Over the years, we’ve seen some hilarious and bonkers kit launches from Arsenal’s 19/20 launch voiced by urban slang and Southampton FC releasing a spoof of the Frye Festival documentary. Kit launches contribute massively to promoting the upcoming season. If done right, it can become a huge W. So, let’s find out how to get your kit promotion right.
Step one: create a narrative
Club values are fundamental puzzle pieces that entice fans into your journey. A club must be value-led to remain ethical, moral and authentic with whatever they pursue. The same applies to kit launches.
Arsenal FC did a great job with their 19/20 kit launch with Adidas. Throughout the ad, there’s no emphasis on the kit whatsoever. Instead, it’s a short-form storytelling piece about what it means to support Arsenal. This creates a much stronger communal connection with your audience to embed shared values than solely focusing on the kit.
Step two: stay culturally sensitive
Connections between football and culture are continuously growing closer together. It’s natural for a clubs marketing strategy to use external industry personalities and brands to reach new audiences. For example, Spurs’ amplifying their kit release through UK rapper AJ Tracey to make a track associated with the Nike x Spurs 17/18 kit launch. Why did this work? Well, AJ is a Spurs fan who was rapidly growing as a music artist and has produced a strong following across urban entertainment. This allows Spurs to engage with a demographic outside their traditional audience to pivot into an entertainment entity.
On the other side of North London, Arsenal FC collaborated with Adidas for their 19/20 kit promotion. Woolwich took their players to social spots across North London, including a café, barbershop, and football courts, while the ad was narrated in urban slang. Arsenal made this campaign special by capturing home-felt moments for many fans and supporters while proactively using the kit launch as a subconscious talking point throughout.
Therefore, lesson two involves using culturally sensitive assets to amplify the kit promotion and boost the connection you have with your fanbase.
Step three: make it interactive
For many, the fourth-tier English club Stevenage FC won 2019’s sports marketing campaign in association with Burger King. The fast-food chain began sponsoring Stevenage in the 19/20 season, where they challenged FIFA players to play as Stevenage during FIFA’s career mode. Once done, players were encouraged to share video clips online to win rewards from Burger King.
The initiative led to Stevenage becoming the most used team in FIFA career mode, 25,000+ goals shared online with shirts being sold out for the first time in Stevenage FC’s history. The campaign received endorsements from many high-profile names, including Piers Morgan and Gary Lineker.
The simple key to this success was social interaction. Tens of thousands of FIFA players sharing clips online with Stevenage kit created unprecedented brand awareness amongst new consumers, which expanded the kit promotion to major success.
Step 4: create a buzz
Hyping up your fans and followers is essential for any campaign. Anticipatory content helps to build awareness and get people talking. There are many ways this can be done.
‘Coming soon’ posts
Instead of surprising fans with a new launch, coming soon posts have proven effective at creating engaging conversations. Plus, if you’re a major brand as a football club, you’ll likely experience a PR boost from multiple media outlets who’ll contribute to your promotion. Above is an awesome example by South African football club Cape Town Spurs.
Count down posts
Doing a countdown on social media is a smart strategy to remind your audience of a launch instead of aggressively targeting followers with repeat content.
Sports fans can usually guess when it’s time for a new kit launch. That’s what makes preview posts super effective. They’ll instantly make followers aware of the promotion, but it gives a taste of what the new launch has to offer.
Step 5: hashtags at the ready!
Hashtags are brilliant in highlighting content affiliated with your new launch rather than getting overlooked in other content. It also encourages followers and fans to tag and share launch-related posts through interactive challenges. Please make the most of influencer marketing while it’s at an all-time high!
Hashtags are also a significant data point to understand terms associated with your launch, tone of voice, and attitude towards it.
There you have it! Five key steps to making your kit launch interesting and unique! Let us know if you found this piece useful.