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Working with College Athlete Influencers

What To Expect

Working with college athlete influencers (particularly at scale) is very different than working with celebrities and professional influencers. It is important to set your expectations - while still being extremely excited about the content they create and the impact they can have for your brand.

A few things to consider about
working with college athlete influencers:

  • They are Rookies.  Up until July 2021, college athletes were not allowed to earn money - and had ZERO experience creating influencer content for brands.  That being said, they're quick learners and many are now producing amazing stuff. 
  • They are extremely busy.  Typical days begin at 5AM and end at Midnight.  Workouts, School, Practice, Games, Travel, Study Hall, Tutoring... Finding time to fit Influencer marketing into their day can be a challenge. Unlike a professional influencer who has made this their livelihood, college athletes are forced to treat this as a part-time opportunity given their current schedules.  Keep that in mind when requesting revisions.
  • Keep It Simple.  Being too detailed and scripted with your campaign brief will work against you with College Athletes. Attention to detail is not always a strong suit. Focus on what REALLY matters. Do your best to let them be themselves - and as genuine as possible. Keep things simple.  A few high level Do's and Don'ts will suffice.   Stick to broad concepts.  Revisions can be tough to come by.
  • High Profile Athletes = Elevated Content.  Normally, these athletes will want to create elevated / professional content - as many are very protective of their social media feed.  
  • Lower Profile Athletes = Amateur Content.  On average, these athletes will produce more amateur style / authentic content with their iPhone and limited post production capabilities. That being said many lower profile athletes are now elevating their content with enhanced videography/photography - doing more to prove themselves as content creators.  Lower Tier athletes can deliver tremendous ROI for a brand - particularly when done at scale. 
  • Not Everything Is Going To Be Perfect. Level set your expectations. No matter how hard they try, we may learn that some athletes don't have the ability to hit the mark.  That's okay. To offset this, Postgame oversubscribes the # of athletes we bring into our campaigns.  1). Not every athlete will follow through 2). Not every piece of content is going to be perfect.  Let's focus our energy on those athletes that will help you reach your goals (e.g. # of pieces of quality content, the # of participating athletes, impressions, and more). 
  • Authenticity = Engagement.  There's a reason college athletes typically have a higher engagement rate than professional influencers.  Fans and followers have a true emotional connection to them.  Leverage that. Your campaign will perform better being less scripted.  Save that for professional influencers.  Larger scale campaigns with college athletes will help you discover new ideas and talent to leverage for paid placements and future campaigns.
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