Sunday, 9 October 2016

Why are sports brands not using sports people in their campaigns?

I'm always suprised when a brand decides to use a traditional 'celebrity' instead of an athlete or someone in the sports industry, to front their campaign.

Using a celebrity in a campaign can be extremely beneficial in raising awareness about the brand and allowing recall of it. But of course this is only a good thing if there is a good match between the brand and the individal; there needs to be a strong identifiable link that shows them as a credible ambassador. And, for some products, the breadth of someone that could be a credible ambassador is very wide. However, with sports there is a whole industry full of people who are very clearly identifiable as meeting the crieria- from atheletes to fitness models, sports and health bloggers, Youtubers and Instagrammers, if anything the field has grown massively in recent years to involve so many amazing people.

For a recent example, Puma have used Kylie Jenner to front their campaign. So why have they deemed that a non-athlete and someone who very much doesn't fit into the credible sports/health bracket (in my opinion), is the right fit for their brand? And why do other sporting brands think that using someone with no fitness credibility is going to bring fitness credibility to their brand?

From a PR perspective, it's always drilled home that the person needs to be relevent to the campaign, and relevent to right now. That then gives credibility to the brand, and raises awareness. If the credibility isn't there, then it's not gonig to equate to sales etc, and if the awareness of the individual isn't there, you're missing out on an audience that may not have seen the campaign had it not been for the person in it. So whilst undeniably Kylie would have the factor of drawing in the crowds due to her current prominence in the celebrity world, would it really persuade those interested in the product to go out and buy it? 

Personally, no. I don't look for sportswear and get influenced by someone non-fitness as that's not what I look up to. But there are probably a lot of people who are perhaps less interested in fitness or their interest is just sparking, and their knowledge of other sports brands is low. The celebrity brings them to the brand that they would otherwise not have had much interest in.

Therefore it leads me to think that perhaps those already vested in sports aren't really the targets when it comes to using celebrities and non-athletes in sports campaigns. Whilst it may not create long-term customers, I'm sure any products or campaigns do become hugely popular as that celebrity caters to a wide audience as a one-off. 

The question then is, does that affect those already loyal to the brand and make them feel like the brand isn't sticking to catering to them anymore? I would be interested to know your thoughts!


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