By Ken Reed
Companies have long used athletes to help promote their brands. However, the impact of athlete sponsorship has never been greater than today. And due to the fact that consumers have shown growing interest in socially-responsible brands, companies are increasingly aligning themselves with athletes that are strong advocates for various social causes.
Athletes are giving their voices to a variety of social causes at unprecedented levels. Research reveals that athletes using their social media platform to support social causes generated approximately $314 million in media value in 2020. That figure is predicted to rise to $1.2 billion by 2023.
According to data produced by the Nielsen Data Fan Insight tool, people’s interest in brands that have acted in socially responsible ways during the pandemic has increased signficantly. This holds true across the board demographically but is especially prevalent among young people where 48 percent of those aged 16 to 29 claim to have an interest in socially responsible brands. That compares to 46 percent of 30 to 49 year-olds and 34 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 69.
“The social upheaval that’s been caused by the global pandemic is likely to reshape what sports marketing looks like in the future,” according to Samantha Lamberti of Nielsen Sports. “As a result, we will see a shift in brands realigning their marketing strategies to ensure they support different social causes.”
Nielsen research shows 95 percent of athletes with more than five million followers used their platform to support a social cause last year.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group, whose mission is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Episode #4 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Biggest Issue in Sports Today? Brain Trauma – The guest is Patrick Hruby, a journalist who has done extensive research and in-depth writing on the topic of brain trauma in sports, most notably football.
Episode #3 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Styles with Sports Sociologist Jay Coakley – The guest is veteran sports sociologist Jay Coakley, a former college athlete who went on to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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