f A.I.M Sports Marketing Blog

A.I.M Sports Marketing Blog


Quality not quantity in content management…

Quite a short one today, after reading an excellent post on Mashable its great to see content importance being recognised.

How can this be applied in the sporting world? Well too often a venture/commitment is made half heartedly and results expected immediately, instead as brand managers and marketers we need to understand that it is our responsibility to deliver value driven content over a period of time before we necessarily see a ROI.

After all content management and marketing is a long term process, something that is often forgotten in the attempt to see short term results.

Ultimately deliver content across a variety of channels with uniform message, present it in a way that is clean and easy to consume whilst making the audience feeling able to share it easily and benefit from it. And DON’T sell it hard! 

The 7 points made on Mashable are:

1) Don’t skimp on design

2) Do make it multimedia

3) Don’t go for the hard sell

4) Do strike a balance

5) Don’t leave any dead ends

6) Do make sharing easy 

7) Don’t forget about offline.

In reality content management is a great way for any brand to use social media and CRM alongside an investment into the delivery system to create an effective audience focused campaign asset.

(Source: Mashable)

Championship Rugby needs investment to develop…

Within English rugby there is a distinct difference between the two tiers and their level of support, financially and otherwise.

However within English Football it is not uncommon to have sponsors, television rights and league sponsors from National Level 3 all the way to the Premiership.

Even in the USA, NCAA and college sports and greatly invested in by government bodies whilst the highest level sports NBA,NFL and NHL are all backed by huge private investors and in some cases owned as sports franchises.

This is the level of support needed in England to help bring rugby from its professional infancy to the next level. After all the game itself has been professional for less than 25 years. Though the RFU can help fund this level of rugby they make a valid point in stating that Clubs are in essence business’ and should manage their funds and affairs accordingly, after all you wouldn’t expect retailers and brands to be bailed out by the Government constantly would we?

The Catch 22 for Championship rugby is that they need a sponsor for the league who can invest money over a period of a few seasons to give the clubs financial support and drive interest in the game, however the sponsor themselves wants a return on their investment and to know they will gain profitable exposure, something which at present cannot be guaranteed.

Instead we are in a stand off situation, where one side waits for the other. We can only hope that a brand or business will spot the opportunity to invest in the league and secure what could be a brilliant future investment.

With clubs verging on bankruptcy, if one entrepreneurial figure can invest some time and money into Championship rugby and begin to get games televised and consumed on a larger scale, ultimately increasing the efficiency of the teams then there is a large potential for profit in future years.

If by any chance I hit the Lottery jackpot I would love the opportunity to invest in the game and try to emulate the success the USA has with their sports business’

(Source: BBC)

Adidas. Pitch Invasion. Wow.

As a big fan of the business of sport I was delighted when on a popular web auction site I managed to purchase a copy of the story of Adidas for under £3 including postage!

The book itself is absolutely amazing, it provides great insight into how the sports business has reached its current position, and unveils the darker side to the industry.

I would advise anyone who wants to understand the industry to give this book a read, it is a very compelling piece of work!

Adidas in the black already. London 2012 has paid off.

As the Harvard Business Review begin to conduct a studying into whether event sponsorship pays off. Adidas go on record to day confirming they have hit merchandise sales of $156 million already since the official Olympic products release almost 1 year ago.

So with plenty of time still left within the games and sales likely to continue, the £100 million investment looks like it will pay off.

Not only this but added exposure from their endorsed athletes who are winning medals and gaining public awareness will only continue to profit to their investment.

Though Puma & Nike have reported a drop in sales this year, the later have been combating Adidas’ marketing with large scale guerilla campaigns and the strategic timing of new video content aiming to capitalise on the demand for sport.

And herein is the golden egg, though Adidas have made the biggest profit so far they have had to make a large investment to do so, which involves staffing, logistics, merchandising and money. 

Whereas other brands such as Nike can attempt to capitalise on the extra publicity sports in general receive in an attempt to increase revenue, increase exposure and launch new campaigns. Possible food for thought as budgets continue to tighten and the marketplace becomes even more competitive.

(Source: london-games.reuters.com)

Headphones beat the Olympic Sponsorship Regulations.

Dre Beats and other headphone suppliers have found a loophole within the sponsorship regulations and have been supplying athletes with free headphones in the colourway of their team. 

Credit to Reuters for image use

This tactic has been deemed allowable by the sponsorship committee and shows great initiative on a way to capitalise on athlete success with a relatively low investment. 

For the full article on this subject see the content source below.

Nike. Find Greatness.

It’s no secret now that sports brands are using a different angle to sell their products. It’s now about motivation and empowering the audience. To push and inspire them to be as good as those who they emulate.

But Nike’s recent marketing has been attacking the market with a slightly different angle. As Adidas use the Olympics and #TeamGB #Takethestage to gain exposure, its clear the emphasis is behind backing a country and preparing to literally take the stage, but in reality is that something we do when we exercise personally? Not really, and Nike are exploiting that in their new campaign to inspire us to find greatness.

Since their release of the #Makeitcount campaign Nike has really begun to develop an insight into the consumer and have attempted to attach themselves to what is at the base nature of the reason behind exercising. This can be seen in their new Fuelband products video below.

And now we see the release of some amazing videos emphasising being great in our own sport or ambitions. The idea being the proposition of the campaign is instantly internalised by the audience.

The use of an unassuming, “regular” kid in the first video is brilliant, and I for one see a longevity in his appearance in Nike videos, with Nike already saying they plan on using him in future videos as he continues to fulfil his goal of losing weight.

The results will be seen over the coming weeks, and only time will tell if the campaign is truly effective. But I know that I can measure how effective an advert is personally by what it makes me want to do, and these adverts make me want to go do something to become great. Run, jog, gym, rugby whatever it is. They inspire and captivate us as an audience. 

Well let’s be honest who doesn’t feel motivated after watching these videos?

And on a final note those of you who think the voice is familiar narrating these videos. It is the UK’s one and only Tom Hardy.

Louis Vuitton & Muhammad Ali

My biggest sporting hero of all time will always be Muhammad Ali.

And I for one was very nervous when I read the headline that famous fashion designer Louis Vuitton had commissioned these videos to be made to celebrate his hero.

Well to be honest I was blown away, they are beautifully shot videos that pay homage to the greatest sportsman of all time in a unique and befitting way. 

Louis Vuitton “Word” - Directed by Stuart McIntyre from Steam Films on Vimeo.

Louis Vuitton “Dream” - Directed by Stuart McIntyre from Steam Films on Vimeo.

Sometimes we are all to keen to think of a way to “make money out of…” or “use something to our advantage”, so it is refreshing to see content like this being released.

Only time will tell if this is something that Louis Vuitton has continued plans for, potentially a new product line or image rights purchased. But I for one appreciate the videos that have been made.

Nike vs Adidas and Official vs Unofficial. The London Olympics 2012

The showdown at this years Olympics is not purely between athletes in search of medals. It is between Nike and Adidas for the crown of king of the sports brands.

Nike have recently announced some of their guerilla tactics for the upcoming event in an attempt to flout and test the Olympic committees advertising and sponsorship regulations.

Nike have a history of doing so in many previous events and have even caused hassle for some of their sponsored athletes with Wayne Rooney’s recent Twitter activity causing the first "UK Twitter ad campaign ban" to be enforced.

With this in mind it is important to consider one significant point.

Many athletes are sponsored by a particular brand (the brand pays a substantial amount of money for this and in return receives exposure and promotion), however during an event such as the Olympics a competitor brand can buy the “official” sponsorship of the event (creating a conflict between the athlete and their sponsor)

Questions which then arise are:

1) Does the athlete sponsor have to subdue marketing during the event time period (Despite having an existing contract and having paid their athletes)

2) If a Team GB (Adidas) athlete has an existing sponsorship contract with Nike (or other brand) what would they do for their apparel outside of the event?

3) Can the Event sponsor overrule individual sponsors during this time period?

And so on and so forth. Ultimately it is a very complex situation but it is one which needs to be looked at and resolved.

The problem continues way down the line as well, Seb Coe has recently stated strict policy on what is/is not allowed by spectators at events. No wearing rival sponsor apparel, though “Nike trainers would ‘probably’ be allowed through security despite not making the list of accredited brands.”

The list of restricted items includes (but is not limited to):

  • Balls, rackets, frisbees
  • Large flags and banners
  • Clothing with political statements or commercial signage
  • Oversized hats
  • Large golf-style umbrellas 
  • Long-lens cameras and tripods
  • Excessive amounts of food
  • Liquids greater than 100ml

And the simple reason for this is that to obtain the £700 million worth of sponsor investment the Olympic Committee has obtained they have had to offer an awful lot (including outright exclusivity) to sponsors (which they may struggle to deliver)

Is this exclusivity at the cost of the audience? An audience which will be restricted to wearing particular items of clothing, not to take flags to a “World event”, not make political statements with clothing and take less than 100ml of fluids (despite the country currently having a heatwave).

Only time will tell if these steps actually reduce guerilla marketing or if they simply create hassle and inconvenience for the consumers, who in reality should be the main focus of activities.

Olympics… Dare we say the word?

With only a matter of days to go now before the London 2012 Olympics the country is literally busting to see the opening ceremony and support our athletes to winning gold.

But marketers face a real challenge with the rules and regulations put forward by the Olympic committee this year. 

In the FIFA World Cup 2010 the official sponsor Adidas, faced strong guerilla marketing from Nike who ended up gaining more gametime exposure and being better placed in the consumers mind sets but simply giving their boots to athletes to wear. These boots were often brightly coloured and dominant in both photographic and video footage.

With this in mind the “official” sponsor despite paying didn’t gain the majority of exposure despite their investment.

The Olympic committee this year has acted upon this in a very strong manner, with strict advertising standards and punishments to ensure “ambush marketing” is reduced.

This will affect even the smallest of traders who may wish to offer “Olympic Breakfasts” in their Cafes as well as the larger brand wars.

This is the first time we have really seen regulations over event marketing on this scale applied and I for one am quite keen to see whether these measures will really impact Guerilla Marketing.

And if they do, how many other events will adopt this approach.

MTV Music Television - Download Bar

What an amazing piece of creative. Such simple imagery used to really hit the target market.

(via helloyoucreatives)