Satellite Media Tour Talent: Athletes For The Win

Research continues to validate what most of us already know: earned media is most effective in building reputation and influence.

During the discovery process of a potential Satellite Media Tour for an agency or brand partner, we apply the “4T Filter” (Talent, Topic, Timing, Targets) to the possible project for a realistic gauge of earned media opportunities.

In the digital age, not all SMTs book media in the same fashion and the number one difference maker for earned media opportunities is the strength of your talent (spokesperson). These questions are often asked when brainstorming possible media tour talent:

  • Do we have the budget for a celebrity?
  • Is our internal spokesperson engaging enough to effectively deliver the messaging?
  • Maybe we use an influencer?

But this question isn’t asked enough: Should we engage an athlete for the SMT?

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Current or retired professional athletes (or coaches) continue to open the doors for top tier earned media opportunities across TV, online (website or Facebook Live) and radio. A two hour SMT can be jam packed with ESPN, CNBC, top 25 DMAs, and top online outlets like Yahoo!, MSN, and iHeartMedia.

What makes athletes so perfect for media tours?

Former all-pro Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, MBA, (a sought after spokesperson because of his diverse expertise) broke it down for me:

“Athletes are charismatic communicators, passionate about their craft, and are comfortable in the spotlight across multiple media platforms. They are willing to put in the work to be successful. There is a drive found in those who are conditioned to practice, focus and demonstrate their best.”

In March of 2017, I was honored to work a Satellite Media Tour with baseball hall of famer Ken Griffey, Jr., who epitomized Mughelli’s thoughts. “The Kid” was charismatic and focused on delivering brand key messages with perfection. Yes, the Satellite Media Tour was a homerun loaded with earned media.

When we’re tasked with finding a tour spokesperson, I always reach out to Nick Antonelli, Talent Manager at 16W Marketing. Antonelli explains why athletes are the ultimate influencers:

“Athletes bring a connection to the consumer base. The consumer base grows over time as they watch the athletes perform on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis. This consumer’s connection with the athlete can have a direct impact aiding in the growth of the brand.”

As a lifelong Dallas Mavericks fan, working a media tour with Dirk Nowitzki was a dream come true. He was humble and genuine when talking to ESPN and Sports Illustrated about the brand of knee brace he uses for leg support. On a personal note, that brace is the only one I’ll ever use, and I’ve purchased three (one as backup).

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Are athlete talent fees affordable?

Large talent fee concerns are a common agency pushback when we make athlete recommendations. Let’s bust that myth right now.

When inquiring and negotiating with countless “influencers” across verticals including cooking, home improvement, fitness, and business, their talent fees are two to five times that of iconic athletes. It’s especially frustrating when our media team knows the influencer won’t book nearly the quality or number of earned media as an athlete.

It’s safe to say you can double or triple the amount of quality impressions with just a 1-2 hour media tour with an iconic athlete than with a 3-5 hour tour with an I-talent (influencer or internal spokesperson).

That’s winning!

Want to brainstorm athlete spokesperson possibilities for an upcoming project? Like to see a case study? Contact us!

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