'Simple Ways to Increase Fan Engagement, Connect With Your Audience, and Tell Your Story'

Photo Courtesy: Amobi Okugo

Photo Courtesy: Amobi Okugo

Amobi Okugo is a first-generation Nigerian-American, professional soccer player, entrepreneur, investor, and sports analyst.

He is also the founder and CEO of A Frugal Athlete, a company that promotes prudent financial and career decisions for professional and student athletes.

Amobi, what are you most excited about today?

Right now I’m most excited about A Frugal Athlete. I started the company about a year-and-a-half ago, and it’s been an exciting process to continue to build a base and credibility, while also expanding. Our goal is to become a major hub for professional athletes and student athletes to learn about prudent financial and career practices, while promoting financial literacy.

How does Amobi define an epic athlete brand?

An epic athlete brand, in my opinion, is one that has a clear identity and culture. An epic athlete brand has open dialogue with its audience. The ideal epic athlete brand lets its audience feel like they are in your inner circle because it’s easily accessible and transparent.

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

Right now, I would say either Paul Rabil or JuJu Smith-Schuster, both for different reasons. Paul Rabil because he’s leveraged his career in a relatively small sport into a sort of conglomerate of business ventures, while JuJu has been steps ahead of the game as a rookie in the NFL and come out of the gate building a solid brand.

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

I personally feel that every athlete should either have a YouTube channel or blog. Both are easy ways to add onto your social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These are simple ways to increase fan engagement, and connect with your audience, and tell your story from a non-boring interview format. If that is too much for you to begin with, start on your social media channels and go from there.

The ideal epic athlete brand lets its audience feel like they are in your inner circle because it’s easily accessible and transparent.
— Amobi Okugo

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

Just do it, don’t wait for it to be right. As long as you do it, it will be authentic. Don’t worry about what certain fans will think, or if teammates will try to clown you, or coaches that say you aren’t invested into the team. As long as you perform, don’t let it get in the way of your job building your personal brand.

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

Right now my go-to app is Buffer. It really helps with A Frugal Athlete, getting posts out on time and scheduling on different platforms.

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

The future is endless. I really mean that. With the way social media and digital media are just scratching the surface, you would be doing yourself a disservice as an athlete not to brand and market yourself. Not just superstars will be targeted. There are so many different platforms and avenues and companies willing to spend dollars, so I would say the future is very promising.