Meet Viddal Riley, a 4-0 cruiserweight boxer who also happens to be a content creator. With 1.18m subscribers and 968,000 social media followers, he’s adopted an unorthodox approach to building his personal brand. From owning a podcast, a clothing line, music albums and multiple YouTube channels, this blog will discover how these initiatives impact Viddal’s marketability.
Viddal is the co-owner of the RIL & WILLS podcast alongside strength and conditioning coach Leon Wills. The podcast sees the dynamic due talk to athletes, coaches and creators about sport, entertainment and culture. The podcast illustrates that Riley is a man with many interests that stretches beyond the ring.
Some of the most prominent combat sports athletes with large followings, such as Ryan Garcia (10m+ followers), Sean O’Malley (2m+ followers) and Israel Adesanya (5m+ followers), use assets away from their sports to attract leverage to their personal brand.
The British boxer adopts a similar strategy to these sporting stars to eventually branch himself into the same realm.
The Hackney-born fighter is also the founder of the athlete apparel brand, RIL Athletics. The clothing line is branded as quality sportswear, which bridges the gap between athletic wear and fashion. This is a smart move by Viddal to maximise his profile by monetising an asset from his audience.
It’s also a chance for Viddal to produce diverse content streams. This includes influencer marketing campaigns with upcoming athletes, interactive challenges, or it could become the beginning of a wider social movement. US creator, Logan Paul, did exactly this with his Maverick clothing line.
RIL Athletics isn’t just a chance for Viddal to gain income through selling his clothing; it’s a chance to elevate his personal brand to another scale by the power of social impact.
Ril has stepped into the rap music world with a suite of albums, freestyles and singles. His most recent album was released late last year, entitled LS3. He’s also appeared on urban music channels performing freestyles, including GRM Daily and Pressplay Media.
Viddal has grown up in Hackney, home to some of the UK’s most established rappers, including Professor Green, Idris Elba, Not3s, Maverick Sabre and more. Growing up in that environment, it’s natural that Viddal would have picked up some rap lingo, which would gradually push him closer to music.
Viddal releasing music is another chance to open a monetisation stream, but it’s also a chance to influence his personal brand to be driven by cultural sensitivity.
Sports brands, particularly boxing, are becoming more and more culturally sensitive by using music artists to connect with younger audiences. For example, Krept & Konan produced a Euro2020 anthem to promote England; Aitch narrated a creative piece ahead of the final and Harlesden rapper. Nines even walked out British legend Anthony Joshua ahead of his boxing match against Alexander Povetkin.
Viddal’s initiative to use music, YouTube and clothing to build his personal brand helps amplify his brand towards the casual audiences surrounding boxing. Once they’re connected with those elements of Viddal’s personality, they’ll gradually become enticed into his boxing legacy.