Ever found yourself humming the jingle from a sports advertisement, or maybe even tearing up at an inspiring production featuring your favourite athlete?
If you answered yes, you’re not alone.
Sports advertising has an incredible power to move us, make us laugh, and sometimes even inspire us to get off the sofa and break a sweat.
But what is it that makes these short films stick in our minds long after we’ve seen them?
Well, in this blog from the team at Sport & Motion, we’re going to answer this question for you, amongst some others.
Let’s take a look.
The Evolution of Sports Advertising
Long gone are the days of slapping a sports influencer’s face on a cereal box and considering the job done.
Times have changed, and with some of the incredible sports advertisements we’ve seen over the years, they’ve certainly changed for the better.
Going Back to the Beginning
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.
In the early days, sports advertising was pretty straightforward.
Think of Michael Jordan’s iconic partnership with Nike which is one of the most famous examples of early sports marketing.
These were simpler times when a billboard or a TV spot during a big game was the pinnacle of sports marketing, and the results were pretty astronomical (and still are to this day).
The Digital Revolution
Fast forward to today, and we’re living in a much more digital world which has paved the way to new avenues and methods of promoting sports products and brands.
Social media, streaming services, and even video games have become playgrounds for sports advertisers.
The industry has expanded way beyond traditional media, and brands are scoring big with targeted, interactive campaigns.
Adapting to New Media
But it’s not just about jumping on the latest tech bandwagon.
The most successful sports advertising campaigns are those that adapt to new media while staying true to the essence of the sport or athlete they’re promoting.
Like a well-coached team; you’ve got to adapt your strategy depending on the playing field, and making a good sports advertisement must follow these principles.
Key Elements of Good Sports Advertising
Ask yourself, what really makes you stop scrolling and pay attention to a sports production?
Is it the star athlete?
The catchy music?
Or maybe it’s something more?
We’ve worked on many great campaigns, and here are three things that you must ensure are part of your final product.
Emotional Connection – First up, let’s talk about feelings. A great sports ad doesn’t just sell a product; it sells an emotion. Whether it’s the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, or the sheer joy of participation, the best ads tap into emotions that resonate with us. Remember Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign? It wasn’t just about shoes; it was about empowerment, aspiration, and the drive to be better.
Authenticity – Next on the list is authenticity. In a world full of filters and Photoshop, we crave something real, something genuine. This is especially true in sports advertising. An advertisement that truly understands the sport, the athlete, or the fans will always stand out. Authenticity builds trust, and trust is the cornerstone of any successful campaign.
Creativity – Last but definitely not least, let’s talk about creativity. The sports world is full of clichés: the underdog story, the last-minute win, the retirement of a legend. But the ads that really stick with us are the ones that take these familiar narratives and turn them on their heads. Whether it’s using humour, stunning visuals, or an unexpected twist, creativity and good choreography are what sets a good sports production apart from a great one.
Some Examples from Sport & Motion
We were delighted to delve into our database and assign a body double for Son Heung-Min, the South Korean football sensation.
Tiger Beer took his inspiring journey to create an ad that carried a powerful narrative.
The campaign tells the story of Son’s rise to fame, capturing his struggles and triumphs. It’s not just about football; it’s about the courage to dream big.
The ad was part of Tiger Beer’s year-long ‘Year of Your Tiger’ platform, which aimed to inspire people to chase their boldest ambitions.
Kick It Out has been fighting against discrimination in sports since 1993.
We were thrilled to work with them on this short film, which is a testament to their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The ad features male and female footballers from various ethnicities, faiths, and orientations, including those with disabilities.
The campaign’s message is clear: Football is for everyone, and we made sure this came across through the imagery and choreography on show.
New Balance’s “We Got Now” campaign features two young female sports prodigies, Sydney and Coco.
The ad focuses on their friendly rivalry and the joy of competition.
It’s not about the gear or the glory; it’s about the human moments that make sports so compelling.
The campaign aimed to connect the world’s dramatic changes through the lens of these decorated athletes, and we used colour and an upbeat soundtrack to really create a happy and uplifting setting, in keeping with the brand.
The Impact of Good Sports Advertising
These are just a handful of some of the great work we have done with various global brands, but what impact do these short productions have?
Well, it is about more than just selling products.
Firstly, let’s talk about the fans. A great sports advertisement can turn a casual viewer into a die-hard fan.
It can make us feel like we’re part of something bigger, a community of people who share the same passion.
Ever felt chills watching an underdog story unfold in a 30-second ad?
That’s the power of good sports advertising. It can create an emotional connection that lasts a lifetime.
A well-executed sports ad can also do wonders for a brand. We’re talking about increased brand awareness, customer loyalty, and yes, sales.
But it’s not just about the numbers; it’s about building a brand that people trust and relate to.
When you nail a sports production, you’re not just selling a product; you’re selling a lifestyle and a dream and that could be truly inspiring to young talent watching on.
And last but not least, let’s not forget the impact on the sports themselves.
A fantastic marketing campaign can bring attention to lesser-known sports or athletes, giving them the recognition they deserve.
It can also change public perception. Think about how women’s sports have gained more visibility and respect, thanks in part to some groundbreaking advertising campaigns.
The Future of Sports Advertising
So, we’ve looked at the past and the present of sports advertising, so what about the future?
Virtual reality, augmented reality, and interactive ads are all on the rise, which is changing the ways you can reach out to new viewers.
Imagine strapping on a VR headset and finding yourself on the field with your favourite athletes. It seems like something impossible, but maybe it is closer than you think.
Or how about ads that let you interact with the content, making you a part of the story? The possibilities are endless, and they’re coming at us faster than a David Beckham freekick.
But it’s not all easy. The industry faces challenges, too.
With the rise of ad-blockers and the decline of traditional TV viewership, reaching audiences is becoming increasingly complex.
Plus, in a world that’s more socially conscious than ever, brands need to be careful about the messages they send.
One wrong move, and you could find yourself in the middle of a PR nightmare.
To summarise, the future of sports advertising is a blend of innovation and responsibility.
Brands will need to embrace new technologies while staying true to their values and the values of the sports they represent.
It’s a fine line to walk, but those who get it right will not only capture our attention but also our hearts.
How Sport & Motion Can Help
If you’re a brand looking to make a splash in the sports advertising arena, look no further than Sport & Motion.
Based in London, our team offer a full suite of services, from talent sourcing to choreography, events, and film production. With over 750 sports talents on their database and a decade of experience in the industry, they know how to bring your vision to life.
So if you’re looking to create an ad that has a huge effect on your viewers, we can help.
Get in touch today to find out more.