ASICS ‘FaceANation’ Activates Cricket Australia’s Ashes

The Ashes are here again and cricket fans can rejoice in the return of one of sport’s oldest international rivalries – England against Australia and ASICS, the kit supplier for 2013/14 Ashes hosts Cricket Australia, is rolling out a new ‘unite the country’ style campaign called ‘The Face A Nation’.


The big idea behind ‘Face A Nation’ is to demonstrates that despite the fact that the England team enters the series as favourites (England have won the last four Ashes series), Australians are standing as one in their pursuit of success.


The initiative unites high profile members of the Australian men’s team (such as captain Michael Clarke and batsman David Warner) with members of the Australian women’s team, two hundred passionate cricket fans and ASICS ambassadors Jonathan Thurston and Jesinta Campbell.


The campaign is led by a 30-second spot formed from a single shot zooming out from its initial focus on the national team’s coat of arms on a shirt worn by the test team to reveal the side standing united in a huge crowd consisting of the women’s team, grassroots players and fans too.



The spot ends with the campaign’s call-to-action (and fairly sales-led) tagline: ‘Get Your Shirt, Join The Team’


The initiative also uses the #FaceANation hashtag to drive social engagement.


The campaign, developed by M&C Saatchi, also includes print, outdoor, Point Of Sale, in-stadium and across Asics digital platforms.


‘Our cricket team holds a sacred role in Australian sports and this campaign is about showing we’re together as a nation heading into this massive summer of cricket against our rivals, says Asics senior marketing manager Sam Chew.


‘The response from Australian fans wanting to be involved was immense; it’s actually precisely where the inspiration for this idea came from. Our backs might be against the wall this series, but we love our sport and Australians are passionate about their cricket team.’


‘The summer period is especially competitive for cricket sponsors. To cut through we identified a simple message to champion for the season – stand together and we’ll be strong,’ outlines M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment managing director James Gilbert-Smith.


‘The shirt is a rallying point for fans to show their defiance of the English as well as your passion for the Australian side.’


Throughout 2013 ASICS has been focusing on the classic Australia versus England rivalry with an ongoing ‘Rivalries Are Born, They Never Die’ campaign fronted by Australian all-rounder Shane Watson and England batsman Eoin Morgan.


The new ‘Face A Nation’ work builds on this previous ‘Rivalries’ campaign that was spearheaded by online film featuring both brand ambassadors and exploring what it means to put on the national cap and go into battle against the old enemy.


The two minute creative outlines how the Anglo-Australian rivalry shapes every cricketer’s childhood dreams and why performing against your greatest rivals can make or break a player’s career.


Watson and Morgan also discuss the physical differences taking on your fiercest rivals has on a player and how the heritage of The Ashes brings players and teams to better their best.



Australian Opener Watson, who has played in two previous Ashes series, describes the rivalry thus:


‘It’s as simple as us Aussies hate losing to the Poms. It runs so deep, deeper than I could ever imagine. That gives you that extra edge to your performance.’


While Morgan, who has captained England’s ODI and T20 teams said:


‘If you win, you’ve got the chance to go and put your name down in history. It’s this carrot of writing history that really helps me maximise my performance.’


To date, the central online film has posted 83,764 YouTube views


This Rivalries campaign initially began rolling out earlier in the year when the first of the 25 matches between the two teams (spanning tests, one day internationals and T20 matches) in seven months got under way.


This below-the-line campaign is delivered across social media platforms and hosted on the brand’s YouTube channel.




While Watson looks set to play a pivotal role in the latest Ashes contest, Morgan’s role looks set to be limited to shorter forms of the game – this unbalanced approach reflects ASICS official Australian cricket partnership (England’s kit partnership is with adidas).


ASICs began its partnership with Cricket Australia as official footwear and apparel sponsor in late 2011.


The sponsorship sees ASICS provide the Australian men’s and women’s cricket teams with training and competition kit up to and including the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia.


The objective for the sports apparel and equipment brand behind its Australian cricket team alliance is awareness led.


‘The Australian cricket team is one of the highest profile sporting teams in the world so this partnership will significantly elevate our global brand exposure,’ said ASICS CEO and Global President Motoi Oyama. ‘This is in line with the strategies we have put in place to achieve the ASICS Growth Plan 2015.’


‘ASICS and Cricket Australia share a number of important philosophies about high performance, growth and success. This common ground is the making of exciting partnership,’ said Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland when the alliance was initially announced.


‘We are delighted to be announcing an association with ASICS, a company globally renowned as being synonymous with high performance.’


The deal also saw ASICS take on the role of the official footwear and apparel sponsor of the Australian Cricket Centre of Excellence.



ASICS Face A Nation YouTube



ASICS ‘Rivalries Are Born, They Never Die’ YouTube



ASICS Australia YouTube Channel



ASICS Campaign Website



ASICS Cricket Australia Website



Cricket Australia



Featured Showcases