How to Capitalize on the Summer of Sport in Your Marketing

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1277729344, AscentXmedia

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are in full swing and fans around the world are settling down in front of the TV to cheer on their country and its athletes. The Games create a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers on a topic that resonates with so many: sport. Whichever industry you’re in, the feelings of celebration and togetherness the Olympics evoke are common themes that unite and engage all communities and customers.

Using the insights from our Visual GPS research, which regularly surveys over 10,000 people globally, we’ve identified four tips to help businesses effectively use the summer of sport in their marketing campaigns to drive greater engagement among their customers.   

Tell more inclusive stories with relatable visuals

Wheelchair basketball team playing a friendly match

1153904672, GCShutter

Not everyone can be Usain Bolt or Simone Biles. So, remember to be inclusive in your visual choices by showing people of all abilities and body types taking part in sport and exercise and avoid relying on visuals of toned, young athletes. Think about the range of exercise and fitness on offer and consider using visuals of both individuals and groups taking part, from wheelchair basketball to senior yoga and running buggy groups. Finally, it’s also critical to ensure you’re including intersectional identities such as body shapes, types, sizes, abilities, age, and gender—and that you’re demonstrating the wellbeing and fulfillment many people experience through sport.

Connect with content that celebrates togetherness

People drinking beer in a pub garden

1154776198, South_agency

Every summer—and especially during the Olympics—people want to get together, enjoy each other’s company, and cheer on their favorite athletes. Our Visual GPS research shows that 86% of people globally look for ways to celebrate the good things in their life. This could be anything from a barbeque with friends to watching the Olympics in a beer garden. Plus, with 82% saying technology helps them feel connected to others, it’s important to include more relevant visuals that show people connecting virtually and celebrating with loves ones from afar. 

Consider fitness more holistically

A yoga instructor performs a seated spinal twist on an exercise mat

1260185903, SolStock

Mind, body, and soul—93% of people believe it’s equally important to take care of themselves emotionally, as well as physically. When thinking about fitness, consider it holistically and include the benefits it can have on people’s emotional wellbeing. Use visuals that show the emotional rewards people get from taking a walk in nature or the ways in which they’re embracing fitness to help decompress from the stresses of daily life. Include visuals that represent a broad spectrum of proactive self‑care moments, such as eating healthier or working out with a friend in the garden.

Get back to nature

Mother and daughter walking together in Oregon forest

936646694, bradleyhebdon

Searches on iStock for “family outdoors” have increased by 60% and searches for “mother nature” have risen by 131%, reflecting the desire many people have to re-connect with nature this summer, now that lockdown restrictions are easing. When selecting your visual content, consider the different ways in which people are embracing the outdoors, such as hiking trips with friends, camping out with the kids, or even just playing a game of table tennis outside. By visualizing the mindful ways in which people are engaging in outdoor activities, you’ll be able to tell stories that resonate with customers of all ages.

After a year of lockdown and the continued stress of the pandemic, the summer of sport marks an important opportunity for businesses—whatever their industry—to connect and celebrate with their customers. Browse iStock to find visuals that capture the joys and togetherness of sport, fitness, and reconnecting with nature.  

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