Rick Sheils is a PGA golf professional, and around ten years ago he started making free YouTube videos giving hints and tips for the public to improve their game.
In 2020 he become the worlds most subscribed YouTube golfer and currently has 1.46 million subscribers and has a combined following of over 4 million when you consider his other channels on Twitter, Tiktok, Instagram, and his podcast.
Obviously, all of this attention by the big brands doesn’t go unnoticed and soon Nike recruited him as a brand ambassador, obviously this came with the usual perks of being kitted out from head to toe in their gear, plus cash payments.
However, the 5-year partnership has now come to an end, surprisingly not by Nike but by Rick.
Nike have recently changed their influencer strategy and are requiring their ambassadors to start pushing more product, things like making sure that there are links on each of his videos of everything that he’s wearing but also talking more about the clobber he’s dressed in.
If you’ve ever seen any of his videos then you’ll soon realise that Rick is just a normal bloke from Manchester who cares deeply about his audience, he isn’t bothered about being paid to be dressed from head to toe in the latest gear, in fact, he often bought the clothes himself simply because he loves the Nike brand and felt guilty about getting so much free stuff. (never thought you’d hear that from an influencer)
Throughout the years Nike have done some pretty cool stuff with him and sent him off to Dubai with Tommy Fleetwood for a one club challenge and if it wasn’t for COVID-19 they were about to setup a golf challenge at Tottenham’s new stadium with Harry Kane and Tiger Woods.
As the title says, Rick’s got major golf balls but more importantly, he’s a different breed from the majority of influencers that are currently out there. He cares about his audience more than money and his values are still as true from his first video to his latest video.
This can only enhance his reputation with his followers even further but also, brands and influencers might start to look at their strategies a little differently from now on and I’d expect to see a number of these brands knocking down his door.
Rick calls himself a YouTuber, but he’s more than that. He’s worked hard not to just put out as much content as he can but to actually build a strategy that aligns to his audience. This is a key part of any business that many get wrong or simply overlook it in favour of delivery.
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