Our influencer spotlight series returns this week with a look at a current female soccer player whose profile as a player and an influencer is on the rise. In previous spotlights, we’ve featured photographers and soccer content creators in an effort to show the variety among types of soccer influencers. This week we return to the pitch to tell the story of how a current player has coupled her love for the sport with her love for style and creativity to build a very engaged following in North America.
Katie Johnson hails from the Los Angeles area and you could probably tell by looking at her Instagram account. With plenty of beach-themed pictures, it’s easy to see where she draws her inspiration and aesthetics. A member of Sky Blue FC and the Mexican Women’s National Team, Katie is a great example of a player who uses her platform as an athlete to share the things she enjoys off the field and help push forward the fusion of soccer, lifestyle, and fashion.
Katie got her start in the sport thanks to her older sister, Isabelle, and credits and admires her for pushing her throughout her career. Admiration for external motivators manifests itself beyond soccer these days, as Katie follows in the footsteps of the various Instagram accounts she monitors and uses them as sources of creative inspiration. It comes as no surprise then that, when asked what she’d be doing if she wasn’t playing soccer, Katie told me she’d be flipping houses because of the strategy, design, and creativity involved.
For brands looking to work with influencers, the most important word to consider is authenticity, both in brand connection and in an influencer-generated post(s). For Katie, being authentic to herself and the things she enjoys is everything. She knows her audience and, as such, bases her posts around soccer, fitness, travel, and streetwear/athletic fashion. Whether it’s her own idea or an idea baked among her creative contemporaries, Katie loves collaborating and using sources of inspiration as the backdrop to her future posts.
“One reason I like social media so much is that others have the opportunity to get to know me off the pitch and I become more than just a soccer player. I appreciate having a good aesthetic and think people follow me because I put more effort into sharing things that look good. It keeps my followers engaged and liking my content.”
While Katie doesn’t bring hundreds of thousands of followers (yet), what she does bring, as do many other female players with a similar clout, is a solid and interactive following with even more solid engagement numbers. In her last ten posts, for example, Katie hovers north of 13.5 percent engagement – a very attractive number to brands. In a lot of cases, micro influencers are far more effective and efficient in carrying a message to their audience.
As we inch ever closer to next summer where females and female soccer players will be the main focus for advertising campaigns and influencer needs, brands should look towards players like Katie who are authentic, creative, have engaged followers, and have shown they’re more than just soccer players.