Caution needed as Emma Raducanu becomes a global sports brand

By our News Team | 2021

As the world’s marketers and sponsors flock to US Open tennis winner Raducanu, let’s not make the same mistakes as with past prodigies.

It was Emma Raducanu’s crushing ace which sealed a maiden US Open tennis win. Even before that, the marketing world was licking its lips at the arrival of sport’s newest superstar. 

Undoubtedly, much attention and many financial rewards will come the way of the young Briton. However, Matt Readman of London-based sports marketing agency Dark Horses writes the following as a caution in the UK marketing industry publication, The Drum

Her dramatic success caught the marketing world off guard. Articles in both industry and mainstream press on her newfound superstardom were full of experts using words like ‘bankable’. A long list of commercial endorsements were sure to follow the 18-year-old, they predicted.

Stories of the teenage superstars are often seen as a fairy tale. But there are also demons here too. If not managed correctly, marketers can fall into the trap of inadvertently objectifying young stars. This can add significant burdens to their mental health.

Time to exercise caution?

Marketers need to consider the mental stress they put her under. Professional tennis is brutally tough. A largely individual sport with a scoring system designed to stretch your mind as much as your body.  

Luckily for Raducanu, she is competing in a period when athletes are finding their true voice. For too long the persona of superstars was built outside of their control – by the media, brands and public. Now, athletes are starting to regain the ability to forge their own narrative. Through platforms like TikTok they can show another side to themselves away from the sponsored social posts and the media-trained interviews.

Raducanu offers an incredible opportunity for brands. Not to use a marketable face, but to listen and understand the story she wants to tell. The Emma Raducanu story can’t reflect those stars that have preceded her. It deserves to be totally unique and something we’ve never seen before. Brands that are looking to sponsor her should be patient, helping her discover who she is and what she wants to stand for. If they do, they will reap far greater rewards than any opportunistic short-term activations.

Source: The Drum

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.