Brittany Gilman – Sporting Drive. She has enjoyed a distinguished career in the sports industry in a variety of different roles. A former professional snowboarder and member of the US Junior Olympic Snowboard Team, her experiences have helped her shape a unique understanding of the needs of athletes. We caught up with her to get a little more insight into her business, BG Sports Enterprises.
Can you tell us a little about your business?
“BG Sports Enterprises was founded in 2007. We are a brand development agency that specialises in the Professional Sports space. We work with individual athletes, agents, managers and brands. For individual athlete management, we focus on enhancing and developing all components of the athlete’s brand and creating opportunity, brand longevity, and monetization strategies. This is accomplished through the implementation of a variety of services including Marketing, PR, Events, Community Relations, Business Development and Digital Branding. For brands, we create innovative marketing and PR solutions as well as unique digital advertising campaigns.”
What are the principal elements of your work?
“My favourite part about work is that in itself lies infinite possibilities and opportunities to create. So much of our society is organized into structure and order. Not that we don’t have components of this, but each client and project we work with, begin with a blank slate. Everything is created around the goals and vision. Branding is such a broad term that encompasses so many elements. If I have to categorize them, I would say that the main elements consist of innovative marketing, digital strategy, design, public relations, event production, graphic design, website development and more.”
I’m particularly interested in digital branding and monetization. What are your strategies for achieving this?
“Well, I can’t give away our strategies, but I will tell you a bit about how we create them. Each strategy is created surrounding our client’s objectives and other factors specific to their brand. For our athlete clients, we begin with an analysis of their current brand status:
Where are they in terms of their career? Current social media metrics? Current sponsor/partners? Interests, passions, etc. Where did they grow up? Go to school? What team/club do they play on? Traditions surrounding their team?
“We then do an analysis of the market they are in, the demographics of their followers, the behaviour of their followers.
“From this information, we create a strategy that implements multiple revenue streams depending on the above data and factors. Some methods of monetization include partnerships and digital advertising campaigns, e-commerce, sponsorships, product placement and more.”
How much does technology weave itself into the lives of professional sportspeople?
“Technology, as we know, rules our world. Professional sportspeople are utilizing technology at almost every time of the day. Smartphones and social media apps revolutionized our universe. Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have completely changed the way the fan can access and view the athlete. Almost every Professional Athlete today has at least one social media platform that they are currently active on, or have someone running for them. It’s necessary for the success of an Athlete off the field to be on social media.”
How important is social media within the sector you operate in?
“Social media is vital in the sector in which I operate. Every deal I have done in the past 4-5 years has either been strictly social media or encompassed a large part of it. An athlete’s digital platform is the first place the fan goes to learn about and connect with the athlete.”
What advice would you have for sportsmen and women in terms of managing social media and the associated elements?
“I think that the awareness of the value of social media is increasing worldwide, especially in Europe. The U.S. has been able to really capitalize on social media and view it as more of a business tool rather than a time-waster. This mindset is now expanding to Europe and athletes/managers are beginning to recognize the value. The main thing I would say to an athlete is that the time you have in this position is so short, and it’s imperative to take advantage of the ease of platform growth as a Profession athlete. The followers that an athlete gains during his or her career, mostly will remain for the rest of their life.
“Also, if they can begin to view their social media as a platform in which to push out content that appeals to possible opportunities. For example, posting motivating and inspiring content. This not only puts positivity into the world but also helps create an image for future business.”
You have a strong footprint in the US. Do you have plans to move to Europe?
“Yes, we have already expanded to Europe and are very excited to be working with some young superstars of the Football (Soccer) world. In addition, we are doing several collaborations among athletes from across the world and involving some exciting technology including VR.”
Can you tell us what you consider to be the most exciting technology development of the last 12 months?
“I would have to say that the rapid growth of VR is definitely exciting. VR is the future and will soon be a component of daily life. I’m also working on a very exciting platform and app that will completely disrupt the sports industry. I’ve been working on it for 5 years and have seen little bits and pieces of the concept pop up here and there, but it still has not been done. I can’t wait to reveal this concept and technology to the world!”
Do you think there is still a gap in the market for any new initiatives in your sector?
“I think there will always be a gap in the market for this sector. There really are no limits to what you can create. I feel truly blessed to be able to call this my job. I honestly took everything I loved in life and made it my reality. That’s the beauty of life, we all have the tools and ability to create whatever we want. It’s just a matter of being courageous enough to take a chance, and believing in yourself and the possibilities!”