The Power of The Pro

How Grassroots Sport can Leverage off the Success of International Athletes.

By Avner Kooperman – Centre Square Development

The one thing all internationally successful Australian Athletes have in common is that they were all at some point playing the sport they love at junior grassroots level.

Their dreams of participating at the highest level of competition were fulfilled through their own hard work and dedication.  However, without the network of support found at local club level and the successful development pathways implemented by state and national sporting associations they may never have had the opportunity to realise their dreams.

All too often the local club or sporting association’s role in assisting our successful international athletes is forgotten, but what if grassroots sport could harness the marketing power of these international superstars to promote, increase interest and participation in their sport.  These opportunities present themselves in many different mediums. It’s a matter of proactively identifying the marketing opportunity for the sport and developing content for the athlete to promote.

Mathew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut recently faced off in the NBA Finals Series. Two Victorian Basketball Superstars who utilised the sports strong development pathway both at club level and the AIS to propel themselves to basketball’s highest level.

Prior to Game 5 of the Finals Series, ABC Breakfast News broadcasted live from Dellavedova’s High School in Maryborough.   The ABC Presenter spoke to the School’s Principal and current students about their link with “Delly” and how they are all supporting their ex student. There was even mention of Lebron James showing an interest in Dellavadova’s home town and a desire to visit Australia.

What a fantastic opportunity it would have been for the Maryborough Blazers and the Bendigo Braves, the two Junior Clubs Dellavedova played with to leverage this nationally televised cross to promote their own brands and how they helped Delly get to where he is today.   Sports need to be on the front foot to actively look for these opportunities that become available to them. Once an opportunity has been identified its vital that the clubs and associations maximise the potential exposure.

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