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Top 10 Most Effective Sports Marketing Campaigns of all Time | Potent Strategies for sports promotion

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Are you familiar with sports marketing campaign? It is not an alienated concept but rather a strategy used to promote sports events and sports teams. Sports marketing is embedded in the commercial segment and is one of the most efficacious ways to promote sports throughout the world by organizing universal events. In more professional terms, it is an alliance between sports and business houses that enables both parties to benefit mutually. Moreover, the overtime technological advancement and dominance of sports brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma, etc. have grabbed the attention of a large audience besides augmenting the horizon for sports promotion and marketing. 

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Empowering associations and sports 

Every year, big multinational companies and entrepreneurs look forward to associating with prominent sporting events that to readily promote and market their brand and products at a global level. The presence and acknowledgment by a large audience followed by fan viewership allow effective sports marketing campaigns. The companies are keen to expand their marketing skills in the domain of sports by actively being involved in the promotion of popular sports like football and cricket. They often associate with rising sports stars and sporting events to market their products at an international level. Some of the most favored sports tournaments are IPL, NBA, Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Cricket World Cup, Big Bash, etc. 

Over the years, these marketing campaigns and strategies have successfully seeked attention and viewership worldwide. They have equally benefitted the companies by sky-rocketing sales for the associated brands through innovative and clever marketing campaigns. 

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List of top 10 most famous Sports Marketing Campaign of all time

S. No.  Famous Sports Marketing Strategies Year 
1 Pele: Puma and the Pause  1970 FIFA World Cup 
2 Just Do It by Nike 1988 
3 Rule Yourself by Under Armour  2015 
4 Change the Game by Pepsi  2011 
5 Red Bull Stratos 
6 Thank you, mom by Proctor and Gamble  2018 
7 This Girl Can by Sport England  2015
8 Social Media with Paddy Power  2016
9 Air Jordan: Nike’s Masterstroke  1984
10 Seattle Seahawks and Starbucks 

Pele: Puma and the Pause

Sports Marketing Campaigns - KreedOn
Image Source: Boss Hunting

It is one of the most brilliant marketing strategies performed by Pele at the 1970 FIFA World Cup to promote Puma cleats. The Brazilian star, Pele seeked the referees’ permission to tie his laces before the beginning of the game and he stood in the midfield, which grabbed the attention of the audience. He took more time than usual to tie his lace and his 42-second outstanding tactic turned out to be fruitful for the promotion of Nike cleats. Pele’s Puma and the pause became a controversial and most fervid sports marketing campaign executed by Puma

Sports Marketing Campaign – Just Do It by Nike

Just Do It by Nike - Sports marketing campaign - KreedOn
Image Source: Pinterest

Nike launched another inspirational marketing campaign in 1988 to promote the brand and increase sales along with its popularity. The “Just Do It” campaign was a major hit and it featured professional athletes narrating stories of their accomplishments and expressing their heartfelt emotions of training and competition. The campaign was initiated with advertisements to promote their products by spreading awareness about good health and wellness. It created a legacy for Nike and is still operable with victorious results. 

Sports Marketing Campaign – Rule Yourself by Under Armour

sports marketing campaign - KreedOn
Image Source: Behance

Under Armour launched an advertisement campaign “Rule Yourself” in 2015 before the commencement of the 2016 Rio Olympics. The ad campaign featured professional athletes from different sports backgrounds like Misty Copeland (ballerina), Tom Brady (football), Michael Phelps (swimming), etc. The focal point of the campaign was to highlight the qualities of each athlete by repeating a powerful message “You are the sum of all your training”. This promotional campaign was advertised on television, social media, and via billboards to regulate the minds of people. 

Change the game by Pepsi

Sports campaign - KreedOn
Image Source: Behance

Pepsico used an outstanding marketing campaign to establish and surge its popularity during the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. ICC World cup is held once in four years and is long-awaited worldwide by sports enthusiasts and brands to grab their promotion opportunities. The unconventional ads of the campaign created a buzz and became a widespread success for Pepsi. The campaign also influenced the youth through its “Change the Game” slogan and received global appreciation for its efforts. 

READ | Sports business, goods & the Indian E. commerce industry – A case Study

Sports Marketing Campaign – Red Bull Stratos

DSports marketing campaign
Image Source: YouTube

The Red Bull Stratos was an eminent marketing strategy that used social media and live streaming as the major tools for the campaign. The campaigns either feature high-profile athletes to sponsor them or use marketing stunts to capture the attention of the audience through its creative and engaging tactics. 

Thank You, mom, by Proctor & Gamble

sports marketing campaign - KreedOn
Image Source: Campaign US

It was an insightful and masterful marketing campaign held during the 2018 Winter Olympics. It was regarded as one of the best campaigns of the 21st century by the Advertising Age. The campaign empowered the mothers to support the Olympian stars through its products and also led to the brand promotion of P&G. It was an emotional masterpiece connecting the hearts of mothers at the global level. 

This Girl Can by Sport England

Image Source: Sports England

This Girl Can by Sport England was first launched in 2015 and it dealt with the dispute of gender discrimination in sports participation between males and females in the United Kingdom. The motive of the campaign was to narrate the real story of sportswomen and their struggles. It was a huge success and captured the minds across different channels through its powerful stories and participation of individuals. 

Social Media with Paddy Power

Image Source: Talent Management

Paddy Power is a sports betting site that used the controversial strategies of social media as a marketing campaign. All its ads and post revolve around controversy, disruption, and mischief. It engages a real-time audience with its campaigns like pretending to chop Amazon rainforest to support England’s 2014 World Cup or tweeting about the mesmerizing haircuts and styles of famous footballers. 

Air Jordan: Nike’s Masterstroke

Image Source: Finish Line Blog

Nike had designed red-colored shoes for Michael Jordan in 1984 when he was selected by NBA. This brand promotion revolutionized the whole sneaker industry as it grabbed the attention of viewers. This enabled Nike to design a whole new range of sneakers and they were called Air Jordan. They had an influence on the local population and became famous for its pop culture designs that attracted a huge market and demand for the sneakers. 

Seattle Seahawks and Starbucks

Image Source: Starbucks Stories

Both the Washington-based giants, Seahawk and Starbucks associated together to produce co-branded cup sleeves that looked familiar to seahawk jerseys. It also has a snap code that raised the excitement of the people as they could access the exclusive features and content on Snapchat. It was indeed a successful marketing strategy that became a major hit. 

READ | Sports Diplomacy | Role of sports in India’s foreign relations?

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Ayushi Bhatti
Ayushi Bhatti
I am Ayushi Bhatti, a graduate of B.A. English Honours from St. Stephens College, University of Delhi. Currently, I am pursuing M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Sharda University. Over the years, I have attained proficiency in the English language through my consistent hard work and efficient writing skills. I have formerly written content for several prestigious platforms and some of them are NDTV Lifestyle Swirlster, LernEzy, Yhills, Kreedon, Zee Media. I have also been doing freelance writing besides writing articles, blogs, advertisements for campaigns, and website content. I possess the capability to write insightful and lucid content to bewitch my readers.


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