I got this email from Blender’s Eyewear earlier this week:
Subject Line: Blenders Entourage: Meet Big Wave World Champion, Koa Rothman //
Since I just did a breakdown of Blenders Eyewear vs Shady Rays, I thought it would be interesting to break down this partnership between Blenders and Koa Rothman.
Koa Rothman is 27-year-old professional surfer that lives in North Shore, Hawaii. As I stated in the previous breakdown, Blenders has wrapped their brand around the beach, surfing, volleyball, etc. Koa fits perfectly into the brand image they have created.
As I started to research this partnership, I found it interesting that nothing was posted on Koa’s social media accounts about his partnership with Blenders. In the email, there was this link to read more: https://www.blenderseyewear.com/blogs/entourage/koa-rothman
On this page, it gives Koa’s birthdate of December 16th, 1993 but then states he is a “26-year-old rising star”. The math doesn’t work out, he is 27 years old. Then it occurred to me, Blenders is just recycling old partnerships and sending out that content to their email list.
In fact, this partnership started November 2019. Here is the PR Newswire announcement Blenders made then: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/blenders-eyewear-welcomes-koa-rothman-to-the-team-300957792.html
To get the best bang for your dollar when partnering with influencers or brand ambassadors it is smart to repurpose that content as much as you can. That is exactly what happened here with Blenders. Me being new to their email list, and new to their brand, I thought this was a new partnership. Smart of Blenders.
With all that being said, let’s break down Koa Rothman’s social media presence and see how he fits as an influencer.
Taking a look behind the curtain here is the demographics of Koa’s Audience:
Blenders audience is split 50/50 male to female. Koa’s audience is 65% Male, 35% Female. Blenders’ audience also skews to the younger 20s, which again matches very good to Koa’s audience.
Koa only has 46% of his Audience in the United States. I do not love how low a percentage that number is. While yes Blenders is not specifically a United States brand, they are based in the US and the vast majority of their audience is in the US. Shipping out of the country can be slow and can be expensive. For a brand based in the US, I would want to see partnerships with influencers that have a larger US following.
Koa has a 3.5% engagement rate. Anywhere from 2.5-5.0% is a good engagement rate. 5-10% percent is a great engagement rate, and anything over 10% is out of this world.
If Blenders did a straight-up influencer event with the goal to drive direct response sales, I would think they would have some mild success (maybe breakeven) with Koa. I would estimate Koa would command about $1,000 – $1,500 for an influencer event on his social media. I would estimate he would send 2,000 – 4,000 people to the website and he would drive about 70 – 100 sales.
However, Blenders appears to want the content from their partnerships rather than one-off events that drive sales. So Blenders added Koa to their “Entourage” and turned him into a long-term partner. That allows Blenders to send me an email a year and a half after they actually partnered with Koa.
There is value in both models (and maybe they did an event on Koa’s social media accounts back in 2019 to drive direct response sales). I like the idea of a longer-term partnership with influencers rather than a turn and burn one-off events. Take all the content you can from your partnerships and repurpose them everywhere.