Freestak conducted a two-phase online survey among our most active members – all of whom are influencers in the outdoor and endurance sports sectors. On 14 and 21 March, we asked 50 members the same questions about how their situation had changed, from how physically active they were, to whether their brand collaborations had changed, and whether they had modified their social media activity levels.

The survey highlighted that imposed lockdowns have provoked a marked decrease in physical activity. With global physical activity levels varying depending on official guidelines. With a dramatic increase in events cancellations, leading to a rapid growth in virtual events.

Content Creator Partnerships Taking a Hit.

In just seven days, we have seen a 21% increase in content creators saying that there are significantly fewer opportunities (31% up from 10%). Only 30% (down from 40% since last week) now say that they are still approached by brands.

For some, termination of contracts will have serious revenue implications.

“All my social media work has been cancelled (some postponed) for the next three months – that has lost me £11k in revenue.” (anonymous – name known to the researchers)

This is where we think a sizeable opportunity lies, provided that brands approach content creators with the right intentions. Many brands are getting it right, as mentioned by our content creators.

Our Community Suggestions.

Below are some suggestions from Influencers on how brands or agencies can cater for loss of content from cancelled events…

Top suggestions (by number of mentions):

  1. Virtual challenges: races, runs, events, etc.
  2. Staying positive together
  3. Virtual meetups (ie. via Zoom) – with brands, coaches, ambassadors, influencers, etc.
  4. Focus on daily home training, creative tips on staying active

Additional suggestions:

  • Advice for at-home content creation
  • Giveaways
  • Boost morale with extra kit
  • Be more personal – respond to influencer questions when they ask for more information about your brands
  • Instagram takeovers
  • Visual content respecting the actual situation

 “Focus on indoor challenges and preparing for the future once this is all over – staying positive and having something to look forward to.” @Jenny.wordsworth 

Our Communities Predictions on the Impact of a Further Lockdown.

Our Influencers forecasted how COVID-19 would continue to affect us all, base on their current experience…

“It will affect everyone. And the effects will be massive. What we face is a pandemic, and it will cause a domino effect on so many things within our society, including families, income, livelihoods businesses, etc.” @notanotherrunner

  • More indoor sports and activities
  • Creativity will be key (stemming from the inability to produce outdoor content)
  • Impact on physical and mental health

“We have to stay calm and put into perspective that in the scheme of our whole lives, it’s still a short period of time. It’s not years and years of war. It will be tough on our mental health but we have to try and be inventive in finding ways of staying positive and providing support to one another at a distance.” @adventurer.nic

  • Loss of income: “All my social media work has been cancelled (some postponed) for the next three months – that has lost me £11k in revenue.” (anonymous – name known to the researchers)
  • More people will be online: “Whilst messages will need to change, it is a great time to communicate. We need to focus on sending the right message out to people.” @reubentabner
  • Shift in focus towards loved ones in need and personal health verses social media content

“It will be difficult but I will truly appreciate every step, every breath of fresh air, of rain on my face etc once any lockdown is lifted.” @runeatrepeatuk

Overall, our community and network very much understand the severity of this situation and realise the bigger picture of issues going on right now – however much this is affecting their livelihoods, they all agree we’re init together.

If you would like to read up further on this topic, the team at Freestak have written a thorough report on the endurance sports market, which you can download in full here.

How We Can Help.

Our platform of >1,500 endurance and outdoors sports content creators (all over Europe and in the USA) can help spread your message effectively. Our team can help you select them, and they can help you with content ideation, strategy or simply spreading the word for you. You could have a campaign live in less than 24hrs, and see results on your analytics dashboard soon after.

We intend to keep monitoring the situation in our sectors and will publish updates to the report regularly. If you have any comments or questions, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at simon@freestak.co.uk



Leave a Comment