Our favourite campaigns from the 2016 summer of sport

It has been a summer to remember for British sports fans ok; well not English football fans, but British sports fans.

Few would have thought that Team GB would beat their medal haul of four years ago, but they did just that with some brilliant performances. The home nations delivered beyond expectation at Euro 2016 with Wales making it all the way to the semi-finals, before falling to the eventual winners Portugal. Andy Murray’s displays were also flawless as he won his second Wimbledon title to go with Olympic gold medal number two.

The athletes and teams did their bit, but how did the brands fair? We kept a close eye out for the best campaigns and here’s a snap shot of our top five.

Orange – Euro 2016 Sponsor

Orange’s sponsorship of Euro 2016 focused on the fans and put them at the heart of their campaign.

Orange wanted to resonate more closely with fans and their emotional commitment to their teams, so developed a campaign that got fans talking, using the hashtag #OrangeSponsorsYou.

During the tournament, Orange invited fans to Tweet support for their team. Each day, after the final match had concluded, the Eiffel tower would light up with the colours of the country that got the most support on social platforms that day.

The campaign ensured plenty of fan engagement, tournament visibility and a significant share of voice on social platforms. Placing football fans at the heart of their campaign was instrumental and they reaped the rewards with increased fan engagement, which gets the thumbs up from us.


Under Armour – Rule Yourself

This campaign concentrates on the most successful Olympian ever, Michael Phelps, and his gruelling training campaign in the lead up to Rio 2016.

Under Armour takes the viewer through the swimmer’s intense training process that includes swimming with resistance, lifting weights, ice baths, restless sleep and the painful looking ‘cupping’ therapy.

We like the message portrayed through the tagline – “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light,” which translates to, ‘everything an athlete does outside of the spotlight to prepare for those big moments in the pool’. It is a powerful, inspiring message and has all the key emotions needed to sit well with the target demographic (males 16-34). The YouTube video has had more than 11.2 million views so far.

Samsung – School of Rio

This is a continuation of the 2015 Rugby World Cup ‘School of Rugby‘ campaign, which saw Jack Whitehall getting a tutorial in rugby basics from England legends Martin Johnson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Jason Leonard and Jason Robinson.

The 2016 campaign, ‘School of Rio’, sees Whitehall team up with Team GB Olympians and Paralympians to leverage their Olympic and Team GB sponsorship, with an aim of bringing audiences closer to the games.

They cleverly incorporate key product messaging, specifically around the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, with core elements of certain sports. For example, stamina and durability for cyclists, which links back to the product’s battery life.

Wimbledon – Pursuit of Greatness

‘In the Pursuit of Greatness’ was designed to celebrate all the people and work that goes into making Wimbledon ‘great’.

Wimbledon released films demonstrating the standards that go into creating the world’s premier annual tennis event. These stories were told through the voices of some of the individuals that help make Wimbledon so special – ball boy and the head groundsman, to name just a couple.

It put those that contribute so much to the event at the heart of the campaign with human stories that struck a nice balance between ‘Wimbledon tradition’ and the use of digital egagement.

Nike – The Switch

Nike released its ‘The Switch’ campaign prior to the start of Euro 2016 using their brand ambassador Cristiano Ronaldo.

It was another great Nike advert and ensured they had visibility at the tournament, despite not being an official partner. The YouTube video shows what life might be like if a regular person were to switch lives with Cristiano Ronaldo – think freaky Friday with studs.

Despite being far longer than many other videos (six minutes), it was by far the most popular, having had over 55 million views on YouTube. The aim was to inspire and it certainly does that.