Chad Ochocinco has over 960,000 followers on Twitter Image: ICON
Few things can affect marketability like an athlete’s Twitter account. Companies are spending more than ever on athlete endorsements, but they’re focusing more on quality over quantity. It’s tough to get endorsements as it is, so it’s vital that guys take advantage of every opportunity they can to build a marketable image for themselves.
One mistake or bad Tweet can damage your public image forever, so it’s to your advantage to plan out a strategy with your Tweeting.
Don’t worry, it’s not that hard to do.
Not surprisingly, in 2010, the top NFL endorsement dollars were all made by quarterbacks. Drew Brees made about $5 Million, Tom Brady made about $10 Million, and Peyton and Eli Manning made about $14 and $7 Million. Cam Newton, a quarterback (surprise!), just broke the rookie endorsement contract with his new deal with Under Armour.
The highest-paid non-quarterback NFL endorser in 2010, was defensive end, Dwight Freeney, who made about $250,000 in endorsements in 2010.
Endorsements come as a result of popularity and image. An athlete’s Twitter account is a perfect tool to build both. But only if you use it properly. When was the last time you saw an Antonio Cromartie or Santonio Holmes endorsement or ad?
Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Tip 1 – Don’t say anything on Twitter that you wouldn’t say to a reporter. Realize that the guys with the microphones and tape recorders in your face are no longer the only ones that can print and publicize what you say. Those days are long gone. It’s called “social media” for a reason.
Tip 2 – Tweet about behind-the-scenes stuff. Most fans wish they were in your shoes, and giving them a glimpse into the life is fascinating to them. That’s why “reality tv” is so popular. Send “twitpics” of what it looks like in your team’s weightroom or locker room (as long as your team doesn’t have rules against it). Tweet about your road tips with the team. Developing a reputation as giving this type of access to fans can make you a fan favorite quickly.
Tip 3 – Engage with your fans/followers. Instead of just broadcasting messages take time to personally respond to your fans from time-to-time. If you go to Shaq’s Twitter, you’ll find a slew of @replies. He’s personally engaging with the followers, which only increases his popularity even more. With 3.7 million followers, Shaq has more Twitter followers than any other pro athlete.
Tip 4 – Avoid “Twitterbeefs”. If somebody says something to you that gets under your skin, just ignore it, or block them. Next time someone pisses you off on Twitter, before you respond, think about the potential damage you’d be doing to your image (and possibly even your bank account), down the line if you engage with a person. You have the ability to block Tweets that may rub you the wrong way. Take advantage of that feature.
What are some of the most ridiculous things you’ve heard an athlete say on Twitter?