Marketing has changed drastically, and nowadays, social media prevails in this domain when it comes to communicating to a large, global audience. International sports events, such as FIFA World Cup and The Olympic Games, have been successful enough over the years to teach us many lessons that can be beneficial. To all sports marketers, take into consideration the following examples to help you come up with effective strategies for your next marketing plan:
Marketing Lesson #1: Make a success story
Lebanese fashion designer Charbel Zoe had a career-defining moment when Jennifer Lopez performed at the opening ceremony of FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil dressed in his stunning emerald-green playsuit. Shakira closed the ceremony wearing a dazzling red dress by Mr. Zoe as well. The hype grew instantly through social media, newspapers, magazines, and TV for both performance looks. How did Charbel Zoe get so lucky? JLo’s stylists saw photos of his incredible outfits –most likely on social media - and contacted the young designer. What can we learn from him? Talent and chance play a big role in one’s success.
Marketing Lesson #2: Use the element of localization with a strong story
Specially created for the World Cup, Coca Cola launched a video entitled: “One World, One Game - Brazil, Everyone’s Invited - 2014 FIFA World Cup” as a starting plan in order to support tourism and put behind problems that the host country faces, such as discrimination and racism. The concept of raising a universal issue, reinforcing it, and building a story is a smart marketing tool to reach people who can relate to it.
Marketing Lesson #3: Have a clear digital goal
Starting from the quarter final stages, Facebook saw over 280 million game-related status updates and Twitter was home to over 180 million game-related tweets. Brands like Adidas and Coke were active on social media and running full integrated digital campaigns in order to gain plenty of exposure, a huge audience presence, and interest.
Marketing Lesson #4: Highlight some personal stories
When you really understand your audience, you can highlight personal stories that appeal to people worldwide. For example, a Belgian teenager became a viral sensation after being photographed in the stands when Belgium faced South Korea in the World Cup. French Cosmetics Company, L’Oréal, collaborated with her to produce a social media video. Nevertheless, the company soon ended the deal with the 17-year old model over an ethical issue.
Marketing Lesson #5: Bring in the world of #hashtags
The FIFA World Cup Hashflags, a Twitter initiative that saw hashtags transform into flags of the country, were used 67.5 million times making it one of the major hits when it came to bringing the World Cup to social media.
Marketing Lesson #6: Show emotion
The London Olympics opened with Queen Elizabeth and Daniel Craig. And since people are emotionally connected with James Bond films, Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle used the Bond story to revolutionize the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. At the time, Skyfall was considered the must-see movie and the biggest teaser theme song by Adele became a huge success and won awards.
Marketing Lesson #7: Pick a side
In an era where several brands depend on global marketing messages and economies of scale, Adidas’ support of Team GB stood out in the middle of the competition. Brands like Nike and Reebok also showed preferences to specific teams during the Olympics.
Marketing Lesson #8: Go viral for the right reasons
During the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Lebanon witnessed a big buzz with “stripping down” posts and tweets by social media users who supported Lebanese skier Jackie Chamoun as she was fiercely criticized for her past topless photo-shoot. However, Jackie received great support from many including brands such as Almaza, Exotica, and Al-Rifai under the #StripForJackie Campaign.
Also published on blogandbrand.com
References: EContent, Marketing Magazine