In Australia Puma is rolling out an initiative introducing the next generation of elite football (soccer), Football (AFL) and rugby superstars called ‘Big Shots’.
The initiative, developed in tandem with agency Ogilvy Melbourne, features young players between the ages of 10 and 16 from a slew of Australian leagues: including the NRL, AFL, A-League, W-League and Super 15 –
The marketing phase follows a Puma ‘Big Shots’ try-outs event in January: which saw the sportswear brand take over Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach Pavilion to build a branded, bespoke skills drill course as a testing ground for pro levels skills.
This event was supported by a group of the city’s leading professional players and Puma brand endorsers – including Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters), Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney Swans) and Vedran Janjetovic (Sydney FC) – who offered up their personal tips and support for the youngsters.
Those youth stars who topped the drill course results table were offered official PUMA sponsorship deals that included a Puma gear pack (for themselves and their teams) and an appearance in the subsequent ad campaign.
This was built around creative executions inspired by interviews held with each ‘Big Shots’ to capture their personalities and sports stories.
The initiative also saw a PR push – particularly across Australian social media sites.
— Juicy Online Media (@JuicyAust) May 16, 2016
PUMA Oceania general manager Paul Gautier said,
‘We are very excited to launch the PUMA Big Shot campaign this week and present our new Puma brand ambassadors,’ comments the brand’s Oceans GM Paul Gautier.
‘There’s no doubt in my mind that our six winners are Australia’s next young football superstars and worthy recipients of a PUMA sponsorship. We’re thrilled to be involved in this way with their future sporting development.’
The campaign was developed by a Puma team led by Oceeana area manager Emma Mulligan, retail marketing manager Lizanne Van Zyl, and an Ogilvy Melbourne unit that included executive creative director David Ponce de Leon, copywriter Alex Little, art director Karsten Jurkschat, account director Julian Casson and designers Jesse Steinfor and Shannon Riches, with photography by Kim Mennen, film from Stefan Raabe and activation by Geometry Global.
A clever tactic for challenger brands like Puma to cut through against market leaders like Nike is to focus on the next generation of stars and the youth market: after all, the endorsers are yet unsigned and the young potential customers are more open minded.
It’s also increasingly important to link advertising campaigns to participatory initiatives and to amplify single-site experiences across the wider landscape.
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