Authentic Sport Chek Multi-Channel Sochi #WhatItTakes

Canada’s largest sports retailer Sport Chek leverages Sochi 2014 and its Canadian Olympic team sponsorship with its biggest ever marketing campaign – ‘What It Takes’.


Revolving around the #whatittakes hashtag, the initiative places social media at its centre, this multi-platform campaign explores just waht it takes to be an Olympian (or more precisely, a Canadian Winter Olympian).


Featuring a set of Sport Chek’s current Olympic athlete ambassadors  – including Mark McMorris, Charles Hamelin, Meaghan Mikkelson, Chris Del Bosco, Jon Montgomery, Kaillie Humphries, Erik Guay, Maëlle Ricker and Sidney Crosby – the campaign features inspirational journeys to the podium.

By focusing on individual stars training, the spots highlight the hard work and discipline required by elite athletes to reach the podium.


#Whatittakes weaves together a 60-second campaign launch TV commercial (with music from an exclusive unreleased track from French artist Woodkid and debuted over the holidays during the broadcast of IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship)



with print, out-of-home, in-store, PR, product sponsorship, customer contests, employee engagement and digital into the into the largest single campaign in the brand’s history.


The #whatittakes platform – developed with the retailer’s agency Sid Lee Toronto, production and design by Sons & Daughters and Apollo Studio respectively, media buying by Touche! And PR from North Strategic – aims to immerse Canadian’s warming up for the Games in competitor storylines.


The approach is based around compelling initial creative that drives consumers to richer, behind-the-scenes digital content on its social channels.


As the Games stories evolve, so #whatittakes evolves too across Sport Chek social channels – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


This is based on exclusive content showcasing the athletes both at home and at the Games will be featured. The sponsored athletes themselves are encouraged to engage on their own social media channels and to maintain authenticity and avoid forced messaging, they were not given scripts.


On the sales side, Sport Chek’s campaign utilises its own YouTube channel to drive sales with ‘shoppable YouTube links’.


This transactional platform, a Canadian first, enables consumers to click through the video they are watching on YouTube to buy products featured within the ad.




The campaign’s creative tone aims to authentically portray the determination and passion that lives within each Olympic athlete.


And to be sure it was genuine and authentic, Sport Chek staff actually spent hours working directly with each athlete to ensure that their journey was accurately portrayed through the various media channels.


Launched in the month prior to the Sochi 2014 Games, SportChek (a Premier National Partner of the Canadian Olympic Team) aims to celebrate the very best of Canada’s high performance Winter athletes.


Canada’s largest sporting goods retailer’s ongoing mission is to inspire Canadians to ‘find their better and this campaign leverages its Canadian Olympic Team rights by sharing the stories of the nation’s sporting stars with the objective of inspiring the whole nation.




#WhatItTakes TVC YouTube

#WhatItTakes Website



Sport Chek Website



#WhatItTakes Twitter



#WhatItTakes Facebook



#WhatItTakes Instagram



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