Great article (“Sites to behold: Many high-profile athletes have embraced the Web as a way to connect with fans and raise their profiles, but others hane’t yet clicked with the Internet“) by Tod Leonard in the San Diego Union-Tribune…
I agree with his position that athletes and sports personalities have only scratched the surface of the possibilities the internet holds for their careers and their brands. It allows for fan engagement far deeper than any traditional fan club, autograph session, or other established forms of marketing. And some athletes are definitely doing it much better than others!
Athletes and their representatives need to remember that just having
a web site doesn’t cut it. I think having a poorly designed, non-user-friendly site with bad content may actually hurt
an athlete’s image, making him or her look out of touch. More importantly, fans aren’t going to consistently visit a site is never updated. Athletes may be better off with no web presence at all if they’re not going to commit to doing it well. Leonard mentions LaDainian Tomlinson – arguably one of the biggest NFL names -having an outdated official web site. Perhaps L.T. listened? When I navigated to the first item from a Google search, www.ladainiantomlinson.com
goes to a blank page with “Coming Soon” at the top.
Chris Cooley logo merchandise
Take for example Washington Redskins TE Chris Cooley… his popularity and name recognition have gone up exponentially due to his well-maintained blog
, which has enabled him to grow the Chris Cooley brand. He even has a logo now and merchandise for sale.
Athletes reaching out to fans online, especially via social media, converts fans into advocates and advocates into brand evangelists.