The alliance brings together three leading companies united by their duty of care to athletes, but with very different core competencies. PlayersVoice helps athletes to create unique content and commercialize their personal brands, Pickstar is a thriving marketplace matching athletes directly with brands and fans and opendorse is the leading platform for athlete-driven content distribution, currently helping more than 5,000 athletes easily publish posts from partners across their personal social channels.
Together, PlayersVoice, opendorse and Pickstar will jointly promote and educate the market on the Athlete Generated Media category (AGM), create efficiencies for athletes and brands and develop service models to drive commercial outcomes for athletes, their agents, brands, rights holders and associations.
Kerry McCabe, CEO of PlayersVoice, said: “2018 was a breakout year for AGM at a time when trust in Australian media fell to all-time lows, with the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report showing that only 31% of Australians trust media. In the era of clickbait, fake news and keyboard warriors, athletes have embraced our platforms, looking for opportunities to control their personal brands and create meaningful partnerships with brands. Through our primarily shared and earned distribution model, we are seeing exceptional outcomes where athletes and brands align around values and campaign goals.”
Pat Cummins, Australia’s Test cricket vice-captain, understands all too well the increasing power and importance of the AGM category: “All professional sportspeople are brands, whether they like it or not. We have a relatively limited time performing at the highest level in sport and limited channels to create and define our personal brands.”
This, coupled with the launch of automated platforms that match brands with athletes, has accelerated adoption in a category estimated to generate in excess of $USD2 billion globally by the end of 2022. “There’s always been huge demand for athlete partnerships, from both marketers and sports stars, but the search, pitch and booking process has typically been very difficult,” said Andrew Montesi, Head of Marketing at PickStar.
“At PickStar we’ve changed the way the market finds and books sports talent, and aligning with other AGM companies, who play a different but complimentary role in the athlete media and marketing category, will only grow the market, drive greater commercial outcomes and improve the experience for all involved.”
The power in sport has shifted clearly to the product, which is the athletes. PlayersVoice has seen that athletes’ highly engaged social fan base command up to 20% higher engagement across social compared to averages reported by Tapinfluence. A 2018 audit of over 200,000 social posts conducted by opendorse found that athletes engaged their audience over six-times more effectively than leading sports publishers, and ten-times more effectively than their respective leagues and teams.