'The Future Will See Athletes Truly Be Their Own Media Networks'

Photo Courtesy:   Jim Cavale

Photo Courtesy: Jim Cavale

Jim Cavale is a three-time INC. 5000 Entrepreneur, as well as the founder of Influencer (INFLCR), which serves sports team brands by aggregating their internally-produced content and their current player, coach, recruit and former player social media channels into one SaaS platform.

Jim, what are you most excited about today?

People don't follow brands on social — they follow other people!

The reality that social media audiences don't follow brand accounts to the degree that they follow other people, birthed my company Influencer (INFLCR), which is a software as a service (SaaS) platform that serves brands in aggregating a social media database of "their people" in the same cloud-based INFLCR account where they can store, track and deliver their digital content assets to the mobile devices of these individual people.

How does Jim define an epic athlete brand?

An epic athlete brand is, first of all, implemented daily by the athlete him or herself, not by a marketing agent. If LeBron can do his social, you can do yours.

Second, it's a daily storytelling mission by the athlete, utilizing the Message-Media-Market formula on social to establish their M-O, which goes beyond their athletic talent. Being intentional about their message, and frequently distributing this message through their social media, to a market of people that this message resonates with, is the fulfillment of this formula.

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

Russell Westbrook. He has people of all ages wearing skinny highwaters with pride. He personifies a lot of the above.

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

Their own social media. Telling their story for free, daily (not just doing paid posts).

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

First, spend an hour in front of a whiteboard and really think about what your message is ... what are you about beyond the game? How can you incorporate that into your multimedia messaging (pictures, videos, et cetera) on a daily basis? What social platforms do your market play on daily?

Let's focus on just using those channels to funnel your content through first. Okay, now start. Don't get discouraged and stop. It's a long game. Frequency and longevity win. Transparency wins. Keep going and it will tip!

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

I'm biased 😀

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

The future of athlete branding and marketing will see athletes truly be their own media networks, owning the rights to specific content initiatives that they used to appear on for free, when traditional networks owned those same rights.

For example, Chris Paul won't go on a regional television network to do a season preview show, when he could do his own on his social channels.