Things That Are Here To Stay: Athlete Branding. Cereal. CanMNT.
The Revolution of Athlete Branding. New Breakfast Staple. Canada Qualifies for World Cup.
Our thoughts are with the country and people of Ukraine, hoping a peaceful end is near.
On Today’s Agenda:
white whale mktg Founder’s Keynote
John Tavares & Brad Marchand Dip Their Toes In Cereal
Canada Is Now Ready For The World Stage
The Revolution of Athlete Branding
Recapping white whale mktg Founder's, Christopher Nascimento, Keynote
Over the past weekend, the uOttawa Sport Business Club hosted their annual Sport Management Conference. In a weekend filled with interesting panellists, interactive workshops, and exciting giveaways, white whale mktg. founder Chris Nascimento’s keynote on the Revolution of Athlete Branding stood out. Not only was Chris able to explain his opinion on recent developments in athlete branding, but he also gave real-life examples to help support his claims.
Do you remember the blue and yellow NHL.com website which had a list of three or four athlete websites at the bottom? It might seem like a long time ago but that is one of the first instances of athlete branding in the sport of hockey. Fast forward to today and athlete branding has seen incredible progress. Nowadays, professional athletes will have an account on every social media platform, multiple websites, and their faces everywhere they can show them. Now, where did that change happen? Well, studies show that most organizations are switching their focus to advertising on digital platforms such as social media, websites, and streaming content. With these changes, professional athletes are transitioning from traditional advertising to building their online presence and personal brand to be better prepared for digital advertising.
However, it’s not as simple as creating accounts and posting content, execution is as important as anything. Advertising has become more creative and is deeper than just showcasing a product or service. Gaining a consumer’s attention and keeping it long enough for them to consider purchasing what you’re selling is as hard as it’s ever been. More importantly, your personal brand must align with what you are trying to sell. For example, despite the large personal brand he currently has, Auston Matthews would have a tough time trying to sell makeup products since it’s not aligned with his personal brand. Having a celebrity endorsement is no longer enough to sell a product, you need to have your audience believe that the athlete uses it often.
While building your brand, you also need to avoid oversaturating your audience to the point that every post feels like you’re trying to sell something to them. An example of this is Connor McDavid. Despite his outstanding abilities on the ice, McDavid rarely shows much emotion outside of hockey and it’d be tough to find something about this personality that you can relate to. Building your brand to maximize revenue isn’t something that can be done instantly, it’s a gradual process of building trust among your audience over a period of time. Athletes are now realizing what they must do to build their brand in the digital age of athlete marketing and although it may require more effort, the recognition and rewards are out there to be obtained.
In the end, Chris’ keynote on the Revolution of Athlete Branding informed participants of the overall landscape of athlete branding. To learn more about white whale mktg and Chris Nascimento, give us a follow @whitewhalemktg, available on all platforms.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
NHL Rivals take on a new domain – Breakfast Cereal
For NHL fans, the Leafs-Bruins rivalry has become one of the most popular battles to watch over the past decade. The Atlantic division opponents have met multiple times in the playoffs; and if you’re a Boston Bruins fan, you may not consider it much of a rivalry. Regardless of where your loyalties and fandom lie, seeing two of the NHL’s largest markets go toe-to-toe year after year draws a lot of attention.
This past week, the rivalry has taken on a new domain – breakfast cereal. Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ John Tavares have both launched their own specialty cereal brands through PLB Sports & Entertainment. The company partners with athletes to create personalized food products – with a clear focus on cereal.
Brad Marchand’s March Munch Cinnamon Crunch resembles the popular Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, and is available online and in select Boston stores – with proceeds going towards Christopher’s Haven (a Boston based organization helping families of children fighting Cancer with affordable housing).
Recipe 91 is John Tavares’ granola cereal with chocolate, blueberries, and coconut. Proceeds from his sales will be going towards the John Tavares Foundation. Boxes will also be sold in select Sobeys locations in Ontario.
Tavares and Marchand are two of the latest NHL stars to grace the cover of their own cereal boxes – earlier in February, Nathan Mackinnon of the Colorado Avalanche had his own box of cereal in select Colorado stores. PLB Sports & Entertainment’s website also sells cereal boxes for a few NFL athletes as well, including DeAndre Hopkins’ “HopBox”.
When many of us who enjoy sports and/or work in sports marketing think of athletes and cereal – the immediate name that comes to mind is Wheaties. Coined the “Breakfast of Champions”, the cereal box has had some of the world’s biggest athletes don the cover of the box. Muhammad Ali, LeBron James, Serena Williams – the list goes on.
The Wheaties box is iconic, the orange box can be seen from the end of the cereal aisle in a grocery store, and consumers recognize the athletes on the box are true champions. With March Munch and Recipe 91 – there is a personalization in the name and the type of cereal, but beyond that it misses the mark. A few weeks ago, we discussed Mike Tyson’s new cannabis gummies and how the product, the brand, and the vision were all aligned. Marchand and Tavares do not stand out for being huge cereal guys, and the personalization of the branding is pretty surface-level based on the potential it could have.
We hope to see more athletes pushing out unique brand engagements, and offering consumers a different way to engage with their favourite talent – we just hope that the brand vision and the execution brings a bit more to the breakfast table.
Canada MNT Is Here To Stay In Soccer
Ready For The World Stage
For the first time since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, Canada is going to the biggest stage in international soccer. After Sunday, 4-0 victory over Jamaica, thanks to goals by Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Junior Hoilett, and a Jamaican OG, Canada secured the top spot in the World Cup Qualifiers CONCACAF Division, ahead of the US and Mexico for the first time in years.
The crowd at BMO field went absolutely crazy throughout the 90 minutes, with qualification almost guaranteed for the boys in red. Fans belted our national anthem at a sold-out BMO field with 29,122 fans in attendance. For the first time in over 36 years, Canada is going to the World Cup and both the fans and the players were sharing their excitement.
Now we could go on to talk about how well Canada played or go over the highlights of each goal, but thankfully, there is so much more behind this momentous day in Canadian sports history that is going to cause a ripple effect of RED.
Canada is now going to be at an international tournament that rakes in billions of views from television and social media every 4 years, making it the biggest sporting event on the planet and in history. We bet there are going to be some pretty big names investing in Canadian soccer now before Qatar later this year. I mean, who doesn’t want to bet on the underdogs, placed in Pot 4, do go be the victors in a David & Goliath storyline this winter.
Furthermore, this 4-0 victory and subsequent World Cup this winter, is going to cause an amazing ripple effect in youth soccer development nationwide. Now that Canda has shown a massive development in their ability to perform against the best in the world, with the likes of Jonathan David, Alphonso Davies, Tajon Buchanan, and so many more players in the squad who play at the top level, people are now starting to realize its time to invest in the next generation of soccer in Canada. 10 years ago, youth soccer investment was very minimal, as Canada had never shown anything to back it. However, times have changed, and we’re going to see Canada ride this ship to the moon and continue this success for the next however many years.
Another interesting decision for Canada Soccer, is how will they approach jersey selection? In recent years, Canada has gone for a new generation-type look, with all-red kits and all-black kits, sponsored by Nike. But, will they re-style the 1986 World Cup jerseys from Mexico? Those iconic stripes on the side and the retro Canada nameplate on the chest? Maybe Canada will stick to the new generation theme, or take it back to 1986.
Overall, this qualification is absolutely insane for us up north. The first time this generation will see our men’s team actually make an international tournament. We have some top names in world soccer and it could truly be a great tournament. All eyes will be on Canada, but our eyes will be on what this can do for Canada soccer.