3x Brands Winning In Sport
After two years of pandemic disruption, sport has been back at full force in 2022. This summer’s action, from the Lionesses finally bringing it home at the Women’s Euros to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the long-awaited return of the Tour de France Femmes, will live long in the memory.
With passionate and engaged fan communities all over the world, tapping into sport culture remains highly alluring to brands. Here are three of the best campaigns and activations from a glorious summer:
1. HENNESSEY AND NBA MAKE A SPLASH
In June, Hennessey teamed up with the NBA to create the UK’s first ever floating basketball court.
Setting course down the Thames from Woolwich to the Houses of Parliament, this one-of-a-kind venue was part of a three-day event to celebrate London’s love of basketball and mark the NBA’s 75th anniversary season.
After AJ Tracey performed at the opening ceremony, the court hosted a basketball tournament featuring assorted UK talent. This was the latest in a series of global events developed by Hennessey to mark their official partnership with the NBA. With a promise to invest more in the sport, the brand has also performed court makeovers in Johannesburg, Montreal, Barbados and Hong Kong.
This activation is another move that suggests a growing link between alcohol brands and basketball. Accolade Wines recently announced a partnership with NBA All-Star James Harden, working to launch the Philadelphia player’s own “J-Harden” wine under the Jam Shed brand (with some help from LOVE).
2. NIKE GO BIG ON LIONESS FEVER
As the official kit manufacturer for the England women, Nike was uniquely placed to benefit from a good showing at Euro 2022. Sarina Wiegman’s team understood the assignment, obliging with a stunning extra-time victory over Germany in the final, in front of a sold-out Wembley crowd.
The overall success of the tournament, not just the Lionesses, ensured the profile of women’s football has never been bigger. Leading into the event, Nike set the tone perfectly with a campaign that was huge. Literally.
Projecting giant images of the Lionesses on to iconic landmarks across England, the campaign line “Never Done” sat alongside copy highlighting the skill and personalities of the players. An image of Lucy Bronze was projected on to Battersea Power Station alongside the line “You’ve never seen power like this before”, while defender Demi Stokes appeared on the Thames Barrier.
Although perhaps not the most original execution from Nike (Soccer Bible pointed out similarities with the brand’s activity for the US women’s team at the 2019 World Cup), the statement being made and the impact of the creative was undeniable. This was a campaign to match a banner year for women’s sport.
3. RAPHA AND PALACE GEAR UP
This summer saw the return of one of the most hyped cycling collabs ever: Rapha x Palace. This time, the drop was centred around a new ‘switch-out’ kit to celebrate the Tour de France Femmes, which returned in July after a 33-year hiatus.
Available in both women’s and men’s versions, the range also featured some ‘non-issue’ training items, including Crocs (of course), socks and a cycling cap. The kit was worn by both the EF-Education TIBCO-SVB women’s team for the rebooted edition of the female competition and the EF Education-EasyPost men’s team at the Tour de France
Linda Jackson, founder and owner of EF-Education TIBCO-SVB, said: “It’s a true honour to have the EF Education-EasyPost men’s team racing their Tour de France in a jersey that celebrates women’s cycling. It’s been a very long road to get to this point.”
As Bike Radar noted, this collab reflects a growing synergy between streetwear and cycling brands. Palace and Rapha previously teamed up for the 2020 Giro d’Italia, while cycling brands Castelli and MAAP have worked with Supreme and Perks & Mini respectively.
Words by Emma Cocker, Copywriter.
SEEN is our monthly-ish 3x3 newsletter about brands, trends and creativity. Subscribe by getting in touch here: email@example.com.