For Lower-Profile Olympians, Social Media a Key to Branding Success
From Mashable.com by Sam Laird
Ricky Berens is a world-class athlete, but he’s no Michael Phelps. The two teamed up to help the United States win a relay swimming gold medal at the 2008 Olympics and will probably both participate in the 2012 Games. But outside the pool their lives couldn’t be more different.
Berens can still walk down the street without being mobbed by autograph seekers, while Phelps is an internationally-known celebrity who has appeared in advertisements for some of the world’s biggest brands. Phelps’s fame and instant recognizability have helped him land sponsorships and marketing deals, likely without lifting a finger.
But Berens says athletes such as himself — who excel at lower profile sports yet aren’t global icons like Phelps or track star Usain Bolt — need something to help level the personal branding playing field and increase their visibility and business potential.