Personal Branding for Student Athletes

Brand U: How to create a personal brand that takes you beyond your sport — and beyond graduation

One of the most exciting things about the NIL Era is the opportunity for student athletes to take charge of their own personal brand. Whether that means monetizing their social media or growing their art or musical career, the chance to use their platform as a student athlete to build something that can last far beyond graduation is extremely exciting.

This content can be tailored as a keynote or more hands-on workshop. It’s all about helping student athletes identify where they should focus their time and energy in order to produce the great dividends. It’s not just about making money, it’s about establishing and growing a foundation that can shape their future.

  • Being intentional

    Why is personal branding important? Because everyone has a personal brand – whether they’re aware or not. It’s all about how other people see you – from your social media followers to your teammates, coaches and future employers. If you’ve got one anyway, might as well be more intentional about what it is, right?

  • Finding your niche

    There’s a reason starting pitchers make more than utility players – because specialists are more valuable than generalists. It’s true in sports, and it’s true in personal branding. This conversation will help you uncover your niche and leverage its power.

  • Reach and growing your audience

    Social media doesn’t have to be your focus for your audience to be important. Maybe you’re an artist or a musician or want to teach group and private lessons in your sport. Regardless of how you envision monetizing your personal brand, it’s important to know how to reach your audience — and how to grow it.

Kristi found out about our Women in Sports group at the University of Tennessee and offered to speak to us. Having been limited to speakers who had an affiliation with Tennessee, we were thrilled about Kristi’s visit. From the moment we walked into the room, we could feel Kristi’s energy and genuine excitement. During both the presentation and Q&A portions of the meeting, Kristi shared industry-wide information and experiences, as well as anecdotes and advice specific to women in sports. She stayed until everyone had all of their questions answered, and she even offered her contact information in the event anyone in the group had questions or needed professional advice.

Sarah Rodts

University of Tennessee, MS Sports Management, Class of 2012

Wanting to stress to our student body the importance of networking and the use of social media in pursuing a career in athletics, I reached out to Kristi so she could share her experience with our students. Kristi was wonderful to work with and her conversation with our students was engaging, topical, and provided all our participants with a strategy for utilizing the aforementioned tools in the sports business industry. Shortly after Kristi’s speaking engagement, I put her advice to work and found a great job within the industry in a matter of weeks! I highly recommend Kristi as an engaging and knowledgeable speaker in the realm of sports business.

Kent Richard

Student Board, Northwestern University, Masters in Sports Administration

We invited Kristi to campus this past spring to be part of our sport management symposium, an event geared toward college students aspiring to break into the business of sports. We could not have had a better person as part of our event; she was absolutely fantastic. Kristi has a great story to tell about what it takes to break into the tough sport industry and she shares it with great enthusiasm. She is a terrific example of the hard work, determination, networking, and self-marketing it takes to succeed in the business of sports, which is exactly what we encourage our students to do in their personal career hunt. Kristi was definitely willing to go above and beyond in meeting with students before and after the event, including continued follow-up dialogue weeks and months afterward. She is really a superb person with which to work and has captivating stories about working on the front lines as a sport business reporter for ESPN’s multiple platforms. I would recommend her without hesitation for any sport business-related speaking engagement.

Nels Popp

Assistant Professor – Sport Management, Illinois State University

I highly endorse Kristi Dosh as a guest speaker. The students in our master’s sport management program thoroughly enjoyed her talk on searching for jobs in sports and the importance of networking. Based on her advice, many students attended professional conferences and started using social media (especially Twitter) to build their personal networks.

Brian A. Turner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Sport Management, The Ohio State University

Kristi was a featured speaker in this year’s University of South Florida MBA Speakers Series. In a word she was outstanding. The breadth and depth of her knowledge of the business of college athletics is very worthwhile – but her insights are priceless. She is an excellent communicator and had my graduate students completely engaged throughout her presentation. I hope she considers Tampa a place to spend some time every year.

Dr. Wm. A. “Bill” Sutton

Director, Sport & Entertainment Business MBA/MS Program, University of South Florida

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