Nike Takes the Women’s World Cup with #NoMaybes

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team had a 5-2 victory over Japan yesterday, while the team’s sponsor, Nike, had a big win on social during the game.

Nike’s #NoMaybes campaign, which ran from June 6 to July 5, consisted of a video called “American Woman,” featuring individual shots of players like Abby Wambach. The campaign made Nike’s content 121 percent more associated with the Women’s World Cup than the tournament sponsor, Adidas, on social media and across 600,000 online sites (including both desktop and mobile), according to Amobee Brand Intelligence.

Allen Adamson, chairman of North America operations for brand consulting company Landor, thinks that powerful creative is key to Nike’s success.

“In the world of sponsorship, nothing is more important than creative. The music in American Woman is very strong and can easily catch soccer fans’ emotions,” Adamson says. “Today many big brands are looking to sponsor sports events, but the question is how can brands break through and make consumers associate one brand with a team over another brand?”

Another way that Nike held fans’ attention was through influencer marketing. As the team’s sponsor, the brand had been posting player images on Twitter throughout the tournament. Around the time the final game started at 7 PM EST, Nike continued building excitement around the hashtag #NoMaybes by leveraging the social influence of soccer star Alex Morgan.

“Nike was doing the right things at the right time. With the team winning, Nike was building its brand awareness in real time,” Adamson says.

Nike wasn’t the only brand to boost social engagement by leveraging the tournament. Automobile brand Chevrolet, who produced some behind-the-scenes videos with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, saw a 17 percent bump in association with the game, while official FIFA sponsors Coca-Cola and Visa were 16 percent and 13 percent associated, respectively. Other top brands on Amobee’s scoreboard include Budweiser, AT&T, Kia, Marriott and Mondelez.


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