Jeremy Darlow is a creative brand wizard. While apparel and shoe company Adidas went on its rise over the past few years, Darlow was working behind the scenes on strategy and was a key component to its success as part of the football and baseball division.
But now Darlow has decided to pivot from the corporate environment to starting his own venture. The author of multiple books including Athletes Are Brands Too: How Brand Marketing Can Save Today's Athlete has created his own consultancy for college athletes under the name DARLOW.
The consultancy will focus on teaching college athletes how to develop and grow their personal brands; however, the clients will actually be the colleges that retain DARLOW. And Darlow believes that schools will not only cause their athletes to benefit from the services as they either become professional sports figures or businessmen, but it will also give the schools a competitive advantage in the extremely cut-throat domain of recruiting talent.
"Today, more than at any other point in history, athletes have the opportunity to build personal brands that transcend the sports they play," says Darlow. "The schools that invest in developing the personal brands of their athletes will inevitably attract better talent and win more games."
Darlow says that he will cap the number of college clients to six institutions in his first year of conducting business. He also is willing to give a single school exclusivity (after all other existing contracts run their course) for an annual flat fee of $1 million. He justifies the spend for exclusivity by stating that it covers an entire athletic department which, across 500 student-athletes, comes to a $2,000 investment per athletes, or $166 per month per athlete. Whether a school jumps at the opportunity remains to be seen, but it definitely counts as one more way that Darlow is able to make a statement in the development of a new brand -- this time his own.
"The goal is to teach athletes how to build personal brands that set them up for success in life, regardless of what happens in sports," says Darlow. "Too often athletes are defined entirely by their athletic careers without developing influence in other areas of passion. My goal is to change that."
Schools that commit to DARLOW can expect to receive new brand marketing and growth strategies posted each week on a private education platform and obtain Darlow's own brand development template to use to build their brand plans.