Creating a Useful Sport Campaign
Nowadays, sport has become a mass product, which follows the same rules as any other product or service, namely in terms of public relations (PR). It is necessary to achieve such goals as a positive image and reputation of a sports club, athlete or sports organization. Moreover, it helps to attract the potential audience of professional sports. However, there is no ultimate algorithm for touting a sportsman as his/her promotion depends on many variables that can change rapidly. In particular, such factors involve the popularity of sports, athletic performance, etc. This paper is a project of a PR campaign for the student-athlete Reggie Henderson engaged in pro wrestling.
There is a number of goals that the campaign aims to achieve. The first is the spread of correct information about the athlete, thus increasing peoples awareness of him. The next goal is the establishment of contacts with the target groups: wrestling fans and, in the long-term perspective, potential sponsors. Finally, it is necessary to generate interest in the athlete.
Given the fact that the campaign is initiated by the college sports information director, it is clear that, at its initial stage, it will be funded by the educational facility. In such conditions, the options for the public relations are likely to be limited. Moreover, the interest of the public in athletes increases during the sports season, which is especially true for those who are to become popular. Thus, the beginning of the campaign must coincide with the beginning of such season (LEtang, 2013). At this stage, it is required to create the image of Reggie Henderson as a pro wrestler. It is important to define his distinctive features: the nickname (The Wrecking Ball), fight style, and signature moves that appeal to the target auditory (young wrestling fans, primarily males). He is to be presented as a ferocious fighter in the ring but also as a friendly, down-to-earth person outside of it. The created profile of the athlete is to be featured in the college newspaper, providing his portrait, a brief description of his biography, and achievements in the field of pro wrestling.
Additionally, the campaign involves the creation of a personal website for Reggie Henderson, hosting not only personal information but also his fan club page with Q&A section that will encompass his accessibility for people. After each match the athlete participates in, it is required to conduct a press briefing, attracting representatives of the college newspaper. Its primary purpose is to make a brief statement to the press immediately after important events and provide an illustration of concrete facts (Favorito, 2013). In particular, the athlete is to voice his opinion on the course of the match, specifically the techniques and fighting styles used by him and his opponent as well as his plans for the future.
The proposed measures will increase peoples awareness of Reggie Henderson without requiring significant financial injections, meaning that no external funding is required. Still, it is not enough for the efficient advertisement of the athlete. To consolidate the initial success, it is required to increase the publics interest in him in other words, turn his name into a brand (LEtang, 2013). Thus, it is necessary to gain additional support from the outside, namely, from sponsors. The establishment of the agreement with them is to be performed after the end of the sports season and must be based on the athletes performance. Considering that many manufacturers of the corresponding goods sponsor sporting events on the college level, it is possible to approach them with such proposition.
In case the event was conducted solely by the educational facility, it is possible to establish a contact with the colleges suppliers of sports equipment. The feasibility of such approach is justified by the fact that sport is among the most common context of promoting goods and services nowadays. As a result, The Wrecking Ball may become a face of the local sports brand, thus becoming more appealing to the public.
The funds acquired from the sponsor are to be used for the creation of the athletes personal merchandise: caps, T-shirts, badges, etc., which feature his logo (Bruton, 2016). Its design must include the stylized depiction of a wrecking ball with the athletes autograph. The products can be distributed during the future sports events among the students of the college as well as the other visitors, which will also increase interest in Reggie Henderson. The rest of funds must be used to improve his results during matches (the development of training programs, the purchase of equipment, etc.).
In the long-term perspective, this practice will become obsolete as the efficient PR campaign combined with the basic level of achievement makes it possible to nullify the dependence of his popularity on athletic performance (Bruton, 2016). Thus, the described measures will allow spreading information of The Wrecking Ball beyond college, thus increasing peoples interest in him, while the contract with the manufacturer of sports equipment will add to his value in the eyes of the public.
In conclusion, it is evident that sport has become a profitable business. However, to use its potential fully, it is necessary to create the right image of people that are involved in it. An athlete that has an extraordinary image draws attention of fans, journalists, and sponsors, ultimately becoming a celebrity. At the same time, the creation of such image is indistinguishable from a well-planned PR campaign that defines the target auditory, sources of funding, and measures required to increase peoples awareness of the athlete as well as ensure the growth of interest in him.
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