Sports Marketing – Johnny Durán

Johnny Durán is specialized in sports marketing. He works for Team Life Group, a Colombian company specialized in managing athletes personal brand. Johnny and the rest of the team work with professionals from all sports, including footballers. They tend to be the most demanded by advertisers because they cover a large audience, Johnny explains.

This expert in sports marketing explains how this sector, which is becoming increasingly important in LATAM, differs from other branches of more classic marketing, especially by the great importance of passion and feelings. Johnny explains how this affects the planned strategies. On the other hand, he also emphasizes the importance of personal branding for athletes and explains how their reputation is managed.

What are the peculiarities of sports marketing? How is it different from other sectors?

It distinguishes itself from other sectors  because it works with passion and feelings.

If you want to understand something you must enter and dig in, investigate. Once you find gold you start creating.

My clients are human beings, so you must learn to deal with talent, with egos, with emotions, with moments of their day to day to ensure that your product is the best and is maintained by the strategic line you designed for it.


What kind of strategies are most important in sports marketing?

The most important things are those that you create thinking about the human being as the center of everything, which you design achieving empathy between the sports talent, the brand and its audience. Once that emotional connection is generated, everything is magic.


What tools do you use in your day to day?

Know their dreams, objetives and goals.

Knowing them gives you the inputs to keep them focused on their careers and continue with your work plan.

From social networks you take information that you learn to translate into strategies and actions.

Investigate consumer trends and understand what happens in the market. Do a safari in the environment of the athlete for me is one of the best, you have real findings and you understand many things that can give you enough clues to create and inspire you.


How important is the personal brand for athletes?

It is very important, the approach that we take with our method of brand training is focused on the person.

Not only do you work on your new business opportunities as an athlete, entrepreneur and brand ambassador, but at the same time you are growing and strengthening as a human being.


“My clients are human beings, so you must learn to deal with talent, with egos, with emotions, with moments of your day to day to ensure that your product is the best and is maintained by the strategic line you designed for it.”
Johnny Durán

Does the sport that our client practices influence a lot when we plan a sports marketing strategy?

Well, as for Marketing, yes. Some brands prefer Football over other disciplines because it is a sport that covers more publics.

But it all depends on how you tell your personal story, how you make that effort visible and what you have to offer to the brands you’re going to reach.

In some cases, talent and your personal brand is so attractive that brands arrive alone because of their content and storytelling.


Are there sports in which you should take more care of the reputation and personal brand of professionals? Which?

Everything depends on the talent to which advisors, representatives or promotions.

You have to attend to how media are or why brand moments are happening each one of them … But you should always take care of the reputation.

It is also very much related to the training you give your talents and the confidence you generate with them to have that facility to communicate, to be able to say things and avoid those crises.


What are the main threats to the reputation of athletes? How do you manage a reputation crisis of your clients?

The main threats are the management of their social networks.

Nowadays, most athletes upload content without strategy as if it were their diary and many times they pass that thin line that can affect their reputation.

You should always prevent and always have a strategic communication that connects and adds value. If not, you are prone to damage the positive reputation that the discipline you practice leaves you.


What importance is given to sports marketing in LATAM? Are there many differences by country?

In LATAM, It is gaining strength, brands are increasingly betting on sport.

What you see less is the management of personal sports brand, not many are aware that their sports retirement will come and how important it is to build something present that favors their future.


How do you plan the international expansion of one of your clients?

Many of our clients already cover the international market for their performances or their sports careers.

Within our commercial plan and partnerships with major brands are very present each of our sports talents.

And, for our part, we are always generating collaborations with international companies to open the market and expand.

¿Puedes recomendarnos un libro sobre marketing deportivo?

I could recomend you a few

  • If you want to know about being an agent: La clave Mendes
  • A book about Personal Branding: Athletes are Brands Too de Jeremy Darlow.
  • A book to understand football from the point of view of a former player and now coach: Creer de Diego Simeone
  • If you want to deepen on Brands and Athletes you may like this blog