Capitalize on the Summer of Sport

Four Tips to Help SMBs Capitalize on the Summer of Sport in their Marketing

Team GB are having a great time at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, and hopefully their success will be emulated at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Their success follows hot on the heels of the England football team reaching the final of the Euro 2020 Championships and innumerable other sporting achievements. Event organisers and the media are keen to exclaim the power that a successful performance by a national team in any international sporting competition has the power to bring a nation together. Something that is perhaps, all the more important in 2021!

The Olympic Games celebrate human centred stories of perseverance, determination, struggle and support which unite and engage people all over the world.

It is something that is not lost on big businesses who are prepared to spend huge amounts of money in order to win the right to be associated with both the national teams and the international sporting events.

What can a smaller business and independents do?

The traditional option is to sponsor a local sporting club or team. It’s a nice thing to do and as long as you set your expectations accurately it can work. But if the team is only followed by the friends and family of those who play then the brand awareness you are likely to achieve will be limited.

Capitalise on the interest

Perhaps a better way to capitalise on the interest in sport that major sporting events generates is to link your marketing materials and website content to sport.

Interest in healthy living

According to Visual GPS, an iStock research initiative, 81% of people globally stated that they want to develop a daily wellness and exercise routine.

This is echoed by search data from iStock which shows that terms such as ‘outdoor fitness’ increased by 140% and ‘sports coaching’ increased by 76%.

Powerful marketing Opportunity

Now Jacqueline Bourke, Head of Creative Insights for EMEA at iStock has said that as the world begins to open up a little more, sport becomes a key means of bringing people together, both virtually and in real life.

Sport, she says can be a powerful and emotive way for any business to connect with their customers. It does not matter what the industry or the product that is being promoted

Four Tips

Bourke suggests four tips for small and medium sized businesses that will allow them to effectively, and authentically, tap into the summer of sport in their marketing:

1. Ensure your sports visuals are relatable

Make sure you are inclusive when selecting visual content by showing people of all abilities and body types participating in sport or exercise and avoid relying on visuals of toned, young athletes.

Think about the full range of sports and exercises and consider visuals of both individuals and groups taking part in activities.

Ensure you are also including intersectional identities such as body shapes, types, sizes, abilities, age and gender and you are demonstrating the wellbeing and fulfilment many people experience.

2. Celebrate togetherness

Every summer, but especially during the Olympics, people want to get together, celebrate, enjoy each other’s company and cheer on their favorite athletes.

Visual GPS research shows that overwhelmingly, 86% of people globally look for ways to celebrate the good things in life.

This could be anything from a barbeque with friends or watching the Olympics in a beer garden.

Also consider visualizing the ways in which people are connecting virtually and celebrating with loved ones from afar.

3. Consider fitness more holistically

Mind, body and soul— 93% of people believe it is equally important to take care of themselves emotionally, as well as physically.

When thinking about fitness, take a holistic approach in your visual choices and show the emotional rewards participation can have on people’s wellbeing.

Include visuals that represent a broad spectrum of proactive self–care moments, this could be eating healthier to working out with a friend in the garden.

4. Get back to nature

Searches on iStock for ‘family outdoors’ have increased by 60% and searches for ‘mother nature’ have risen by 131%. This may reflect the desire many people have to re-connect with nature this summer now that lockdown restrictions are easing and people can venture further afield.

This could be a hiking trip with friends, camping out with the kids or even just playing a game of table tennis in the garden.

Particularly visualizing the mindful ways in which people are engaging in outdoor activities will resonate with your customers of all ages.

Suggested Action

Accountants, Hentons have recently started posting pictures on social media of the various activities that their teams across the country have been involved in. There have been social activities, like a barbeque at head office. Other offices have shared pictures of paintballing sessions. Some lucky team members got to post pictures of the sporting events that they have watched live in socially distanced stadia.

It may not seem like much, but these sorts of social media posts probably create an opportunity to have a conversation with a client or a potential client that is not only about business.