#NobleRiders – what do I look for?
Choosing the right rider to represent a brand is tricky…
- Are they a good fit?
- Do they have the right values?
- Does their lifestyle suit your product?
- Are they good value?
- Are they online and do they have good engagement & reach on social media or with their blog?
- Are they respected in their field?
- Will they provide the exposure you need?
- Do you share the same audience?
In my role as PR Consultant for the very exciting British branch of Equestrian technical performance clothing brand, Noble Outfitters I am tasked with considering all of the above when choosing and managing our team of #NobleRiders. Getting approached by riders from all walks of life is a daily occurrence for Noble, and while it is flattering to think that we have reached a point where riders want to be associated with us, we can’t support everyone, as much as we would sometimes love to!
My first tip for anyone who feels they are in a position to actively seek sponsorship would be to think about how you are asking. The majority of our #NobleRiders let their riding and social media do the talking for them. I am very lucky that I am immersed in the eventing world and that this is where Noble’s audience is. This means that I know most of the top-level riders personally but it doesn’t mean that I would pick my ‘mates’. Far from it…
We are currently gearing up to announce two very exciting editions to Team Noble, one of whom has firmly set out her stall as a serious One to Watch by achieving some amazing results over the last few years and the other has an immaculate record and did his first 4* this year and both of whom we have been quietly watching all season.
In my search for riders to support with Noble, talent comes first. Talent breeds respect and allows riders to inspire and influence others. Inspiration and influence lead to sales. This isn’t always the case though.
The number of Equestrian bloggers is rising every day and some of these influencers have HUGE social media followings, I mean tens of thousands of people who like their pages, engage with their posts and share their blogs. The value in this for a brand cannot be underestimated so my next tip would be to work on gaining a genuine, authentic and organic following on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all fab for this). Engage with them regularly and don’t be afraid to be ‘real’ on there. The more your audience relates to you, the more they will engage with you and the more they engage the more power you will have over influencing their choices.
If you feel that you can offer a brand top level exposure and influence people to purchase their products or services but you maybe don’t ride at international level, don’t be put off asking. But for goodness sake think about the way in which you do it. Dropping a brand a message on any social media platform asking them to give you free stuff is very rarely going to work. Gently jabbing at the brand with social posts featuring their products, visiting their stand at shows and events, liking and sharing their social media – regularly is much more likely to have an impact. Doing all of these things will get you noticed and will show that you practice what you preach. A message asking for free stuff will just get you put straight into my (and many other) trash folders I’m afraid.
Our team of 6 (soon to be 8) UK-based #NobleRiders riders span all levels of Eventing from BE90 (Intro) right the way up to regular appearances at 4*. For me this was very important when I was looking at the depth of the team. Noble Outfitters would like to be visible to every Eventing fan whether they are a Wobbleberry competing at BE80 or an International Advanced event rider looking for technical clothing to wear daily on the yard and in the saddle. In order to achieve this, the people we choose as ambassadors of the brand are vital. To find out more about who we have on our Noble Team head to www.nobleoutfitters.co.uk/pages/noble-riders.
Whether you are a brand looking to spread the word about your products or services or a rider who would love to help a brand do just that, ask yourselves the following:
- Does the rider fit into my brand’s ideal audience?/Do I as a rider have the same audience as the brand? Are we a good fit?
- Does the rider have the right values, are they always drunk or up to no good on social media?/Do I behave appropriately on social media, would I want to work with me if I was a brand?
- Does the rider’s lifestyle suit your product, would they buy and use it even if they weren’t sponsored?/Do I genuinely like and/or use the products I will be promoting?
- Does the rider have good engagement and reach on social media or with their blog?/Are my social media figures good enough to warrant me promoting a brand?
- Is the rider respected in their field and do they consistently get good results?/Do I work hard to achieve good results that will get me noticed?
- Will the rider provide the exposure you need?/Can I fulfil my promises to the brand to post regularly about their products, to wear or use them while out and about?
If the answers to the above are yes – then what are you waiting for..? Little steps are often the best way to test the water with sponsorship. After all, it is a two-way relationship and if either party don’t fulfil their promises the arrangement simply won’t work.
by Emily Mumford
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