The sports industry are pros at creating social media campaigns that further shoot athletes into stardom, encourage great changes in society and ensure sponsors are hot on their heels. We’re firm believers in giving credit where credit is due, so let’s take a look at a few top examples of sports social campaigns and the reasoning behind their tremendous successes.

Sports Social Media Campaign 1 – #RAINBOWLACES

#RainbowLaces was created with the aim of kicking homophobia out of football by encouraging players to don colourful laces on the pitch. Backed by the Football Association, Paddy Power, Stonewall and a large number of football clubs, the social media campaign is a huge success and 30% of the UK population are aware of the cause.

This social media campaign was effective as it used football player’s influential voices to raise awareness for equalities. The young generation of footy fans heard their idols preaching a message and saw this as an opportunity to connect with them personally by showing their support. The fact that the campaign promoted a positive message meant that brands also saw this as an opportunity to improve their CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts and at the same time stay relevant by hijacking the hashtag. For example, Smirnoff used the theme in their marketing communications, only expanding the campaigns reach by spreading the message to an audience beyond the football crowd.

Arsenal players were also seen sporting the laces in a televised advert that didn’t just stay on our TV sets. The ad was humorous and had a specific call to action, encouraging the audience to engage and show their support on social by tweeting the hashtag. Subsequently, the advert was shared digitally and its message through word of mouth, emphasising how an integrated approach only helps to increase awareness and buzz around a social media campaign.

Sports Social Media Campaign 2 -#DunkinReplay

Dunkin Donuts took content marketing to a whole new level back in 2013 after they delivered the first ever advert to be created on Vine and aired on TV. With 80% of sports fans monitoring social sites during live events, the campaign, which recreates the best scenes from the first half of the game, was sure to score with the audience!

The sheer creativity of this social media campaign and the fact that Dunkin Donuts was the first to allow adverts some of the immediacy of social media is what truly propelled #DunkinReplay. DD grabbed the real time nature of the beast by its horns though its engaging, timely and news worthy content. Consequently, Dunkin Donuts were able to insert the brand into online chatter created by the 80% of fans monitoring social during the game. DD commented that each #DunkinReplay Vine delivers as many impressions as a TV ad, but at a significantly less cost. #winning. 2015 is said to be the ‘year of content marketing’, well, Dunkin Donuts set the standards a long time ago and the bar is high. Talk about being a first mover.

Sports Social Media Campaign 3 – #We shall not, we shall not be moved

Not all social media campaigns are initiated by marketing minds, some come about by the powers of social networks. This summer, England will see the Rugby World Cup grace our (no doubt waterlogged) soil, much to the delight of our rugby loving nation. However, crowds were less than pleased to hear talks of fan segregation, a tradition which sets the sport apart from others in the industry. Accordingly, fans joined forces and created a social media campaign to ensure their concerns over rugby culture were heard and thanks to social media listening tools they were successful in doing so. The International Rugby Board chief executive, Brett Gosper announced “social media reaction to suggestions of segregation enforced many of the positive aspects of attending games. It was a great bit of advertising for rugby.” Allegations were kicked into touch, demonstrating the powers social networks have in bringing about change.

What’s your favourite sports social media campaign? Let us know in the comment box below.