I’ve come across many young athletes that don’t feel they have a community to represent.
What they actually have is a vast support community interested in their journey including their school, coach, club, equipment providers, event organisers, fellow competitors and many others including the odd photographer. When athletes work closely with their community they will open the door to many potential opportunities.
I believe that if an athlete can tell their story, show their values, give an insight into the ‘why’, and be passionate about what they believe in then they will have a deeper connection with their community. In life we all gravitate towards people with similar interests, values and those that inspire us.
The best athletes, in terms of building their brand, make their community feel like they are on the journey them.
There are many ways to do this but the best advice I have heard is to talk about what you’ve learnt rather your specific achievements. People are interested in seeing growth as it happens.
The very best athletes make their community feel like they are contributing to their journey.
In triathlon I can give examples of age group athletes that have amazing brands, and who engage extremely well with their community. This gives better value to sponsors, often more than many professional athletes.