Blog post: A new era of brand influencers?

brand influencers

How athletes became the celebrity icons of 2021

Sporting superstars such as Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles and British teenage tennis superstar Emma Raducanu dominated the red carpet at the recent Met Gala. They looked every inch the global stars and with their growing social media following, it’s easy to see why companies might be getting excited at the prospect of having them as brand influencers.

A new generation of influencers

They represent a new generation of young female athletes that have risen to fame in 2021 for not only their talent, but their ability to be authentic and grounded. Whether it’s Naomi’s courage to challenge the status quo at tennis tournaments. Simone’s strength in withdrawing from probably one of the biggest Olympic moments of her career, due to mental health. Or the composure and resilience Emma showed in her first ever grand slam, at the age of 18. These females are a beacon of light, not only for their sport but for the younger generation.

And there are so many more positive stories of athletes like this. Take Footballer, Marcus Rashford and what he has done for child poverty. Or the England football team standing against racism and showing the nation what team spirit is all about. Their values of honesty, respect, empathy and resilience, shine through on and off the pitch. They are genuine influencers of our time.

Authenticity = power

After the struggles of the past 22 months, the summer of sporting success is certainly what we all needed, but it’s perhaps the narrative behind the success that’s captured our hearts… The fairytales, the triumph over adversity, fighting for the vulnerable – it is these authentic stories that will inspire and engage young people. 

These sporting superstars are so much more than the physical talent they possess – they are icons of a new era. 

They represent diversity, equality and inclusion and speak to a wide audience, making them extremely powerful influencers. 

As a mum of 3 boys (age 12, 5, 3) and a little girl (age 1), it’s refreshing to see influencers as such positive role models for them to grow up with. 

I look forward to seeing what brand collaborations come from this new era of brand influencers. I hope they continue to stay true to their own personal brands and continue to fight for what they believe in, using their platform for good.

By Hayley Peters, Smoking Gun PR

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