Gail Sideman Publicity


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Athletes and media: when your task is to pitch a product, engage instead

During the next two weeks we will hear dozens of current and former athletes as well as sports talent speak about the NFL and Super Bowl on behalf of sponsors. Companies pay individuals to promote their products and services for fees during one of the most media-hyped periods of the sports year.

In most cases, a radio host will preface an interview with “So-and-So is brought to us today by SuperSubs” and that is the end of the corporate mention. In others, the host will ask his guest what he’s promoting. Mr. Guest answers with a sentence that was written by a corporate office followed by a website domain. Mr. Guest will repeat that line each time he is on a show.

{Yawn ….}

As an active or retired athlete or member of the media, you can make yourself more marketable and listener-friendly if you make your product or service pitch part of the conversation. Share a quick one, no more than two-sentence anecdote why you like the product or service that you’re being paid to promote, or how it helped you or a friend when you used it. Follow with the sponsor’s domain, and voila, you’ve just had a conversation about your sponsor. You didn’t just pimp and make it sound like a bland paid advertisement. You might even make it share-worthy which makes your sponsor and host happy.

It’s no secret that when you talk to a radio host, he or she is just interested in your perspective from an athlete or peer point-of-view, and the sponsor mention is a necessary evil. You can, however, make that note entertaining and informative. When you add a little spice, it gives audiences reason to listen and most importantly, remember what you’re selling.

Let’s talk about how you can make your sponsor pitch more relatable to the public.


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