August 15, 2014

Under Armour Enhances Marketing Campaign with NFL Superstar-Why Marketers Should Follow UA's Playbook

Under Armour might just break into a touchdown celebration dance after this content marketing campaign.

The company’s marketing team has crafted a compelling video series featuring NFL star quarterback Cam Newton. The series follows Newton after his playoff game ended in disappointment, through his difficult offseason with ankle surgery and then to his foundation’s summer camp. Although the series doesn’t mention the company’s name once, Under Armour’s logo and apparel is widely shown, helping propel the brand without explicitly promoting the product.  

Marketers can certainly learn a thing-or-two from Under Armour’s online video series—the first 6-minute installment called “What Will You Do with Your Opportunity?” can be seen below:

This first installment of the “Huddle Up” series combines a captivating story with star power, while highlighting Under Armour’s brand mission to empower athletes and improve their skills with dedication and drive. Launched on Aug. 5, Youtube users have watched the premiere almost 200,000 times. The video is also on Under Armour’s website as the company uses multiple channels to spread its message, yet another positive takeaway from their content marketing campaign.

So, what are other sports companies, such as Gatorade and Reebok, waiting for? Here are some tips those companies should remember when crafting their next successful marketing campaign:

  • Tell a Story: Who hasn’t struggled through a tough time? By following Newton after his season came to a crashing halt, adding insult to injury with ankle surgery, many viewers are able to relate to Newton’s painful story. Like this emotional narrative, marketers should always focus on telling a story to increase customer engagement. In addition, through these stories, customers are able to understand the brand’s true value. The story does not need to include a popular celebrity, like Newton, for a successful marketing campaign; however, you need to tell a story that consumers want to hear and see.
  • Brand Visibility: While Under Armour’s video series does not mention the company’s name, you cannot miss its logo—Newton is working out in an Under Armour shirt, the gym has the logo on its walls, the camp’s participants are covered in Under Armour gear; the list goes on and on throughout the 6-minute video. Your next content marketing campaign does not need to overtly state the company’s name or product; in fact, explicitly saying the product’s name can sometimes come off as too aggressive and turn off consumers. As long as the content is entertaining and informative, and the customer leaves the campaign understanding the brand, then the marketing has been a success.
  • Spread Across Multiple Channels: No longer is one channel enough to promote your product. With Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and websites at your disposal, marketing campaigns should be spread across multiple channels to maximize publicity and customer engagement. As Under Armour did with this campaign, the Youtube video was featured on its website, which created a link solely for the series. In addition, Under Armour spread the videos on social media with the hashtag #HUDDLEUP to gain more exposure. Marketers should think about following this campaign’s playbook to score touchdowns in the future. 

Fortunately, companies can enlist the services of content strategy vendors to guarantee that strong content marketing strategies are developed. Click here to learn more.

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