Innovative Celebrity Marketing Uses of Athletes during the Olympics

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How Brands Cut Through the Clutter, and Made Their Olympic Spots Pop in the 2016 Rio Games

Nike and Under Armour posted and sponsored content leading up to and during the Olympics that caught the audience’s attention and created excitement. Using relatable story-telling, captivating visuals and utilizing non-Olympic athletes made their ads shine during the Rio Games.

Nike has always been known for their visual story-telling and airing their advertising at the most opportune time to pull on the audiences emotions. Rio was no different for Nike when they aired and posted original stories of some of their top athletes.  The best example of this is a spot featuring Simone Biles, the star of the United States Women’s Gymnastics Team.  The video was thoughtfully planned out before the games showing Simone training for Rio and clips from her younger days, while her mother spoke about Simone’s journey to gymnastics greatness.

Nike got one of the most popular artists Chance The Rapper to write a song and star in a USA Basketball promotion.  The lyrics are inspiring, incorporating the U.S. National Anthem and Constitution, along with delivering a message of togetherness and unity, not only as a basketball team but as a country.  The video displays all of Nike’s basketball athletes, and projects them on houses and buildings in a city.  This visual really gives you a sense of “home” while pulling on the audience’s patriotism, especially when it aired and posted right after Team USA had just won gold in basketball.

Nike also highlighted their athletes on social media with short pre-recorded GIF’s, posting them to twitter while the athletes were competing.  These short videos were very aesthetically appealing to the eye, and featured Nike’s famous tagline, Just Do It.  These visuals were great at standing out on crowded social media news feed, and generating buzz because you were seeing the athlete on TV.

Under Armour (UA) had to think outside the box to create social media content due to the IOC’s Rule 40.  One way they accomplished this was UA basketball star Steph Curry tweeting about fellow UA team member Michael Phelps on twitter to his 6.7 million followers.  He tweeted out emoji’s representing Phelps dominance in the pool with the Phelps Olympic hype video, and UA’s notable tagline “IWILL” which gained a lot of social traction.

Another innovative way Under Armour created content was with Anthony Joshua, a boxer on their team of athletes.  Joshua, professional heavyweight, won the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, and was in Rio as a spectator at this Olympics.  UA live streamed an Anthony Joshua beach workout on their Facebook page, along with live posting his workout on their Snapchat story.  They kept the Olympic theme as he was in Brazil and used Rio Snapchat geo-filters without any copyright infringement, as well as echoing their message of discipline and fitness.

Photo Credit: photopin.com

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