Every day we face challenges in our jobs and our ability to meet these challenges head on and work them through in a manner that meets the level of expectations of those we interact with determines success and failure.
One of the big challenges of representing famous athletes is translating the locker room to the board room. What that means precisely is educating your client as to what his/her value is off the field during the career. Only then can you marry them to interested corporate partners while executing a successful event or campaign from which both parties attain benefits.
The fine line in promoting a personal brand and creating value outside the lines is tied to the notion that what you do and say in the locker room or on the field to motivate yourself does not always translate well in a corporate message. For example, a recent African American Hall of Fame Inductee made the statement in the locker room to a room full of rookies, “Try and act like the white guys”. Maybe the statement was made for shock value, or too gain attention, I have no idea. Now try and sell that to the corporate world that they should trust him with their message and pay him to do so. Probably not rushing to do that, if you know what I mean, and probably not creating a whole lot of trust and goodwill for others looking to get paid.
While most athletes have a strong sense of what it takes to perform on the big stage in front of massive television audiences, very few have a sense of what the corporate message is and who the audience is. How they behave in the locker room and on the field during their careers, sets the imprint for their corporate value down the road. You are building a brand and what you do is your message that people will buy into or they won’t.
. Of course it doesn’t matter if you are not chasing corporate dollars off the field when your career is over and the pipeline stops producing oil. However, if you are looking for the corporate cheese, you need to protect your brand from the moment you hit the field and you need to think before you speak, because people are listening and you are sending a message that is being recorded, stored and will be tagged back to you for more than just your athletic career.