Creative Director

in Sport

July 5, 2024

This year at Cannes, a lot of great work was recognised in the Entertainment Lions For Sport category. From over 660 entries, 65 were shortlisted, 21 trophies were awarded (four gold, six silver, ten bronze), and one Grand Prix.

Below are three pieces of great work selected in this case because we love ideas that tap into what makes sport as a marketing platform different from being just another channel.

1. A responsive idea creates a wave using the unpredictability of sport:

We love sport because it’s one of the few remaining entertainment spaces that’s live – it’s unpredictable. For this reason, sport serves endless possibilities for responsive marketing if you’re quick (and clever) enough.

Tapping into this unpredictability allows brands to act at the speed of culture, accessing fan passion and getting great results when done right, like here with the work by Rethink for Coors.

The best thing, Coors spent $0 on sponsorship and $0 on player endorsements.

2. Using creativity to create new partnership assets:

Rights holders are always looking for more ways to monetise their properties (we know because we specialise in helping them do just this here at Gemba and Turnstile). 

I love seeing great ideas leverage undervalued opportunities in our space. Although they might not have been the first to use such a unique logo placement (Intel did it 10 years ago), this is such a clever link to the Gatorade product and purpose in this idea, which lives right in the moment of sweat and hydration.

3. Deepfake with a purpose:

There’s lots of conversation in the creative industry surrounding AI and where its place will finally settle. What I loved about this was how AI (essentially a deepfake VFX automation) was used perfectly as a tool to land a powerful message in sports. 

The piece immediately dispels misconceptions about the quality and watchability of women’s football. It does not use AI to be clever with tech or to save money; it uses it to make a point, which it does very powerfully. 

Jury President Louise said, “This campaign didn’t just engage sports fans; it sparked widespread conversation, dominated headlines, and captivated audiences worldwide, proving that exceptional football transcends gender.” 

If there was one thing that could have been stronger in this Grand Prix-winning work, it would be the connection back to the brand. What was the link to a telco that made this something ONLY Orange could do? And why will fans remember (and buy) Orange because of this, vs. just remembering the amazing French Women’s National Team advert?

These are just three of the 21 winning campaigns that are now considered the benchmark in global Sports Marketing for 2024.

If you’re interested in a full review of the Entertainment Lions for Sport at Cannes 2024, reach out to our Head of Marketing Strategy, Adam Hodge, who is running private briefings for a limited number of brands, showcasing more work and sharing more expert insight in July.