'Becoming Enjoyable and Relatable Outside of Sports'

  Photo Courtesy: Alexis Robinson

Photo Courtesy: Alexis Robinson

Alexis Robinson is former athlete turned publicist and brand developer, whose clients include professional athletes and entertainers.

Alexis, what are you most excited about today?

Right now, I am working on Phil Pressey's annual summer basketball camp in Dallas, Texas!

How does Alexis define an epic athlete brand?

An epic athlete brand is being able to feel, as an outsider or fan, that you have an idea about an athlete's personality outside of his or her sport. Becoming enjoyable and relatable outside of sports is epic to me.

What's your favorite athlete brand at the moment, and why?

I would have to say James Harden. He really went from "ugly duckling sixth man" to making "The Beard" one of the biggest brands in the world. He's got the largest NBA contract, he's completely caught the Adidas wave, is an MVP candidate, making movies, sports drinks, and more.

He was just on the cover of GQ!

When you look across the athlete brand landscape, what's the one thing you think more athletes should be doing?

Athletes need to take control of their brands and expand them. Become a personality, or a public figure. Spend a little money to make a lot of money. Cross-marketing, trying new projects, not just being identified by your "job."

A great example would be the Ball family. I know a lot of us like to call them crazy, but Lavar has been able to take the media and different brands and create an empire for his family. Whether the little ones end up in the NBA or not, they are set for life.

That should be a priority for athletes; nothing is forever. Build your brand!

What’s your best advice for athletes who want to kickstart their personal brands?

Hire someone! I say this all the time to athletes. Even if it isn't me, hire someone like me, someone who holds the title. Allow yourself to perfect your craft in whatever sport you play, and let someone help you expand your brand.

Don't rely on your agent; they're in charge of your contract. Take advantage of this Internet, social media, creative space we are in. There's a lot of money to be made. Be creative!

What’s the number-one tool you’re using right now?

I would say Twitter and Instagram — they really give me the information I need in this branding/influencer time. I also get a good laugh from it and have to work with narcissists, so it's nice to get some giggles in.

Based on your knowledge and expertise, what's the future of athlete branding and marketing?

The future of athlete branding and marketing is athletes getting bigger than even entertainment brands. There's lots of opportunity out here, so if they don't go after it, they will miss out and someone else will swoop in. No matter who they are, athletes have to realize that and expand.