27.10.2017

THE RISE OF THE EVERYDAY ATHLETE

Tough Mudder? Completed it. Spartan race? Done and dusted. Marathon? You bet. To say the team have been busy on the endurance event front recently is an understatement. Between us, we’re embodying the very concept of the everyday athlete on a weekly basis; and not just as a consequence of the industry we work in. The desire to challenge yourself, compete, race, train isn’t a novel one but one our nation is taking up with gusto in recent years, and the industry is responding accordingly. Particularly in the way we are working in the ‘influencer’ space.

It’s interesting to stop and consider the very nature of the term. One that can often provoke a certain amount of cynicism and eye-rolling when brought up in campaign context, ‘influencers’ can often just mean a tick-box for the Instagram aspects of a new launch or story. We often bypass the very reason the term came about – influential figures in their areas of expertise. In the age of ‘influencer work’ for pretty much everything from cosmetics, apparel, tech through to skill-sets, brands can become all too lazy about the way they work with industry ‘experts’, looking for quick-fixes of endorsement through rushed pushes of product in return for pots of the campaign budget.

We’re reaching the point where there is a certain amount of backlash because of this – the consumer audience is tiring of the #ad approach and the lines between authentic and genuine endorsement, versus brand flogging are pretty blurred. Rather than just ticking that ‘influencer’ box of campaign planning, it’s becoming all the more apparent to reconsider the smart ways of working with ‘influencers’, and this means from the very start finding those people that really, truly embody the term.

In our industry, saturated by the fitness instagrammer, these need to be the guys and girls that genuinely inspire. Brands do well to remember the reciprocal nature of the relationship between influencer and client - the very best brand ambassadors are those brought on board with a genuine interest and affinity with the brand, and are therefore fostered and nurtured in return to become a real ambassadorial asset. These might not be the sporting elite, team GB competitors, lifestyle coaches with millions of followers but rather the up and comers, the emerging talent in their particular field or those with a really genuinely interesting story to tell. Inspiration and what it means to a consumer audience is changing; we want to relate. Yes sculpted bods, podium medals and beautifully shot backdrops are aspirational but achievable? Not so much. Content needs to be relatable and this is where we see the emergence of the everyday athlete/influencer really making a mark – the people taking on life’s challenges, creating their own, telling interesting, credible achievement stories for all the right reasons. That’s who we want to be. Coming on board at the start of the story is an exciting time to do so and brands are waking up to that. 

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