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Top Sports Brands Digital Campaigns

Julie Tsai

With the end of the 2018 Fifa World Cup, our team analyzed the data behind the top sportswear sponsors for the game. While this is the largest sporting event internationally, there’s no denying that the fitness frenzy continues to brew and the studio to street style continues to trend, with or without sporting events. According to Global Industry Analysts Inc., sports and fitness apparel clothing will reach $231.7 billion worldwide by 2024, challenging top sports brands to continuously innovate themselves through product development, brand partnerships, and creating online and offline experiences that builds a community of like-minded individuals to win a slice of the lucrative hundreds of billion business. Take a look at these sports brands digital campaigns created by some of the industry’s powerhouses.

1. Nike’s Digital Marketing Push with SNKRS and Nike Training App

Since the founding of the iconic sports brand, Nike, the sportswear brand has built a brand reputation and image that not only sells their quality-driven products but they’ve also sold a lifestyle and culture that inspires their fans to “Just do it”. While fans can engage and interact with Nike just through their products, in-store experiences, or even their social media channels, the activewear brand went further to create different apps to target their diverse fan base.

One example amongst successful sports brands digital campaigns is SNKRS, an app that “explores, buys, and shares the best Nike sneakers.” The app not only helps Nike reach fitness junkies but also branch out to street style fanatics, allowing Nike to build a diverse community and an opportunity to communicate new product launches and boost sales through in-app purchase options. The brand also allows fans to enter draws and giveaways for some of the most coveted sneaker drops, enticing fans to download the app and stay updated with the Nike brand.

Another great example is the Nike Training Club, which is another smartphone app for women to find exercises and workouts suitable for them. The app offers free and relevant content while showcasing Nike’s latest workout gear.

sports brands digital campaigns

2. Lululemon’s Digital Storytelling with #TheSweatLife

Alike Nike, Lululemon has gained a large global following of not only yoga enthusiasts. When the brand was first founded, the company envisioned a store that would attract people through beautiful sportswear but also be the hub for people to learn about health, wellness, and fitness.

As such, the brand focused on building a community of individuals that are wellness-obsessed but also purpose-driven and goal-driven. Through the company’s #TheSweatLife social media hashtag, fans are able to participate in this community and share their very own #TheSweatLife journey that now boasts over 870,000 posts.

Apart from building a like-minded community through this social media hashtag, the brand is able to receive an immense of amount user-generated content (UGC), which is extremely valuable for Lululemon in terms of word of mouth promotion but also gives Lululemon the opportunity to reshare content on their owned media channels and showcase customer advocacy.

Since the beginning of #TheSweatLife, the company has now created an online blog namely The SweatLife, featuring a range of topics such as workout exercises, meditation practices, and travel recommendations, giving them a platform to share free content that is important for their community members.

Man oh man you guys, I did NOT think that my body was going to react the way it did to getting my wisdom teeth out. After about 9 days of looking like Quagmire from "Family Guy", being in a ridiculous amount of pain + finding out that I had a dry socket for a week, I am finally starting to feel like myself again! πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜‚ β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € This is great news because I've been able to get back to training over these last couple of days. My 100km bike race is this weekend and I'm kinda nervous but also stoked to complete it! I've been really feeling the smoke in the air, especially on rides so I'll be putting in some extra time at @soulcyle this week. β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € If you feel like hopping on a bike with me for a quick, early spin on Saturday morning in Yaletown before I head down to Washington for the weekend, let me know and get your bike booked! β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € #SoulCycle #Partner β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β€” πŸ‘šπŸ‘– @soulcycle x @lululemon πŸ“Έ @angelaliggs

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3. Adidas’ Video Content Marketing Campaign with Boston Marathon

Another powerhouse in the sportswear industry is a German brand, Adidas. Similar to Nike, Adidas has accumulated a large following that ranges from professional athletes who look to Adidas for professional training gear to sneakerheads that hope to win the latest edition of the Yeezys. As such, the company is tasked with running multifacet campaigns that can target various groups.

This year, the brand partnered with the world’s oldest marathon, Boston Marathon, creating customized videos for each individual marathon runner which documents attendees completing the impressive 26 miles journey.

Through RFID chips in each runner’s bib, the brand was able to capture data around each runner’s time at different checkpoints of the run but it also allowed the company to locate and capture video footage of each individual runner. Within 24 hours, the company created 30,000+ videos for the runners that included the runner’s name, their times at checkpoints, and a few personal footages along the course.

While investing in research and design is highly important for sportswear brands to outperform other competing brands in terms of product performance and innovation, these top sports brands digital campaigns have been able to build a tightknit community that not only advocates for the brand but also promotes healthy living for the greater audience.

Whether it’s through developing fun and interactive apps, engaging and helpful content, or creating thoughtful and memorable moments for your fans, as a sportswear brand, the goal is to encourage an active lifestyle, inspire individuals to challenge themselves, and foster a purpose-driven mindset.

Julie Tsai

After completing her Master's degree, Julie decided to continue her journey exploring the fields of fashion and tech. Apart from her interests in both topics, Julie is also an advocate of animal welfare and girls' education.

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