For Parents Can we talk about IG Brand Ambassadors?

LemonLime

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Female athletes are historically grossly underpaid for the value they offer brands, and I hope every parent would work against financial exploitation in the market. National team soccer players and NFL cheerleaders have waged a great fight for all of us, but we should work against accepting less than our athletes (and ourselves) are worth on every level.

Influencers - including young gymnasts - should be paid a minimum of $100 per post per 10,000 followers. By that math, a gymnast with 5000 followers should earn $50 per post. Boxes of leotards are not worth much. If becoming a leotard ambassador is strengthening the child's brand in the market so they can leave leotard marketing behind and move into other markets, then there is an intangible value that may make it worthwhile.

Children may also enjoy it, and it's up to the parent to decide if the negatives are worth the positives.

Without question, exclusive contracts are worth much more than open contracts. If a child can be an ambassador for 7 companies, she should be paid 7X the amount of the standard contract for giving exclusivity. Exclusivity works against the marketing upswing inherent in the genuine-feeling driven by influencer marketing. Most exclusivity clauses are intended to be anti-competitive against other brands as opposed to boosting sales of the contracting company. For that reason, unless the ambassador is Simone Biles, exclusivity probably harms the contracting company much more than they realize.

When a leotard company contracts with a third-party company (one they do not own) and requires a customer or influencer to use the third party, that's tying under antitrust laws. Some tying is permissible, and some is not. Any contract that requires the influencer to buy something, - particularly from a third party - probably violates FTC regulations. Joint ownership always needs to be disclosed under the law when contracting, so those relationships should be easy to spot.
 
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GAgymmom

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Female athletes are historically grossly underpaid for the value they offer brands, and I hope every parent would work against financial exploitation in the market. National team soccer players and NFL cheerleaders have waged a great fight for all of us, but we should work against accepting less than our athletes (and ourselves) are worth on every level.

Influencers - including young gymnasts - should be paid a minimum of $100 per post per 10,000 followers. By that math, a gymnast with 5000 followers should earn $50 per post. Boxes of leotards are not worth much. If becoming a leotard ambassador is strengthening the child's brand in the market so they can leave leotard marketing behind and move into other markets, then there is an intangible value that may make it worthwhile.

Children may also enjoy it, and it's up to the parent to decide if the negatives are worth the positives.

Without question, exclusive contracts are worth much more than open contracts. If a child can be an ambassador for 7 companies, she should be paid 7X the amount of the standard contract for giving exclusivity. Exclusivity works against the marketing upswing inherent in the genuine-feeling driven by influencer marketing. Most exclusivity clauses are intended to be anti-competitive against other brands as opposed to boosting sales of the contracting company. For that reason, unless the ambassador is Simone Biles, exclusivity probably harms the contracting company much more than they realize.

When a leotard company contracts with a third-party company (one they do not own) and requires a customer or influencer to use the third party, that's tying under antitrust laws. Some tying is permissible, and some is not. Any contract that requires the influencer to buy something, - particularly from a third party - probably violates FTC regulations. Joint ownership always needs to be disclosed under the law when contracting, so those relationships should be easy to spot.
Wow, that’s a lot of words when we’re talking about girls repping for more than 1 leotard company at a time. (They can’t get paid, that’s why they get to keep the leotards that they have to wear and show on IG). There are hundreds of IG gymnasts, but it’s the same handful that get to be ambassadors for every brand (just do a quick profile check). No gymnast can wear that many leotards! How many free leotards does one girl need? Besides that aspect, the question I posed was about conflict of interest when you rep for more than 1 company for the same product.
 
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LJL07

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Wow, that’s a lot of words when we’re talking about girls repping for more than 1 leotard company at a time. (They can’t get paid, that’s why they get to keep the leotards that they have to wear and show on IG). There are hundreds of IG gymnasts, but it’s the same handful that get to be ambassadors for every brand (just do a quick profile check). No gymnast can wear that many leotards! How many free leotards does one girl need? Besides that aspect, the question I posed was about conflict of interest when you rep for more than 1 company for the same product.
I think maybe @LemonLime is confusing professional athletes with kids repping leos for free. None of these leo ambassadors are paid. These are mostly JO kids ranging in level from pre team to optional. How would these kids have time to successfully train high level gymnastics, get an education, AND professionally tweak their “brand” image to move into other markets?! This again makes me question why anyone would use an instagymnast route to “getting famous.” Seems there are more effective ways if that is the goal. Or maybe parents are using modeling as the back up plan if gymnastics doesn’t work out.
 
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SSM2020

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This whole thread reeks of pettiness and jealousy, all under the guise of being in the girls’ best interest and safety. Leotard companies, like most businesses, are looking to make money and promote their brand. If they can get publicity by having Instagram accounts promote their product by giving away some leos, what is the problem? It must work for them since most (not all) do this. I’m sure they track the codes used for the girls (and boys) that are promoting them and use this data to see who is generating the most traffic for them. If the same kids can make that happen for multiple companies, who cares about exclusivity? More power to them. If we were talking big money, maybe you have a point. But, we’re talking about leotards (or wrist bands, head bands, apparel, etc.) These kids can’t collect money as it could jeopardize their potential NCAA career if they get that far. So, what harm is it to get some free “stuff” along the way? As for the safety aspect, it’s up to these parents to monitor that. Sounds like some of you are assuming they don’t. I bet you’d be surprised.
 

SMH

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This whole thread reeks of pettiness and jealousy, all under the guise of being in the girls’ best interest and safety. Leotard companies, like most businesses, are looking to make money and promote their brand. If they can get publicity by having Instagram accounts promote their product by giving away some leos, what is the problem? It must work for them since most (not all) do this. I’m sure they track the codes used for the girls (and boys) that are promoting them and use this data to see who is generating the most traffic for them. If the same kids can make that happen for multiple companies, who cares about exclusivity? More power to them. If we were talking big money, maybe you have a point. But, we’re talking about leotards (or wrist bands, head bands, apparel, etc.) These kids can’t collect money as it could jeopardize their potential NCAA career if they get that far. So, what harm is it to get some free “stuff” along the way? As for the safety aspect, it’s up to these parents to monitor that. Sounds like some of you are assuming they don’t. I bet you’d be surprised.
Curious- did you come join Chalkbucket just to post this comment?
 

SSM2020

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Curious- did you come join Chalkbucket just to post this comment?
I’ve been a fan of the site for a long time. But, yes, I decided to finally join to be a voice of reason on this thread and show support for these parents since no one else was.
 

GAgymmom

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I’ve been a fan of the site for a long time. But, yes, I decided to finally join to be a voice of reason on this thread and show support for these parents since no one else was.
No need to come support parents on a thread that is about the leotard companies. Coming here with guns blazing, reprimanding everyone on your first post is not the best idea. Go back and read the question asked: Why aren’t ambassadors exclusive to a brand instead of repping 2-6 brands at once? That’s not attacking parents, and therefore you don’t need to support or defend them.
 
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duyetanh

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This whole thread reeks of pettiness and jealousy, all under the guise of being in the girls’ best interest and safety. Leotard companies, like most businesses, are looking to make money and promote their brand. If they can get publicity by having Instagram accounts promote their product by giving away some leos, what is the problem? It must work for them since most (not all) do this. I’m sure they track the codes used for the girls (and boys) that are promoting them and use this data to see who is generating the most traffic for them. If the same kids can make that happen for multiple companies, who cares about exclusivity? More power to them. If we were talking big money, maybe you have a point. But, we’re talking about leotards (or wrist bands, head bands, apparel, etc.) These kids can’t collect money as it could jeopardize their potential NCAA career if they get that far. So, what harm is it to get some free “stuff” along the way? As for the safety aspect, it’s up to these parents to monitor that. Sounds like some of you are assuming they don’t. I bet you’d be surprised.
Let me start by saying I am sure you are doing the best you can to keep your child’s account safe. I honestly feel you are reading too much into people’s posts.On the same token, people could say you are being defensive. But that isn’t fair either, because on the internet, unless it is blatantly stated, jealousy and defensiveness is not easily determined because it is hard to discern the tone of a post. There was a company interested in my child for an ambassador, but we said no thank you. It just isn’t our thing, and my child would never want to take a chance of the NCAA changing their rules (which tends to happen fairly regularly with various requirements, etc) and being denied the chance to compete for a college team, even though this goal is far fetched at this point in time.

As far as followers, etc, apparently it is a fact that people can buy followers, but I have no idea if ambassadors do this-and I really don’t care. I was shocked you could buy followers though! And yes I am sure parents monitor their kids accounts as best they can....but nobody is perfect, and about a month ago there was an fbi investigation because a bunch of girls pictures were screenshot from Instagram and put somewhere not so great. All it takes is one click. Less than a second. Happened to a friend of ours whose kid had to be public due to the ambassador program. She has no idea who did it because the pervert never followed her child. As you know, you don’t have to follow to view accounts. Her account is private now.

Anyway, I think these are some very valid reasons why parents feel all the advertising is a bit over the top. What everyone does is obviously their own business, but when someone puts their child in the spotlight and advertising their child this way, you will get both positive and negative opinions on the situation. You have to have tough skin to deal with it all, and be prepared to deal with the adversity as well. For us, none of it was worth it.
 

GAgymmom

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This whole thread reeks of pettiness and jealousy, all under the guise of being in the girls’ best interest and safety. Leotard companies, like most businesses, are looking to make money and promote their brand. If they can get publicity by having Instagram accounts promote their product by giving away some leos, what is the problem? It must work for them since most (not all) do this. I’m sure they track the codes used for the girls (and boys) that are promoting them and use this data to see who is generating the most traffic for them. If the same kids can make that happen for multiple companies, who cares about exclusivity? More power to them. If we were talking big money, maybe you have a point. But, we’re talking about leotards (or wrist bands, head bands, apparel, etc.) These kids can’t collect money as it could jeopardize their potential NCAA career if they get that far. So, what harm is it to get some free “stuff” along the way? As for the safety aspect, it’s up to these parents to monitor that. Sounds like some of you are assuming they don’t. I bet you’d be surprised.
We already know all of this. I’m assuming your kid is one of the multi-brand reps and that’s why you’re upset? I have not seen the pettiness you’re speaking of.
 

LJL07

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I’ve been a fan of the site for a long time. But, yes, I decided to finally join to be a voice of reason on this thread and show support for these parents since no one else was.
That is really thoughtful of you to offer yourself as a voice of reason and support for the parents, but I don’t think the parents with 20K to 200K followers for their kids’ public Instagrams give a care about our opinions over here. Hard to imagine the parents are carefully culling followers and blocking perverts with follower counts in the tens and hundreds of thousands. If you have an account for your child, that is your prerogative.
 
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SSM2020

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No need to come support parents on a thread that is about the leotard companies. Coming here with guns blazing, reprimanding everyone on your first post is not the best idea. Go back and read the question asked: Why aren’t ambassadors exclusive to a brand instead of repping 2-6 brands at once? That’s not attacking parents, and therefore you don’t need to support or defend them.
Oh, I read your initial post multiple times before deciding to comment. I’ll start with this. “Not the best idea” for my first post? I think that’s my decision, not yours.

Now to your original post. Your whole first paragraph mentioned the ambassadors. Your “question” about the companies didn’t happen until you passive aggressively took a shot at the kids themselves by referring to them as “winners” in the quotation marks, indicating they aren’t actually winners.

Now to the companies.As i said, it must work for them. If it didn’t, maybe they would want exclusivity. So, if your question truly is, “Why do the companies do this?,” I guess the simple answer is, it works.
 
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SSM2020

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That is really thoughtful of you to offer yourself as a voice of reason and support for the parents, but I don’t think the parents with 20K to 200K followers for their kids’ public Instagrams give a care about our opinions over here. Hard to imagine the parents are carefully culling followers and blocking perverts with follower counts in the tens and hundreds of thousands. If you have an account for your child, that is your prerogative.
I do have an account. I really think you’d be surprised to know how seriously most take the “creeps” that follow our kids and take time to block them. And just because they have a large number of followers doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the opinions of others. I’m not sure how the number of followers indicates that they don’t have feelings when other people are badmouthing them and the way they choose to run the accounts.
 

duyetanh

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I do have an account. I really think you’d be surprised to know how seriously most take the “creeps” that follow our kids and take time to block them. And just because they have a large number of followers doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the opinions of others. I’m not sure how the number of followers indicates that they don’t have feelings when other people are badmouthing them and the way they choose to run the accounts.
How do you keep creeps from taking screenshots of your kids when they can do it without following them? This is not being said snarkily or rude. I just would like to know. This could help others out there, so please share if you have some way of stopping this from happening.
 

LJL07

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I do have an account. I really think you’d be surprised to know how seriously most take the “creeps” that follow our kids and take time to block them. And just because they have a large number of followers doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the opinions of others. I’m not sure how the number of followers indicates that they don’t have feelings when other people are badmouthing them and the way they choose to run the accounts.
All I know is that I (and other people) have observed very questionable looking accounts following, liking, and even commenting on some of these very large accounts. I hate to tell you but it is pretty clear from the posting behavior of some of the parents that they are more concerned about fame and attention than safety and well-being. This doesn’t go for EVERY instagymnast accounts. I know that there are some parents out there who ARE closely monitoring.

Any parent who is publicly promoting her child and actively recruiting followers in the tens and hundreds of thousands is extremely unlikely to value or care about the opinion of people who are “badmouthing” the account. They get plenty of validation from their thousands and thousands of followers.
 
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duyetanh

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Any parent who is publicly promoting her child and actively recruiting followers in the tens and hundreds of thousands is extremely unlikely to value or care about the opinion of people who are “badmouthing” the account. They get plenty of validation from their thousands and thousands of followers.
I actually think people in this situation do care, because it is about their kid. If it was about them personally it wouldn’t matter as much. But it’s about their kid. I know this might seem ironic to you, but I believe it to be so.
 

LJL07

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I actually think people in this situation do care, because it is about their kid. If it was about them personally it wouldn’t matter as much. But it’s about their kid. I know this might seem ironic to you, but I believe it to be so.
I see your point and understand what you are saying. I have personal experience with someone whose need for attention and desire for her child to be “famous,” outweighed her concern about anyone’s disapproval of the Instagram, even though I think it bothered her that people were critical.
 

mom2newgymnast

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This whole thread reeks of pettiness and jealousy, all under the guise of being in the girls’ best interest and safety. Leotard companies, like most businesses, are looking to make money and promote their brand. If they can get publicity by having Instagram accounts promote their product by giving away some leos, what is the problem? It must work for them since most (not all) do this. I’m sure they track the codes used for the girls (and boys) that are promoting them and use this data to see who is generating the most traffic for them. If the same kids can make that happen for multiple companies, who cares about exclusivity? More power to them. If we were talking big money, maybe you have a point. But, we’re talking about leotards (or wrist bands, head bands, apparel, etc.) These kids can’t collect money as it could jeopardize their potential NCAA career if they get that far. So, what harm is it to get some free “stuff” along the way? As for the safety aspect, it’s up to these parents to monitor that. Sounds like some of you are assuming they don’t. I bet you’d be surprised.
Personally, I don't feel like I am jealous or petty, but it's your right to think so. I am just not a fan of the whole social media/influencer culture. Particularly when it related to young gymnasts, but really in most capacities. Maybe I'm just too old to understand. lol. To me, it's a giant popularity contest and bragging ground for the moms who run the account complete with private facebook groups and agreements to promote others and constant posts offering to follow back anyone that follows you... And when it involves young girls in leotards and swim suits trying to attract likes and comments, it does make me uncomfortable. I know that there are groups where people call out the bad accounts, but like someone said, you don't have to follow someone to see and save the pictures from a public account. I agree that from the child's perspective, it is fun to pose/model and they get free stuff so, yay! But they are being raised to care about how many views they get and how many people like their pictures, and that is just the part of the whole culture that I personally dislike. I think that can have a real negative affect on self esteem and how they view themselves in the future. I think it also puts a lot of pressure on these, often very young, children to continue to "perform", whether they want to or not. I wonder how many of them stay in the sport just because they are insta-famous and feel like they can't stop and disappoint their followers (or mom). As far as the original question, I think that you are right that it probably doesn't matter to most of the leotard companies if the girls represent other companies or not, as long as they are leading to sales. So the more followers, the more appealing the account to the companies. I know these moms do put a lot of time and effort into running these accounts and amassing followers. And the kids get the free leos/other merch and get to pose for pictures, which btw, my 12 year old gymnast would be absolutely mortified if I made her do that lol. But, why? What do the moms really get out of it running these accounts? BTW, none of this is against you or any other particular person (and I obviously have no idea who your daughter is). It's just my general thoughts about social media and gymnastics culture.
 

HoldThePhone

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Personally, I don't feel like I am jealous or petty, but it's your right to think so. I am just not a fan of the whole social media/influencer culture. Particularly when it related to young gymnasts, but really in most capacities. Maybe I'm just too old to understand. lol. To me, it's a giant popularity contest and bragging ground for the moms who run the account complete with private facebook groups and agreements to promote others and constant posts offering to follow back anyone that follows you... And when it involves young girls in leotards and swim suits trying to attract likes and comments, it does make me uncomfortable. I know that there are groups where people call out the bad accounts, but like someone said, you don't have to follow someone to see and save the pictures from a public account. I agree that from the child's perspective, it is fun to pose/model and they get free stuff so, yay! But they are being raised to care about how many views they get and how many people like their pictures, and that is just the part of the whole culture that I personally dislike. I think that can have a real negative affect on self esteem and how they view themselves in the future. I think it also puts a lot of pressure on these, often very young, children to continue to "perform", whether they want to or not. I wonder how many of them stay in the sport just because they are insta-famous and feel like they can't stop and disappoint their followers (or mom). As far as the original question, I think that you are right that it probably doesn't matter to most of the leotard companies if the girls represent other companies or not, as long as they are leading to sales. So the more followers, the more appealing the account to the companies. I know these moms do put a lot of time and effort into running these accounts and amassing followers. And the kids get the free leos/other merch and get to pose for pictures, which btw, my 12 year old gymnast would be absolutely mortified if I made her do that lol. But, why? What do the moms really get out of it running these accounts? BTW, none of this is against you or any other particular person (and I obviously have no idea who your daughter is). It's just my general thoughts about social media and gymnastics culture.
I pretty much feel this same way. I think part of what bothers me about it is that the source of pride for the parent's running these accounts comes from their gymnastics. That's the driving force behind these accounts. Often when a child quits or is contemplating leaving the sport, the accounts just stop posting, or take a long time to finally come around and talk about what's going on. I'd appreciate so much more an account that REALLY talked about how hard it is. Not just a bad day here or there, but a bad month, 6 months, just someone who is actually honest and continues to be just as proud of their kid even when they quit. It sure seems like that is not the case, across the board.
 
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