High Impact Athletes’ theory of change relies on using the collective athlete megaphone to convince a large percentage of the world’s high-income population to donate to cost-effective charities. Using our athletes’ voices and platforms we aim to raise the global profile of these giving opportunities and the philosophies behind them.

Sports fans are numerous, and the cultural clout of athletes has grown rapidly over the last century. According to MIT Media Lab, athletes made up 50% of all “historical cultural figures” between 1950 - 2000. We can use this influence to spread EA-aligned ideas. 

In 18 months, HIA has grown from zero to over 110 athletes, with 46 of those athletes making at least a 1% pledge. Our second order audience (the amount of people we can reach through our athletes) is over 10.7 million, and we’re growing those numbers weekly. 

The more big (popular) athletes we have on the HIA athlete roster, the louder the athlete megaphone, and the more people we can influence towards EA ideas. 

To recruit bigger athletes we need standalone credibility as an organisation, particularly if we don’t have an existing personal connection. A large part of being credible in the athlete/influencer space is how big your social media following is. 

This is where we’d love the EA community’s help. 


Task 1
Please take 30 seconds out of your day to follow our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Then if you’re feeling particularly generous please take another 60 seconds to ask your friends to do the same!

More followers means more algorithm love, which might be the push that gets our posts noticed by prospective athletes. This is a low cost but potentially impactful action that each of you can take today!

Potential Questions:

Why don’t you just buy followers?
We could, but these accounts are easy to spot and so the risk to our credibility/reward ratio isn’t great. We also want engagement with our account, and bought followers don’t engage the same way that organic ones do. We haven’t completely ruled this out (the ends might justify the means) but we want to see how far we can get organically first.

Why does social media matter?
It’s the most common place where athletes interact with their fans - particularly Instagram. This interaction is where we have the largest potential to create change. Influencing 1% of 1 big athlete’s following could mean tens of thousands of people introduced to EA ideas for the first time. 

Do you have growth plans other than asking individuals to follow your channels?
In short, yes. We are working hard to increase engagement on our own channels and also build our second-order audience. However a small nudge from this supportive community would help a bunch.


Task 2
Spend some time thinking if you, or anyone you know, knows any professional athletes or employees working in the sporting space. If you do, please introduce them to me at marcus@highimpactathletes.org - warm introductions are the fastest and most organic way to grow, and each athlete adds momentum to the HIA snowball. 

I want to shout out 80,000 Hours and their employees for having passed on some athletes from their career advising program.

Cheers, 
Marcus and the HIA team.


 

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New Comment
10 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 8:04 AM

Why don’t you just buy followers? We could... We haven’t completely ruled this out (the ends might justify the means)

Just saying I think this would be a terrible idea, both for HIA and for the movement in general. We very obviously don't want to be associated with lying and manufacturing support. Not to mention it might just get you banned from social media.

Strong-upvoting this. The way you could decide to invest money into expanding your social media reach would be to properly sponsor your account through ads on IG/Tw/FB. These platforms allow for precise targeting based on demographics and interests – and given the specific scope of HIA, I imagine that designing good targets would be easy enough.

Fair point, thanks.

Okay, I'm just gonna come out and say it: there's no way I could complete both of these requests in two minutes and every time I see the headline it drives me crazy!

Did you try?
I just tried it myself: followed three accounts in 17 seconds (having lost a couple of seconds in starting my stopwatch), which gave me 1m43s to think about my network and whether it includes athletes. 
Also open to alternate headlines, e.g. Two tiny requests from HIA, A Variable Amount of your Time Depending on your Click Speed, Network Size, and Desire to Spend Time on the Task.

Ok. I guess this comment is a little argumentative and not the highest signal to noise but:

I can see how someone who hasn’t used their social media in a while, need time to login, unjig their password manager, agree to the latest privacy policy, etc. which takes several minutes.

Also, it seems like many introduction emails take more than 2 minutes to write, especially if you haven’t spoken to that person in a while or they are loosely connected.

Totally. I'm being very tongue in cheek above. 
The gist of the headline and the post is that community members can contribute to a potentially highly impactful project with a very trivial amount of time and energy spend.
I very much agree that good intros take time.

Yes, of course, that's fair. I guess it can be difficult to communicate tone online.

Done, re: following on Twitter.

My main contact at Pau and Marc Gasol's Gasol Foundation (focused on "research, holistic, data-driven" work to eradicate childhood obesity) appears to have left. They are a thoughtful group, and may be worth writing in the 10-20% chance they evolve into HIA supporters — or can be helpful in another way.

Following on FB now!

You could also ask people running EA national/city pages to share your page - that way it could reach some more EAs and EA sympathetic folks!