Those of you who follow football in general and Italian football in particular will know at this stage of the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to Juventus for the record-transfer fee (for Italy) of €100M excluding commissions for agents and additional costs.

The investiment was big but it seems it’s already paying off in terms of jerseys sold (out) for an estimated €51M, increase in ticket price (30% on average for both season and single-game tickets) and investments from sponsors.

But there is another aspect that it’s closer to our industry and that is definitely worth mentioning: the growth of Juventus’ social media profiles following the signing of CR7. As shown in the graphics, within a month from Ronaldo being announced as a new player for the Italian giants, Juventus Instagram following went from 10.3M to 14.1M; Facebook followers went from 32.7M to 34.4M; and Twitter followers went from 6.08M to 6.21M. The increase in exposure for the brand from is colossal and can only increase (according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Instagramm alone is growing by 100k new followers per day)! So how to replicate the Ronaldo effect for your business? Easy…

Find and work with an influencer!

But not just any influencer. It has to be somebody that can really bring value to your business. Below we analyse some of the traits for picking an influencer:

  1. Find an influencer within your industry or from an industry that is close to yours – One of our clients, Marathonkidsireland.ie, develops fitness programmes for primary school students to promote exercise and fight obesity. It was a no brainer for them to choose former 400m European Champion David Gillick as an ambassador.
  2. Find an influencer who is popular on the platform you want to push – It’s common for some influencers to be very popular (or more popular) on one platform and less popular on others. In the choosing of your influencer, you need to make sure you can leverage their audience on the social media platform that is of interest to you.
  3. Engage with the influencer – Some influencers might be available for an exchange of services eg free goods or services in exchange for a post about the business or brand. For example, our client Thairapy Salon collaborates with model Sarah McGovern on this basis. Some other influencers might require an investment that is proportional to their following and the exposure thay can give you.

These are some tips on how to pick the right influencer for you and replicate, locally, the ‘Ronaldo effect’. It is vitally important though before you engage in any of the above that you have absolutely clear in your mind what the goal of your campaign is. Some companies are only looking for sales, while others they might look for brand awareness. Whatever the goal is you need to make sure that it’s clear for both yourself and the influencer of your choice from the very start. It’s worth talking about it openly asking questions about case studies and results from past campaigns the influencer was involved in.