How the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team drove 55.8M impressions on partnership content with Aspire
"Our new partnership with Kappa will be the largest campaign that we've done. They have one of the highest budgets for athlete ambassadors and content collective combined, and Aspire is going to help us run the entire thing." - Grant Gittus, Commercial Partnerships and Broadcast Production at U.S. Ski & Snowboard
U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes deserved more lucrative brand deals
Grant Gittus, Account Executive for Commercial Partnership and Broadcast Production for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, explains that his organization began investigating influencer marketing when they noticed their athletes boasted incredibly high online engagement. They realized that with such high numbers, their skiers and snowboarders should receive the same deals as influencers. Instead, the organization had to work twice as hard internally to win similar deals.
U.S. Ski and Snowboard wanted to ensure their athletes received the partner deals and ambassadorships they deserved. Fortunately, the organization discovered Aspire, and the partnerships quickly followed.
Aspire quickly became one of the most popular programs in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard office. In Grant’s words, athlete partnerships and deals are now "elevated." Here are the benefits the organization and its athletes have gained from Aspire so far:
Benefit #1: Increased partnership longevity for long-term revenue
With Aspire, individual athletes now receive far better income from team partners. While that was the primary benefit the team hoped to achieve, the advantages go a few steps further:
- Aspire's program protects U.S. Ski & Snowboard's partner exclusivity.
- Partners to the organization can work with athletes in an influencer-like capacity.
This is a win-win situation: The athletes receive the social recognition (and compensation) they deserve, while U.S. Ski & Snowboard retain lucrative partnerships with better terms.
Benefit #2: Frictionless interface for brands to find and contact athletes
Aspire is a closed network, so the team simply uploads their athletes to the CRM, and brands easily find the ones they want to work with. While companies often partner with the organization as a whole, sometimes they want to work with a smaller group of athletes. Creating these points of contact through the Aspire network has several pros:
- It allows U.S. Ski & Snowboard to ensure their athletes only receive good faith financial opportunities.
- The organization can test-drive ambassadors to find the best fit for long-term deals.
Benefit #3: Distributing 18k sponsored items – without issue
Recently, U.S. Ski & Snowboard signed a ten-year deal with the brand Kappa, who agreed to supply 18,000 pieces of product for all athlete uniforms. They will also sponsor the organization’s Free Snowboard Aerials, Moguls, Alpine Skiing, Paralympics Skiing, and Snowboarding teams.
Simply put, the campaign will be massive. It'll be the most extensive campaign the organization has ever done. The contract has one of the highest budgets for athlete ambassadors and Aspire content collective combined.
“Aspire’s platform is just so easy to use. It has been seamless for us to collect reports, pay our athletes and have communication for approvals.”
Aspire enabled over $200k athlete sponsorships in 3 years
With Aspire, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team is in the driver's seat of their athletes' partnership opportunities. They get to create the story potential partners hear and highlight each athlete's best attributes. Aspire has also enabled them to pay their athletes $200k+ over the last three years through brand deals.
Here are more wins driven by Aspire:
- 10-year partnership with Kappa secured for the organization
- 55.9M total impressions on the team’s partnership content
- $0.63 CPM
- Total media value of $2.5M
- Over 1.8K pieces of content created with Aspire
Looking to the future, Aspire opens the door for younger U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team athletes to learn more about brand deals and how to navigate the influencer marketplace, which will streamline and boost their burgeoning careers.
“We are so excited to keep working with Aspire – they’ve done so much to grow our partnership and assist with our platform setup and personalization.”
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team is the Olympic sports organization empowering young skiers and snowboarders to achieve excellence on the international stage. They provide leadership and direction for thousands of young athletes while cultivating the integral community of clubs, coaches, parents, volunteers, and fans surrounding them. They receive no direct government funding and operate solely through private donations to help athletes reach their dreams.