For many years, sports stars have been used in sports productions to help market new products.
From Usain Bolt advertising lightning-fast internet speeds, to Thierry Henry adding a bit of ‘va va voom’ to a car advert, these global figures make great additions to any advertising campaign.
Sports stars and influencers bring many things to an advert, including big followings and inspirational stories.
But how can you utilize them in your next production?
Let’s take a look.
The Power of Sports Influencers on Marketing
Whether you are a sports brand, or any other type of business, having a recognisable sports star featuring in your story is a big help in attracting a wide audience base and catching a viewer’s attention.
And they aren’t the only benefits:
- Targeted Audience – If you are selling something related to cricket, for example, there is a high chance the people interested in the product will also be interested in the stars of the sport. If you can feature these in your marketing, you are appealing directly to the audience you are hoping to target which is just what you want.
- Credibility – Something that helps to sell a product is endorsements from experts in the field. This means if you can get a professional cyclist to advertise a new helmet and say it works really well, many people will trust what is being said much more than if it was just an ordinary member of the public.
- An Emotional Connection – Sport is a highly emotional thing. Nike has a great advertisement that takes you straight to Tiger Woods going through many steps of his career, before winning his 15th major. Marketing like this can help to bring the exhilaration felt watching these events unfold back and create a real buzz around an advert.
- Wide Reach – Sports stars have a huge global reach that encompasses much more than many brands. For famous figures in the world of basketball, football, and more, their fans and followers are in the millions. This means that if they feature in an advertisement, you already have a massive audience who will be interested which can really help in growing the reach of your company and product.
- Better Engagement – The idea of marketing is to get people engaged. This can be tricky when you only have a twenty or thirty second timeslot. Using sports stars is a great way to immediately catch people’s attention and get them commenting, sharing, and liking the content, which is a great way to let it grow organically.
These are just a few ways sports influencers can boost your marketing, and if you’re now thinking of using one in your next campaign, here are eight ways you can do it.
8 Ways to Incorporate Sports Stars into Your Sports Production
Tell Their Story
If you can get a viewer engrossed in a story, then this is great for marketing. Not only will they feel the emotion throughout, but they will also remember the campaign and want to know more.
Stories are great ways of showing how a sports star has overcome adversity, achieved their goals, and forged their successful career.
If you can align this with your brand, you’re sure to capture many people’s attention.
We shot this advert with Son Heung-Min (and a sports body double) which showed a little bit of his transition to European football, and how through his skills he has shone to overcome any negativity and become a global star.
Showcase Their Skills
What many people want to see from sports influencers (check out our blog on the rise of sports influencers for extra reading) is some exceptional skills.
Many influencers may not be known on a global scale but will be well followed in their own field.
Take this advertisement we helped shoot for Toyota, in which a BMX freestyler captures the viewer straight away with some stunning skills.
In this case, the fluid motion of the bike is replicated in the car, which is what was used to really sell the product.
If you can show exceptional talent and use this to incorporate your brand into a powerful marketing message, then you’re sure to make a stunning video.
Even better if you can show them performing the skills using your product to help them.
Have Them Interact with the Public
Not all marketing campaigns have to tell a story.
Some can simply be a sports influencers getting out in the public and setting challenges.
They can compare their skills to the people they meet and allow the chosen few to be star features in the film as well.
This is a great way of making your brand feel fun, and creating something that feels really organic and natural.
We recently shot this video during the Leeds United vs Liverpool Premier League match, using a female freestyle football influencer to wander through the match-going fans setting challenges whilst incorporating the product, which makes for a really compelling watch.
This kind of approach works really well when it comes to putting videos out on Social Media channels such as Instagram and Tik Tok.
Place Them in the Heart of the Action
Not all action has to appear on the pitch.
You can also incorporate different stories that really get the heartrate rising, such as we did in this advertisement for the Barclay’s Women’s Super League.
We set the scene with a traditional photo shoot before everything burst into action with a frenzy of activity.
This was an exciting advert that not only had plenty of thrills, but also gave the sports stars a way to showcase their skill in a different way than expected.
If you want to really grab the attention of the viewer at home, then putting your stars in situations such as this which are outlandish and explosive is always a great way to do so.
Show a Different Side to Them
Many sports influencers are only ever seen in their kit taking part in sporting events.
This isn’t their whole life though, and if you can show a different side to them, such as we did in this advertisement for Nivea starring Ben Youngs, it creates a heartfelt and warming production.
By seamlessly skipping between him starring in an England rugby union shit, and also him at home playing with his children, we showed many different aspects to not just the sports star, but also the man.
This is a great way to get people to relate to your chosen influencer and be able to really see what they are like outside of the sport and what is important to them, which can be really appealing to a watching audience.
Set Them a Challenge
We’ve mentioned earlier about how a great video is made by an influencer setting the public a challenge, but what about doing it the other way around?
Sports influencers have mostly gotten to where they are through exceptional skill, so why not put this to the test.
Have a heavyweight boxer on a punching machine, or a long-distance runner trying to break records and showcase the action in your advertisement.
Alternatively, why not take them right out of their comfort zone and challenge them to something they don’t excel in.
This is a great way of creating something a little bit different and adding a touch of humour to your production, such as what we did with Jamie Redknapp when we advertised Rana.
Place the Viewer in Their Shoes
Some sports productions can feel like a really immersive experience.
If a video can pick you up from your couch and place you right in the middle of a sports scene, then this is sure to captivate you from the get-go.
We used stars from Manchester United to shoot this video for Adidas, which takes you straight into the heart of the dressing room before taking you out on the training pitch and showing you some action.
This is a great way of putting the viewer into the sports star’s shoes, and showing the exciting and sometimes brutal nature of the sports they excel in.
By doing this, your viewer can really appreciate the skills of the athlete and for a short while feel like they are the one stepping onto the hallowed turf.
Add Some Humour
Everyone likes to have a laugh, so why not use your sports star to add some humour to your advertisement?
There are many ways that you can do this, including really taking them out of their comfort zone, or getting them to overexaggerate the character traits they are well known for.
This is what we did with David Ginola, who is known for his good looks and footballing talent, and through him (plus our very own Colin Nell showcasing his football skills) we used his personality to really sell the brand and in this case the competition.
This is a great way of creating something memorable that may stand out among the other, more traditional sports productions.
Sports Production with Sport & Motion
Our team can help pinpoint the perfect sports stars for your project, and even choreograph and direct the final piece to make sure it is just right for representing your brand.
Whether a short social media clip, or a long advertisement, we can help, so get in touch today to find out more.