What does talent/celebrity management involve?
In talent management, the personal relationship between a celebrity and a manager is eminent. A talent's focus is to highlight oneself but a talent manager's job is to make a brand out of an individual. Managers ensure that the talent remains focused on their goal and guides the talent in the necessary steps to be taken.
Talent management involves 360 degree celebrity and brand fit services including endorsement management, portfolio management, strategic PR, digital presence management, grooming, etiquette, appearance, etc. Then there's the event triangle - big league sports, turning sporting events into sponsorships, and sponsorships into promotions. Other aspects include understanding the sponsors, the media and the broadcast industry, licensing and merchandising, sporting goods and lifestyle merchandising, endorsements, sports marketing buyers and sellers, and future issues in sports marketing.
Choosing conventional celebrities vs. brand requirements
For established stars, the focus is on converting their value into a progressively enhancing one. The strategic brand fit is where we interact with brands over their long term strategy and determine how the enhanced persona fits with the set of celebs. The utilization of celebrities is a very high value transaction and hence, it involves top management. Thus, the key to effective representation is to present the tangible brand fit in the best manner.
While suggesting celebrities to brands, most of them have set ideas as to who they wish to choose in representing their brands. While this fact exists, many times, brands want to reach out to their target in unconventional ways as well. When we are talking about mass products, conventional celebrities are opted for as they just have to attach a meaning or aspiration to the product and appeal to a larger audience for recall. Due to certain brand requirements, there are rigid options to be offered. Where we can be flexible, unconventional brand endorsers who can leverage the brand are picked up. Basically, conventional celebrities can be great endorsers but unconventional endorsers can be smart advertisers.
How Percept Talent Management has changed the game
Usually, sportsmen and women are seen as icons of passion, teamwork, discipline, hard work and commitment to win and those are the values they would carry with them. We at Percept Talent Management are solely responsible for strategizing and managing brand endorsements, media activities and media rights, brand and image management, digital rights and licensing and merchandising rights as well and all promotional activities in the arena of non-cricket sports.
Our ongoing effort to promote and popularize alternative sports across target audiences in India has received a huge fillip. More and more companies in India are seeking inspiration from sportsmen who have excelled in their respective games, not just cricket.
We seek out new opportunities and avenues in the rapidly changing sports, entertainment, media and digital landscape to ensure that our talent receives unparalleled exposure across the global arena. Some of our talent are Vijender Singh, Sushil Kumar, Shiva Thapa, and Manoj Kumar, who are contenders for the Gold at the London 2012.
Where celebrity management is headed in the future and how we fit in
We at Percept Talent Management deal with media and talent at various levels. The idea is to mobilize this critical mass into the creation of something profound, which works long term. It gives us an edge over indigenous entities that are constantly changing forms in the market due to lack of direction. Should we get the talent first or should we sketch the event first? Should we tap the TV channels for a deal or should we produce the event first and then sell the rights? How do we arrive at a viable business model? A host of questions keep emerging from this confused labyrinth called showbiz. Frankly, there is no certain definition but all we can say is, a good business model is scale and a marriage of the strengths which we have achieved over the year, albeit through trial and error.
Also, to continue to attract sponsorship revenues, sports marketers will need to adapt to meet the challenges of brands as they push into new media formats and seek an increasingly personal relationship with their consumers. As the number and quality of opportunities for brands to engage via traditional TV dwindle, their marketing dollars will shift to those that can deliver what they need. Sports marketers need to understand how to harness the powerful opportunities provided by the internet and mobile technologies in order to keep sport as part of this mix. Besides adapting to changing media consumption patterns, celebrity marketers face other significant challenges.
With modern times giving us very little duration to communicate every message, humour or rhetoric, engaging brands at a faster rate is becoming important. Now, in order to keep the process going, the brands need to produce at a more frequent rate. The need to move on remains and is increasing in full steam. It is only obvious that the future of talent management as a business model is booming.