The Power of Authentic User-Generated Content: A Female Athlete's Guide to Driving Sponsorship Value
Exclusively for our Advancement Zone community, Jordan Guard has drawn upon her learnings from working with global brands, to share the benefits around producing high-quality and authentic User-Generated Content (UGC) as a female athlete.
In today's digital age, social media has become a powerful platform for athletes to connect with their fans and engage with brands. Female athletes, in particular, have recognised the importance of creating high-quality and authentic user-generated content (UGC) on social media to enhance their brand partnerships. While some brands may not have the resources to consistently activate with female athletes, UGC enables these athletes to independently associate themselves with brands and, in turn, increase their value as ambassadors. In this expert article, we will explore why it is crucial for female athletes to embrace UGC for their commercial value.
User-generated content is original, brand-specific content created by an individual, using their iPhone for example, and published on social media. It comes in many forms, including images, videos, reviews, and testimonials. When individuals post about a brand on social media, they can influence their followers’ buying decisions. 85% of people say UGC is more influential than content made by brands directly, according to Adweek.
Creating a Personal Connection
User-generated content allows female athletes to connect with their audience on a more personal level. By sharing authentic moments from their training, competitions, and everyday lives, athletes can establish a genuine rapport with their followers. This personal connection fosters a sense of trust and loyalty among fans, which can extend to the brands they endorse. When athletes genuinely engage with their followers through UGC, they become more relatable, making it easier for fans to connect with the brands they promote.
Enhancing Brand Authenticity
In an era where consumers value authenticity, brands are eager to associate themselves with athletes who can authentically represent their products or services. Female athletes who create UGC that aligns with their personal brand and values can seamlessly integrate brand partnerships into their content. This fusion of personal and brand narratives enhances the authenticity of the collaboration, making it more appealing to both the athlete's followers and potential customers.
Flexibility in Brand Activation
Not all sponsorships involve consistent or elaborate brand activations. Some brands may have limited resources or infrequent campaigns that athletes can be a part of. UGC provides female athletes with the flexibility to activate their partnerships independently. Athletes can showcase products or services organically within their content, ensuring a constant presence of the brand in their digital ecosystem. This regular association with the brand, even without formal activations, reinforces the athlete's value as a brand ambassador.
Demonstrating Passion and Engagement
One of the most significant advantages of UGC is its ability to showcase an athlete's passion and genuine engagement with the brand. When an athlete enthusiastically features a sponsor's products or services in their content, it not only enhances the brand's visibility but also demonstrates the athlete's commitment to the partnership. This enthusiasm is contagious and can lead to increased interest and trust among the athlete's followers.
Building Long-Term Partnerships
Sponsors and brands often seek long-term partnerships with athletes who consistently deliver value and maintain a positive image. Female athletes who actively create UGC that showcases their dedication, professionalism, and alignment with the brand's values are more likely to secure enduring partnerships. The ability to maintain a brand's presence in their content over time can lead to mutually beneficial relationships that evolve and grow as the athlete's career progresses.
In the world of sports and sponsorship, female athletes have a unique opportunity to harness the power of authentic user-generated content on social media. By creating high-quality and authentic content, they can independently activate and associate with brands, even when formal brand activations are limited. This approach not only enhances their value as brand ambassadors but also strengthens their connection with their audience.
In an era where authenticity and personal connection are highly prized, female athletes who embrace UGC are well-positioned to build lasting, meaningful partnerships with sponsors and brands. Through UGC, they can showcase their passion, dedication, and alignment with the brands they endorse, ultimately solidifying their status as influential athletes and brand ambassadors in the digital age.
Jordan Guard, Women's Sports Alliance Founder.