For those who do not know brazilian football well, this post needs a little contextualization.
Corinthians is the second biggest brazilian football club in number of supporters. They have lots of national titles, but lack international tradition. Well, it´s more accurate to say that Corinthians is building an international tradition.
Copa Libertadores is the South American version of Uefa Champions League. It´s the most important continental title a brazilian football club can win, and until recently, Corinthians had none. All the rivals made a lot of jokes about that, and every year Corinthians qualified to Libertadores, there was a huge pressure to win it. Something like the famous Boston Red Sox´s curse.
But all curses are meant to be broken, and so was Corinthians´. The club finally won Libertadores this year, unbeaten and facing Boca Juniors, the biggest Argentinian club which won several titles in the last decade, specially against Brazilian clubs, in the final.
Can you imagine the tension in the air? For 2 weeks it was the only subject in the country. Even for those who hate footbal (believe us, there are a few in Brazil). In the final game, 3 in 4 TVs were tunned on the game.
In recent history, there wasn’t a match with a bigger sponsors’ participation. Below, there is a compilation of what they did to help support Corinthians in this important moment. All videos are in portuguese, but you can sense what each one is about.
Well, we don´t support Corinthians here, but it was a big sports marketing lesson to all clubs and sponsros.
Right after the finals they launched this timeline with the team’s journey. The user must side scroll it to pass trhough the main facts of each match until the final. The brand only appears in the end.
The leading steel wool brand in Brazil released a humourous video with Carlos Moreno, an actor that have been appearing in Bombril ads for decades. Now he is here to joke with Boca Juniors.
Brahma is the second beer brand in Brazil and it has a close link to football. To promote this match they released a video with the club’s anthem played tango style, the traditional Argentinean rhythm.
This radio station is not exactly a sponsor, but they payed a great tribute as well, using São Jorge mythology. São Jorge is a catholic saint, and one of Corinthians’ symbols.
And, finally, Nike released a very polemic letter, just before the final, mocking those brazilians who were supporting Boca Juniors, which they called “the anti-Corinthians”. And they were a lot.
It was a bold move from Nike, and many of the targeted “anti-Corinthians” tried to organize a boycott.
After the final Nike also released this emotional video.
In the end we were more jealous about Corinthians’ sponsors than the title itself. We would love to see our teams´ sponsors doing the same.
If you like to watch TV series, it´s very likely that you have already watched HBO’s Game of Thrones, based on R. R. Martin books. Both the books and the series are a huge success. Yvan Degtyariov, an ukrainian artist, played with this pop phenom creating logos based on an imaginary football league where each Game of Thrones’ house is a team.
In the series, each house (or kingdom) has a unique personality and fight each other to reign this fictional universe. House Stark, for example, has a strong sense of justice and honor, and also has the wolf as its mascot. House Lannister is represented by the lion and has the motto “a Lannister always pay his debts”. In other words, they are very rich. And so on…
Find below three of these teams logos and an explanation about the link between this joke and sports marketing.
For those who watch the series, it strangely makes sense to imagine a championship between those houses. Each house represents a bunch of values and, during the series, the spectators just sympathizes with one or some of them.
In the sports world it´s the same. Each team has its own values and personality. In Brazil, for example, there are the football rivals Corinthians and São Paulo. Corinthians fans explore the underdog narrative as they are usually proud of titles conquered with a high level of difficulty. São Paulo fans, on the other hand, prefer to glorify their team´s infrastructure and professionalism. São Paulo´s titles are understood by the point of view of the club´s sovereignty.
Narrative´s differences like that appear in many rivalries between teams in Brazil and worldwide, and this issue is usually ignored by brands in the decision process of which team the brand should sponsor.
It´s common to forget that teams usually represent values that stand besides number of fans and market location, and that brands will probably absorb something from that sponsorship experience. It´s important to say that there aren´t right or wrong values, but values that fit better with a brand.
I will propose a funny exercise for those of you who have a difficult time realizing which values a sport team stand for. What about inverting this Ukrainian artist´s joke transforming the club into a kingdom. How is this kingdom? How does the king behave? What are their values? How do people tell their story?
That way you could transform your favorite sport championship in a Game of Thrones parody.
arts via io9Continue →