Can Professional Athletes Make More Money Online Vs Their Contracts Annually?.

By Posted in - Athlete Branding & Athletes & Domains & Social Media on January 15th, 2010

What a crazy question right?!? As of 2009, the easy answer is no way. But why can certain websites online make millions of dollars in revenue annually? There is a very simple answer to this question: Traffic. Traffic is gold. Now there are a lot of methods and reasons to why a certain website versus another receives more traffic than another. From the genericness of the domain name, how well the site is optimized to offline brand marketing budgets, traffic ultimately produces revenue.

Why couldn’t we take the same revenue methods of these extremely successful websites and mimic it for Professional athletes? We can and does. There is a great deal of uniqueness in dealing with an athletes’ website. They have a substantial following already (which equals immediate traffic) along with (hopefully) obtaining their definitive domain name. We have the ability to capture their fan base from other social and media networks to consistently keep traffic on the rise.

Lets break down some numbers and have some hypothetical fun:

Steve Nash is making $12,250,000 for the 2009-2010 season. It is safe to say he made close to 1 Million dollars in endorsements this year ( educated guess). For the sake of the article lets call his total revenue at 13,250,000.00 this year.

He does not currently have a site promoting himself as a brand. He does have which is dedicated to his foundation! Kudos. Steve Nash has roughly 520,000 fans on his face book page. He has roughly 110,000 followers on Twitter. ( He is gaining over 1,000 followers on each platform everyday.) Below is a quick snap shot of another memorabilia site selling Steve Nash articles (most likely without his permission and non of the profits going to him or his foundation). Having his own site allows him to control his own memorabilia and unique products he could sell.

So lets say on average his products would profit $99.00 per item in his e-store. With a total of 630,000 followers, is it reasonable to say that 3% of his fans will purchase something from his site annually? I think so. That totals to $1,871,100. Yeah, crazy right. Now lets say he decided to have a paid membership on his site which gives fans an up close look at his season through video. He will only video blog 2x week and the cost would be $5.00/month. Safe to say that 15,000 of his fans will be members? I think so. That equates to $45,000.00/month for his membership which totals an annual revenue of $540,000. Now lets say we decide to have a monthly webinar in the Suns locker room with some of the players to discuss his upcoming games. The cost of this webinar will be $15.00/webinar. Lets say 1,000 fans login per month on this webinar. That equates to roughly $15,000.00/webinar which totals $180,000 annually.

Now let’s say he decided to shoot instructional videos and sell them on his site. He makes 15- 1:30 clips on his point of view of basketball, skills and workouts. The cost of the instructional videos will be $1.99 per video, which will be sold on iTunes. Lets say 10% of his fans purchase 2 videos each which totals $125,370. With the type of traffic Steve Nash would generate to his site, it is safe to say he would receive more than 500,000 unique monthly visitors. This usually equates to 6-8k per month in online advertising (easily). With a couple other online revenue generators that uses we could safely add another $250,000 a year in sales based on PPC campaigns, affiliate marketing and other development ventures.

From only drawing conclusions through the fan base he has already on two social networks, our modest revenue model for Steve Nash would be $3,062,470 annually. Obviously we came a little short compared to his salary. Since online revenue generation is solely based on traffic and conversion, his site awareness would increase monthly and would consistently gain in daily unique visits to his site. This would directly effect the site revenue in a positive manner.

I am very hesitant in writing articles like these because of how real and powerful the numbers are. I have had agents claim they can do the same process for their clients and have failed miserably. With that being said, there are agents that I have been in contact with that understand the value of the internet. It’s only a matter of time before every professional athlete/icon is utilizing their own platform as a means to connect with their fans and produce revenue effectively.

Till next time,

Chris Gruler

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