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Sports and Advertising: Industry knows how to smash the scoreboard

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Sports is more than just a game, it’s a worldwide phenomenon, a passion, a way of life, and a goldmine of opportunities for the advertising industry. Over the years, the advertising industry has learned to leverage sports ingeniously, from partnerships with athletes to creating unforgettable campaigns. Athletes have transformed into iconic brands, like Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan and Serena Williams’ “S by Serena.” These celebrity endorsements became effective because they craft unforgettable campaigns.

Advertisers also seize prime opportunities at major sporting events like the Super Bowl, Olympics, World Cups and Asian Games, drawing millions of viewers. The recent Asian Games featured prominent brand sponsorships from Hyundai, JSW, Limca Sportz, APAR Anushaki, Paisabazaar, LIC of India, Amul, Panasonic, and more. 

Advertising in sports aims to forge emotional connections by telling compelling stories that resonate with fans, be it Nike’s “Just Do It” or iconic campaigns like “Mauka Mauka” during the India-Pakistan Cricket World Cup clash. Advertisers leverage streaming platforms like Hotstar and Prime, by inserting ads during natural breaks in live sports events. Some ads are interactive, engaging viewers and offering choices.

New age advertising is coming straight outta stadium to keep the audience hooked. From billboards to branded uniforms, in-stadium advertising provides a direct and powerful way to engage with fans. It’s a visual reminder that stays with the audience throughout the game. For example, JSW Inspire was the official apparel partner for India at the Asian Games. So, the more you looked at the players’, the more JSW logos you saw on their jerseys!

And who can forget the famous in-stadium promotion of a placard that read, “Tinder, Shubman se match karado”? This was an on-point promotion at the right place and at the right time! Later it turned out to be a widespread meme on social media. 

The advertising industry continues to evolve with the ever-changing landscape of sports. Whether through celebrity endorsements, emotionally charged campaigns, or digital engagement, sports provide a dynamic arena for advertisers to connect with their audience. It’s a winning strategy that blends passion, competition, and marketing creativity to score big.

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