04 Jun Jasmine Chou
Pete Moore: This is Pete Moore on HALO Talks NYC. I had the pleasure of having Jasmine Cho author, how athletes and brands can leverage each other to create value in the halo sector. We are a hundred percent supporters of making this happen, and I’m really excited to learn how we can affect that. So Jasmine, welcome to the show.
Jasmine Chou: Thank you so glad to be here.
Pete Moore: So you’re a, you were a, a basketball player back in the day. So kind of take us back to the beginning and why you’ve kind of turned this passion into a profession.
Jasmine Chou: Yes, I’m so glad you
Jasmine Chou: Actually brought it back to, you know, my Peewee days. So I started playing team sports when I was pretty young. I am very grateful to my parents for understanding the benefits of team sports and how it can teach discipline, working together, dealing with wins and losses, and really just understanding all the different factors that go into team sports. So I started playing basketball at the age of five or six. That was when there were no girls teams. So I got to play with the boys and it was a great experience. Then transitioning to, you know, the purely girls teams played through middle school, high school and kind of moved out of the funnel during college because one I’m only five, five, so pretty average of average Heights. And two was really looking to focus on academics in college. So I went to Georgetown university, had a very short truncated time of three years there, but really then switched over into boutique fitness. Nice. So I say that my college time is really where I explored boutique fitness and understood kind of like how to transition out of like a team setting sport into an individual one. And then post-college I fell into cycling was, was back in California, decided to take advantage of the nice scenery and the mountains fell into cycling and then very rapidly fell right into triathlon and went from zero to 60 there.
Pete Moore: That’s great. That’s great. You got a much better athletic history than I do, so let’s not go, I’m not going to even bring up anything that I’ve done. You know, from a standpoint of you know, writing the book, you know, what, what kind of brought you into that niche because what you were trying to get a sponsorship, oh, you were trying to get your own sponsorship at the time.
Jasmine Chou: Yeah, so the book was actually a great vehicle for me to use myself as a Guinea pig. So I wrote hashtag sponsored understanding that I was a pretty young, pretty new to the sport triathlete and I was kind of exploring the landscape of what the triathlon sponsorships sphere looked like for amateur athletes. And I was not a sponsored athlete when I started writing the book and by the end of it, I was. And so it’s actually a very interesting take as to like the, the whole journey as to my exploration, how I really entwined my personal narrative of finding a team that really matched what I was looking for with the larger, the larger ecosystem of what amateur sponsorship looks like.
Pete Moore: Got it. So, you know, obviously when you’ve got professional athletes, they’re viewing a sponsorship of a professional athlete directly related to sales of a product. Whereas, you know amateur athlete, you know, one, there might be a local connectivity. They might feel passionate about supporting and, and helping someone meet their dreams and, and, and hit their goals. You know, if that’s financial, if it’s a free health club membership, personal training, what have you. So when you break down for, let’s say orange theory, franchisee that we know who’s based in Austin, Texas obviously a huge outdoor living community. They’ve got 60 locations, so they’ve got capital to put towards whatever marketing initiative they have. So talk about what a pitch would be, you know, to someone like that, and then do amateur athletes come to you and you’re basically their agent and tell us how that works.
Jasmine Chou: Yes. So using your example of a boutique fitness that has a couple of franchisees looking to really leverage kind of a grassroots ambassador, they’re kind of three fun funnels that they can try and pitch themselves to be a partner, right? So there’s a monetary compensation, right? So professionals usually that’s a, non-negotiable they, their salary, their livelihood is based on that monetary contribution, right? So professional level, they can argue for that contract. There’s the product piece, right? So an orange theory can give clothing can give equipment, can give services, right? There’s a product piece of sponsorship last but not least there is this what I call kind of like a network. So orange theory with a franchise can come with this whole network of business partners and other athletes that can help build an athletes brand. And so these three functions are basically what a business can really push to say like, Hey, this is our pitch, and this is what we can offer you.
Jasmine Chou: And on the flip side, the athlete really needs to be very intentional about what, which part of the three pieces is most important to them, right? So on the surface, maybe they’re like, Hey, like I need to get paid, you know, $50 an hour for doing these marketing activation events for doing these brand partnerships. But to me personally, I think some of the most powerful and overlooked things are the network and also just the product. Right? So being able to come in and invest in the community, you grow the whole ecosystem, you grow the foot traffic that goes into these orange theory franchises. You grow kind of like the word of mouth as to people getting excited about this franchise and what it can do for the community. And so you can really leverage network effects to benefit both the brand and the athlete.