Panelists emphasized the importance of showcasing diverse creators to be more inclusive. But diversity also makes financial sense.
“When you take football out of the equation, there are more deals going to female student-athletes than male student-athletes,” said TJ Ciro, senior VP and head of strategic partnerships at Opendorse, an NIL marketplace. “Female student-athletes perform better as influencers than male student-athletes. It’s actually better business”
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Even though female athletes may statistically be stronger creators, there has been a discrepancy in pay between male and female athletes since the NCAA began allowing student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness in 2021, said Jill Cress, chief marketing and experience officer at H&R Block. The tax preparation company is sponsoring female student-athletes, some of whom are from non-traditional sports and HBCUs.
Another new trend that also promotes greater inclusivity is the rise of older creators, also known as “granfluencers.” Both Ed East, founder and CEO of Billion Dollar Boy, and Rajiv Mody, VP of emerging channels and brand growth at AARP, said that granfluencers have been valuable to their recent social media marketing campaigns.
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“They’re funny, they’re humorous, they’re full of life,” Mody said. “Some of these older influencers have a lot to offer in terms of experience, knowledge and wisdom. People can learn from them.”
East said that Grandad Joe, an 83-year-old creator, ran one of Billion Dollar Boy’s most successful campaigns.
Since creators from underrepresented communities have proven to be successful, Tiffany Hardin, founder and CEO of Gild Creative Group, said that they deserve more trust and support from brands.
“When we are talking about creator equity, I’m not a huge fan of pay transparency. I’m a huge fan of budget transparency,” Hardin said.