There are lots of sports influencers on the web, using various channels, but particular sports lend themselves best to specific media platforms. If you want to carry out a campaign with the influencers, you’re making the right choice; but follow this guide in order to make the most out of your investment.

Brands like sports influencers

No less than a third of French people follow influencers on social networks, and this proportion continues to increase from year to year—and this trend exists beyond France. This phenomenon is catalysed by millennials who are the fondest of influencers’ recommendations, especially for their purchasing decisions. 48% of them follow influencers in order to “consume better”, while 33% look for a discount on a product (source: L’Argus de la Presse, 2017). Regardless of the follower’s intent, the traffic that an influencer can drive offers and exciting opportunity for a partner. Brands, big or small, are looking to influencers to increase awareness and sales, and sports influencers are high profile targets. The reason is simple: sports figures are among the most followed across the internet by both a male and female audience.

Gym fitness is a form of exercise that appeals right across the cross sector of age, gender and ability. (Photo credit: Pixabay, Pexels)

The misconception still exists, however, that sports influencers attract only a male target. On the contrary, aerobic areas such as pilates and yoga attract a predominantly female audience. Generally speaking, gym and fitness attracts a diverse audience. In short: sports influencers are an attractive partner because of their great impact in the contemporary market climate. The question, then, is not will they work for you; the challenge is how to entice them to work with you.

How to find sports influencers on YouTube

On YouTube, sport is the third most viewed content segment after music and lifestyle. For some sports, like freestyle football or fitness, recognisable profiles directly correlate to a successful YouTube channel. YouTube must not be considered as a passive platform, instead as an active tool; Google revealed that, in France, 39% of sports video viewers are concurrently doing physical exercise. For any audience, YouTube influencers appeal to the mind and the body alike.

To guide you, here is a top 10 of the biggest French sports influencers on YouTube:

Of course with a large audience comes a large fee. Businesses, instead, should be turning their attention to micro-influencers on YouTube. Fewer viewers should not necessarily be considered a drawback: a concentrated, yet more loyal, audience could drive a higher percentage of engagement than the larger influencers. Obviously these micro-influencers are highly unlikely to be commonly known, and thus the challenge is how to find them. The YouTube search engine is the most obvious tool because it is also the most germane to identifying potential partners on its platform. Moreover YouTube is a division of Google, and their highly regarded reputation as a search engine is replicated in YouTube.

Whether the channel has 500 or 10,000 subscribers, it’s possible to find any type of influencer on the French YouTuber directory “Annuaire-Youtubeur.com”, whatever topic you’re interested in. (Photo credit: screenshot YouTuber directory)

For France, there is a free online directory to find exclusively French-speaking influencers: discover the sport & well-being category of Annuaire-Youtubeur.com.

How to find sports influencers on Instagram

Not all sports influencers are to be found on Instagram, it really depends on the type of sport. So you won’t find many running enthusiasts sharing their passion on the inherently photo-centric platform, as it does not suit their (quite literally) high pace sport; on the other hand, Instagram is the favourite destination for gym fitness enthusiasts—whether novice or professional. In light of this dual demographic of gym goers, an influencer has an increased likelihood of promoting a business because of an easily reachable audience. Many YouTubers recognise this potential, and duplicate their presence with an Instagram account, such as Sissy Mua or Nassim Sahili.

In the age of visually-driven content, it is obvious why Instagram is the traditional platform of influencer marketing. Most online platforms will offer a wide range of influencers, and can cater to any budget. Just be sure to check these few points before you enter into a partnership with an influencer:

  • The influencer has a reasonable publication rate (1 publication per day is optimal), otherwise the sponsored photo will be lost in a flood of native publications.
  • Each publication generates authentic interactions (in order to avoid inflated accounts of fake subscribers).
  • The style of the influencer corresponds to your brand image.
(Photo credit: Eddy Lackmann, Unsplash)

You don’t have to be exclusively a sports brand to use sports influencers. Typically, the fashion and apparel industry has long relied on influencers who showcase their products.

How to find sports influencers on blogs

It might seem obvious, but sometimes Google can be the forgotten—or overlooked—search engine that can find absolutely anything. So simply type “blog” followed by the sport that interests you. You’ll discover roughly the top 10 blogs that are authoritative for the sport. To find micro-influencers, just explore further on pages 2, 3 and 4 of the search results. It may sound simplistic, but that is a testament to how simple finding a micro-influencer can be.

Just use Google smartly to identify the most popular blogs for each sport. Here, for instance, basketball blogs in France. (Photo credit: screenshot google.fr)

Google is therefore a good solution for the identification stage; getting in touch with a blogger, negotiating and establishing a contract, however, is where the challenge begins. With this issue so widespread, a platform for connecting bloggers and advertisers makes perfect sense. The getfluence platform is an ideal means to connect businesses and influencers, greatly simplifying all these aforementioned potential struggles, hosting dozens of bloggers specialising in various sports:

YouTube, Instagram, blogs, sports influencers are everywhere. So it can be difficult to know where to start. Depending on the sport you’re interested in, simply observe where the communities are most active; typically, a partnership with a sports blogger will usually cost you less and be perceived as more authentic. Many brands focus exclusively on Instagram and forget other media. It is imperative for you to decide what audience you want to connect with, and then explore the myriad of influencers who can use their platform to launch your business to the next level.