It’s fitting after such a crazy night of baseball (so we hear) that we get these results from ON24. The company, which specializes in webcasting and virtual events, polled thousands of business pros across the U.S. (they purchased a list of 100,000 names and polled them between September 22 and 23) and 71 percent of respondents said they’re using athletes at corporate events. Nearly 20 percent said they’re using athletes more than ever before.
Why the love affair with sports figures? Nearly two-thirds of respondents said athletes speak like “real people” rather than in corporate talk. A quarter said people trust athletes because of the visibility of their work (the occasional steroid controversy must not be making a difference), and 27 percent said sports are relevant to the business world.
The study was also conducted the day after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released bad unemployment news, so ON24 believes that impacted some of the findings. Three-quarters of respondents said the economy was getting worse and 62 percent has fears about Washington’s ability to come to an agreement to fix the problems.
Coincidentally, of course, ON24 is hosting an online event on November 17 with special guest Brian Wilson, the pitcher from the San Francisco Giants. For information about VUE2011, focused on best practices for virtual events, click here.