As an official sponsor for the Canadian Olympic Team, Sport Chek – Canada’s largest sportswear and sports equipment retailer – is one of the few that is not spending big on TV. The brand allocates 80 percent of its Rio Olympics ad budget to digital, with 60 percent devoted to mobile.
This is a big shift even from Sport Chek’s marketing strategy during the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, where it ran seven different TV commercials and spent a mere 40 percent of its budget on digital.
“We’ve learned from London and Sochi that big sporting events are becoming very noisy from an advertising perspective, filled with TV commercials from sponsors,” said Frederick LeCoq, svp of marketing and e-commerce for Sport Chek. “At the end of the day, consumers could feel sick of tired of those ads. Olympic Games have become social games. Advertisers need to create more buzz that is relevant to their brand rather than create noises that are not relevant at all.”
In order to have ad relevancy during the Rio Games, Sport Chek is taking a real-time approach where it has been running two “war rooms” 24/7: one at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto and the other at the Sport Chek’s headquarters in Scarborough.
The former is operated by a production team of four (sometimes more) – consisting of staffers from broadcaster CBC, Sport Chek, ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day New York and PR firm North Strategic – where they produce short videos on the fly based on real-time footage from Rio Olympics. The latter is operated mainly by Sport Chek’s marketing team of five, where they monitor social media conversations around the game and analyze the brand’s campaign performance.
With the two teams working together, Sport Chek debuted a manifesto spot via Facebook on Tuesday as part of its #WhatItTakes campaign. The video features Team Canada from the last 72 hours in Rio and has garnered more than 325,000 views to date. The retailer will create more clips like this throughout the Games and use Facebook’s mobile products like Canvas and Carousel ads to tease those videos on the platform.
“Producing live content in real time is really tricky because it’s a quick turnaround. But by doing so, we can get more relevancy,” said LeCoq, adding that real-time marketing can also help the brand minimize potential financial loss. For instance, if Sport Chek developed its ad campaigns around one athlete who didn’t end up qualifying for the Games, its marketing dollars would be wasted.
But Sport Chek’s big focus on digital doesn’t mean that the brand has zero TV presence. Under its agreement with CBC, the retailer can run CBC-produced videos in the form of sponsored content to highlight the best Canadian stories from the game. Those clips are not aired during commercial breaks, but they are integrated into the network’s broadcast programs at least once a day.
“I don’t think TV is dead but it is going to play a different role,” said LeCoq. “I don’t see TV as a reach tool. I use TV to produce unique content that I don’t have access to and then use it as a targeting tool to complement my social.”
While LeCoq thinks that it’s becoming critical for retailers like Sport Chek to “own the moment and own the conversation on social,” Aki Spicer, chief digital officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York doesn’t see enough retail marketing taking a real-time stance, particularly with content marketing.
“It is a big miss for most retail marketers,” said Spicer. “Sport Chek gets the opportunity, and we are both hungry and aggressive in forging new approaches together to capitalize on the opportunity. Keep watching. More is in store next week.”
Can Snap make it as an AR company?
The real question Snap faces is whether adding AR elements to its platform will help it continue growing in the face of competition and uncertainty.
How NFTs could evolve for brands — now that marketers know what they actually are
NFTs are finally growing out of crypto novelty into next-gen loyalty tools. Tyler Moebius, founder and CEO of SmartMedia Technologies, explains where else they can go.
Why digital clutter is driving brands to rethink the value of newspapers advertising
GE, Equinox, Take 5 Oil and agency TBWA New York are among those investing in newspaper ads to generate social media buzz in an ever-more cluttered digital environment.
SponsoredHow ad tech is tackling waste by optimizing supply chains
Sponsored by Bidtellect The programmatic and digital advertising industry is well aware of the inefficiencies in buying and selling — from auction duplication and volume bias to multi-integrations and reselling — but how did it get this out of control? How can we fix it? A redundant, multiple-step process to ad delivery has become the norm, […]
The ‘retirement’ of M&M spokescandies raises questions about viral marketing, edgy content
Marketers have mixed feelings and questions about the value of viral, stunt marketing after M&M's "retirement" of its spokescandies.
With TikTok’s growing list of issues, should marketers think twice about the platform?
There is a growing list of issues that TikTok needs to resolve, but marketers seem unfazed and continue to be enthralled by the platform.