Catching the eye in Sports Marketing

Networking NightAs part of our successful Sport for Business Networking Night at Croke Park on March 26th, almost 150 attendees were broken up into groups and put on the clock to deliver answers to a variety of questions around the relationship between Sport and Business.

Over the coming days we will reveal some of their answers and look at the kind of imagination that comes out when smart minds meet.

By way of a warm up we asked the groups to nominate one Irish Sports Marketing campaign that worked well and why.

O2’s work with the Irish Rugby team emerged as the most popular with five of the groups selecting that including references to fan engagement, entertainment and getting social media names onto the jerseys.  The campaigns were described as ‘Emotive, engaging and relevant for grassroots fans.’ 

In joint second place came AIB for #TheToughest campaign around the GAA Club Championships and Special Olympics for ‘mobilising national community involvement.’

Others to be mentioned were Guinness for ‘marketing sport to a wider audience’, and the Run in the Dark campaign for ‘opening eyes.’

We then broadened the remit by asking the same question in an international context.

Here there was a clear cut winner dating back two years to when Procter and Gamble produced their memorable ‘Thank You Mum’ campaign.  It was lauded as ‘celebrating the unsung hero behind the athlete,’ and as ’emotionally powerful and very well branded without being too commercial.’

The Heineken Cup came in second in the recognition stakes with credit given for the brand association with the whole experience.

Outside of those two there was a wide spread with votes coming in for Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines’ use of celebrity endorsement in imaginative and engaging ways; Red Bull’s Felix Baumgartner fall from space; Oreo’s social reaction to ‘lights out’ in the Superbowl from 2013, Adidas, Nike and Burger King’s effort around March Madness.

Now discover what came back when we asked what is the single most important element that business can get from sport, and whether a tournament, team or athlete provides the best platform for promotion.

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