencer marketing. However, there’s also the opportunity to position your players for external partnerships. Club players signing partnerships with businesses and brands not only gain exposure for themselves but also contribute to the recognition of their sports club.

The Value of Influencer Marketing in Sports Clubs


Sports, music and movies make up the most favourite pastimes and topics of conversation around the world. Disciplines like football, basketball, tennis have united, engaged and entertained people for ages. However, there has been an increased interest in health and fitness in recent years. Sport and other physical activities play a crucial part in this. 

On the one hand, COVID has closed down sporting venues. Still, on the other hand, people who became more active on social media started to follow sports influencers to stay more physically active or get a glimpse of the stadium experience.

Let’s leave COVID times for a moment and take a look at the case of Paris Saint Germain and footballer Neymar Jr. Currently, PSG has more followers in Brazil than native France. That is the result of Brazilian’s transfer to Paris in 2018. We could almost say that PSG apart from signing Neymar to play for the team also contracted a huge fraction of his 169 million Instagram followers. This exactly demonstrates how recognisable influencers with well-engaged fanbases could impact the marketing of their clubs.


The Value of Influencer Marketing in Sports Clubs


The Influencert Marketing Factory shows some great examples of successful influencer marketing campaigns in the world of sport. Of the two, both are a product of American organisations and were launched due to the COVID pandemic. 

Basketball is Back

In 2020, in cooperation with broadcaster ESPN, WNBA launched a campaign to let people know that “Basketball is Back”. Male basketball players were set to return to the court a week after the ladies. NBA stars such as LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, and Victor Oladipo announced the return of basketball in the US by posting a photo wearing the orange WNBA hoodie on their social media. Soon, the campaign took off and reached fans from various demographics and interests all across the US. 

Play Inside, Play for the World

Also, in 2020, Nike sent out an important message for all people to “Play Inside, Play for the World”. In response to the spread of COVID, Nike joined forces with their top athlete influencers to promote self-isolation and take precautions against COVID. The campaign included such influencers as Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, LeBron James, and Carli Lloyd.


The Value of Influencer Marketing in Sports Clubs


While mobile technologies and social media are transforming both sports and sports businesses, influencer marketing emerges as one of the best marketing strategies available. Influencer marketing is steadily growing year after year, and influencers are gaining more recognition worldwide. Influencers offer an opportunity to penetrate, engage and loyalise specific market targets with unique content that creates legitimate feelings in audiences. 


Are you looking for more information about digital transformation in the sports industry? Visit our website to learn more about dedicated products and innovations designed for sports. To find out more about how TISA can help your organisation thrive in the digital world, contact us directly – we will be happy to talk about your case. And if you’d like to join our team and help us create the best digital solutions for the world of sports, check out our current career opportunities.