Jul 23, 2021

Influencers First, Athletes Second

Krystal Faircloth
Chief of Content

For girls who have grown up playing and excelling in a sport, being recruited at the college level has marked the pinnacle of their dreams. Some have had the chance to go on to play professionally, but these have been few and far between. For the majority of players, making money playing a sport was something that would never happen.  


Athletes make money when they have a following. Until recently, this has meant that only the big stars (historically men) could earn marketing dollars at an elite level. But all of this is changing. A new form of marketing among amateur players has emerged thanks to the growth of social media. Now, both athletes and companies are finding ways to make money by reaching smaller, lucrative audiences online. For student athletes, this means potentially making$$$ without ever really, well, hitting the big time.  And for brands looking for a specific set of eyes, it’s the ideal opportunity for engagement.


You and your brand could be part of it. Here’s how it works.

New Legislation Means Student Athletes Can Now Monetize Themselves

This summer 2021, new state laws and NCAA rules came into effect. These allow student athletes to enjoy new liberties. This novel set of rules allows college-level athletes to make money using their name, image, and likeness. These are otherwise known as their NIL rights. The one caveat is that schools and their employees cannot pay athletes directly. Some states also have laws in place that stop athletic departments from “causing compensation to be directed to” any athletes.  Other than that, student athletes are free to make deals with brands and names they wish to support, and to be supported by them, in turn.


This new change has resulted in a burst of fantastic online marketing opportunities. College athlete marketing has hit a new stride. Student athletes are now much-sought-after influencers. And this means, for companies, there has never been a better time to take advantage of access to a whole new audience. It’s a big stage.

Who Ranks at the Top?

As with a lot of online marketing opportunities, females are coming to the forefront. During the NCAABasketball Tournament in March of 2021, 8 out of 10 of the most-followed NCAAElite Eight basketball players online were women. And furthermore, in general, ten of the top twenty most-followed Elite Eight players at that time, or half, were women as well.


The recent top-ranking collegiate athlete Instagram accounts based on their number of followers included Shareef O’Neal (basketball, 2.6 million followers), Olivia Dunne (gymnastics, 1.4 million followers), Paige Bueckers (basketball, 952,000 followers), Javon Quinerly (basketball, 437,000 followers), and Spencer Rattler (football, 398,000 followers).


The opportunities for brands to connect with these talented and rising stars are hot. Now is the perfect time to join the stage and grab the attention of your market by leveraging the hard work and achievement these athletes represent as the new face of youth, sport, and excellence. How can you do it? By sitting on your couch. Really? Yes. We’re here to help.

These Top Brands Are Already Working With College Athletes

Degree, Kendra Scott, are all massive brands that have already worked with athletes online just because of their strong following. And many more are now following suit.In order to best connect with the group of talent college athletes represent, you need a reliable platform through which you can meet and form alliances.


Statistics show that almost 50% of American consumers depend on influencer recommendations when making their purchases. Furthermore, about 70% of today’s teens actually trust influencers more than traditional celebrities, and up to 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice. It’s a fact: you can truly benefit from having the right influencers on your side.

Our App Connects You

At MatchPoint Connection we’ve done the grind work for you. We specialize in connecting brands with talent for a perfect duo.Our team has developed a comprehensive app that leverages paid promotions using a four-factor algorithm. Through this development, we’ve made influencer marketing that much easier, organic, cutting-edge, and affordable. The app is used by big and small businesses who are working at the national and local levels. The outcome is active, targeted results.


How does it work? We offer you access to talent of all levels and types, by presenting users with suggested opportunities through our app. Our streamlined technology allows you to send and receive offers. You can also chat with potential talent, pay and get paid, and approve content all with the tap of your finger. As we said, you can do it all from your living room, if you like. It’s really that easy.


There is huge potential waiting in the stands and on the field, track, pool, and court. Statistics show that well over half of all Americans responding to a Statista survey identified themselves as casual to avid college football fans. And that’s just one sport.


Grow your network and audience now. It’s never been quite so exciting!


Contact Matchpoint now to learn more about how we can match your brand with the ideal influencer to help you share your views, values, and products with the world. Let’s start.

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