Tips for Leveraging College Sporting Events to Drive Engagement

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For years, brands have curated marketing campaigns specialized for major sporting events, capitalizing on the millions of viewers who watch them. They recognize that creative, out-of-the-box advertisements play a significant part in the user experience. One study showed that more college students now watch the Super Bowl for the commercials than for the game itself. Marketing campaigns for the World Cup, the Olympics, and the Super Bowl offer valuable examples of how targeting college sporting events can drive success for your brand.


  1. Sponsorship no longer guarantees the upper hand

Expensive sponsorship price tags have kept budget-conscious and smaller brands out of the game. Brands paid almost $200 million to sponsor the 2016 Olympics in Rio. While sponsorship used to provide brands with exclusive rights to logos, images and copy, organizers relaxed these rules to allow non-sponsors to use Olympic athletes to promote their brands. For marketers looking to go more local with college sports events,  they must understand that they don’t have to spend money to have their logo on the arena.

  1. Compelling videos drive engagement

When it comes to college sports marketing campaigns, engaging videos often mean success. During the 2016 Summer Olympics, Nike’s “Unlimited” series, Under Armour’s “Rule Yourself” commercial, and United Airlines “One Journey” were viewed, shared and liked by millions. Brands can create videos on their page before big college games in order to drive awareness and create buzz.

  1. Persistency pays off

While some campaigns can successfully focus on one or two main messages, others achieve success by creating a steady crescendo of marketing content that is promoted consistently over a longer period of time. For example, in 2017, Bud Light began its Strike Gold campaign over two months before the Super Bowl, randomly placing 51 limited-edition gold cans into packs of beer. The campaign gained ground quickly, reaching almost 160,000 engagements across 29 posts. Take a cue from Bud Light and consider creating a long-term campaign that leads up to the big game.


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