The realm of sports marketing is constantly in motion. It perpetually adapts, evolves and attempts to run alongside modern trends. For brands and marketers the goal is to adopt something consumers already love so brand affinity appears seamless. While this approach is smart in theory, there is a point where it hits a roadblock; when almost every other brand campaign is centred around what's ‘on the rise’ or ‘popular’, all campaigns become less memorable. More importantly, authenticity is lost. Fortunately, there are ways to ride the wave without appearing to be jumping on the bandwagon.
Today’s Trends: What are They?
Trends come along in waves, some being larger than others. Trends that take place on a larger scale can support more brands riding them but are often oversaturated. Current trends that have risen rapidly over the past year, particularly within the world of sports, include women sports, esports, virtual reality and more. Strategy teams across the space of sports marketing have been playing on these trends in a bid to stay at the forefront of consumer’s minds. For example, the world-renowned, Spanish football club Real Madrid has gone as far as to build an esports stadium as part of the construction process for their updated stadium with an expected return of £135 million. Furthermore, companies such as Wasserman, a reputable sports marketing agency, are investing large amounts of money in designated women’s divisions in hopes of profiting off of the growing trend of women’s sports.
The Pitfall Underneath the Bandwagon
Brands that are early to rising trends are often very successful in establishing authentic and unique campaigns. However, there is an inverse relationship as more brands begin to hop on the bandwagon. Dilution begins and campaigns begin to appear synthetic and artificial. When campaigns are made around the same topic, any campaign that came after the original source is seen as unimaginative and detached. One brand that did a great job of coming up with an original campaign revolving around a modern trend is Nike. In their “Nothing Beats a Londoner” campaign, Nike capitalized on the cultural differences and proud nature of urban Londoners to promote their brand. The award winning campaign was immensely successful and boasted an impressive 90% view through rate. Not long after, Adidas partnered with Arsenal to run what felt like a very derivative campaign promoting what it means to be a Londoner. The campaign quickly received backlash for a variety of reasons, one of them being that it was unoriginal. A certain inauthenticity looms over all campaigns that follow in similar footsteps of those before them.
Riding the Wave with Style
Certain measures can be taken to ride modern trends while simultaneously maintaining authenticity. The key is sticking true to what it is your brand represents, when this is done authenticity can not be questioned. One way of doing this is through differentiation. If your brand is going to ride the bandwagon, it needs to be at the front of the wagon behind the reins. Some aspects of the campaign must be unique if it is going to be noticed amongst the masses.
Red Bull is a company who often pilots innovative campaigns around modern trends while maintaining originality. One of the strongest campaigns run by the energy drink company is known as Red Bull Stratos, which aired in 2012. Red Bull took advantage of the growing trend towards live streaming and new, innovative technologies by running a live stream of their own. The difference? Red Bull live streamed a man named Felix Baumgartner making a free fall jump all the way from the edge of the Earth’s stratosphere, which would go down as a world record for the highest freefall. The campaign was unique in its audacity and scale. It is also stuck true to Red Bull’s value placed in the realm of extreme sports. The campaign felt like a part of the Red Bull brand, giving it both authenticity and individuality despite the fact it hopped on a seemingly common trend of the time.
Lead the Pack with Vensy
Here at Vensy, content and campaign strategies are designed to be innovative, unique, and authentic. Vensy can help your brand stay on top of trends while maintaining your brand’s image. We facilitate the entire campaign process to ensure that the content pushed out is of the highest quality. If you’re ready to stand out amongst the pack and push your brand to the forefront of trends, contact Vensy at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and get started.