Fans want a genuine connection

While there’s no World Cup or an Olympics to get your teeth into this summer, there is still an incredible amount of sport. From the Tour de France to the Confederations Cup, Wimbledon to the X Games, there’s something for everyone. Each event comes with highly valuable audiences for brands. But engaging fans is an art that not all brands have mastered.
A recent study by Momentum Worldwide discovered that while 86% of fans would not object to seeing more sponsorship in sport, 83% believe that sponsors “never consider the fans”. The appetite is there, but brands are seen failing to engage with sports fans in a meaningful way.
Many brands have a long history of sports partnerships and sports fans have expectations for branded content during their favourite events. But brands must work hard to create campaigns that feel authentic and emphasise their mutual appreciation for the sport.
Among the defining characteristics of Out-of-Home (OOH) audiences are their active and receptive mindset about their surroundings. They welcome relevant and useful brand content and are ready to interact. These audiences are primed for entertaining sports campaigns. The question is, how can brands make the most of OOH audience behaviour to deliver effective messaging?

Activation innovation

Audiences are receptive to visual stimulation when they are out and about and the enjoy interacting with engaging, entertaining and useful content. Having long been heralded as the medium for long-term brand building, OOH also delivers innovative activation. From interactive touchscreens to Augmented Reality and Social Media integration, OOH campaigns offer compelling call-to-action.
OOH has been proven to drive consumers online, and by extension, significantly increasing brand interaction on mobile. Marketing strategies can be tightly knit by integrating OOH and mobile marketing to streamline the consumer journey.

Live content that generates buzz

OOH advertising offers fast mass reach for a plethora of audiences. But when combined with exciting live content, brands can generate buzz and engage consumers in a meaningful way.
According to a study by Yahoo, live ads were 75% more emotionally engaging than similar on-demand videos and they saw an increase of 700% when cut specifically for positive emotions. Brand favourability was 481% higher for live ads and purchase intent was 77% higher.
Launching new brands is, to put it mildly, a tricky process, and launching a new sport is even harder. Building awareness, passion and a fan base for any sport takes time and consistent, compelling messaging.
With OOH’s reach, the medium is particularly well placed to build awareness of a sport or a competition, whether large or small. Live DOOH is being used with increasing regularity to promote sports events, all taking advantage of active audiences’ interest in live content. The campaign strategy seamlessly crosses the boundary between advertising and live sports coverage.
FIA Formula E used live streaming for their major race in Paris. Live content was streamed across digital screens at Orly Airport in Paris, ensuring exposure of the event to the target high-value captive airport audiences and generating buzz among motoring enthusiasts.   JCDecaux France

The Big-Ticket audience

Speaking of high-value audiences, OOH is positioned to accompany sports fans attending the ‘Big Ticket’ events such as Royal Ascot, Roland Garros, Goodwood Festival or Wimbledon, delivering relevant messaging in real time. Brands using Dynamic campaigns can tailor their messaging to this affluent audience, producing long-lasting brand-fan connections.
Jaguar Land Rover #FeelWimbledon dynamic content campaign in London ran on JCDecaux’s SmartCONTENT CMS. The campaign delivered live, contextual content for Wimbledon fans such as weather, match countdowns, live scores and fastest serves. An additional immersive “shoot like Murray” VR experience at Waterloo gave those without a pricey ticket a true Wimbledon experience.   JCDecaux UK

Sports is not all about major events

Showing fans that a brand cares is about committing to a sport outside of just the big events. Brands can make the most of OOH’s frequency and reach as part of a long-term brand-building strategy, demonstrating to fans that they are not just jumping on the sporting bandwagon.
Virgin Media’s recent ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ campaign supporting away football fans was just one successful example of a brand showing that they understand what really matters for the normal fan and actively taking an interest in fighting their cause.  JCDecaux UK
In Germany, Powerade used OOH ‘workout billboards’ - a fun, innovative and inclusive way to promote a healthy lifestyle. The ad reached 54,000*, and millions more watched the documentary online – a perfect example of a brand innovating to reach sports enthusiasts.   Ogilvy & Mather, Berlin
In a typically busy summer of sport, brands have the opportunity to speak to an engaged audience of fans, but how they do this is crucial. Fans need to feel important and not just an after-thought for sponsors. The OOH medium is a great way to stand out from the crowd and to actively involve sports enthusiasts, demonstrating that for your brand, it really is more than just a game.