As a luxury PR agency, covering equestrian brands, we’re used to working with both riders and our brands, but it’s a delicate balance, which needs to be fair for both parties. In this article, the Equine PR team talks about brands, rider’s expectations and how to keep it a happy and beneficial relationship for both.
The biggest aspect for us as a luxury UK PR agency is to manage both brand and rider expectations. A brand expects the rider to sign up and sales suddenly rocket and the rider generally assumes that the brand will actively be promoting their association. This, WITHOUT, a PR doesn’t generally happen. Why? Because the company needs to ‘shout’ about their association not just with an announcement, but also with ongoing content which is creative, exciting and imaginative. The rider? Well, he or she is busy riding, training and competing. You might get some social pick up through mentions on their social channels and branding on their saddlecloth, but it’s really up to you to maximise your association with the rider. It will make all the difference.
Many brands think of their sponsored riders as extended parts of their ‘sales team’ and to an extent, they are selling your brand. However, to expect them to physically get direct sales for you is not something we ever suggest. After all, do you see George Clooney flogging coffee on a market stall for his Nespresso? No, so why would you expect your sponsored rider to be doing the same? In our minds, a sponsored rider should be someone who is ‘the face of’ the brand and an ambassador for your business. The rider will, of course, be expected to sing your product’s praises and no doubt will create sales through recommendation but this is not their primary job. Their job is to out there building brand awareness through their riding, training and competing. With good management so much can be achieved, from training feature placements, competitions involving your riders, ‘meet and greet’ opportunities at key events and general support to your brand.
In order to get off to a good start and maintain a healthy relationship with riders, it is imperative to have clear communication, a good contract and clear expectations with commitment, in writing. Details such as how many social posts you expect over the term of the contract, through to time commitments and branding rights on equipment and clothing are all aspects that need to be agreed by both parties.
The magic ingredient? A good PR. This middle man sits between your brand and your rider and actively help you maximise your association with your rider as well as helping to create fantastic content that is worthy of editorial or social sharing, ensuring your brand really is riding high.
Get in touch to find out more about how the Equine Team can help your brand: [email protected]