Sports Marketing – Brian Cristiano: “GoPro and Red Bull are Two Examples of Brands that Do it Right.”
Bold Worldwide is a New York City based agency that connects brands with fitness, sports and outdoor enthusiasts. We talked to CEO/Creative Director Brian Cristiano on the sports marketing landscape and the brands he works with. Cristiano has interesting views about influencer marketing related to sports as well as on social: "Social apps are where most people are spending their time, and that’s where brands need to be," he says. Why GoPro and Red Bull are two examples of brands that do it right.
Portada: What are the main clients of Bold Worldwide and what campaigns have you implemented?
Brian Cristiano, CEO/Creative Director Bold Worldwide: "We work with many clients on projects and retainers with varying sizes, but two interesting clients that come to mind immediately are R&A Cycles and Polar Electro. We do all of their media buying and marketing – they may be lesser-known brands to some outside of endurance sports, but we have pushed both of these companies toward a focus on social and digital marketing."
What role does influencer marketing play in sports marketing? Which brands are doing it well and which ones are not, and why?
B.C.: "Influencer marketing can be either very crucial to the growth of a brand or detrimental. Any sports organization or brand needs to align themselves with influencers who embody the brand. What I mean by that is there must be a synergy and it must come across to the influencer’s audience as an obvious match. If an influencer has a blog or Instagram channel about baseball but then all of a sudden a bank starts putting their logo or running contests with this person, it will immediately be seen as inauthentic (in most cases). However, if this baseball influencer starts wearing Under Armour shirts featuring their favorite team, then it’s not a stretch and makes perfect sense. If sports brands can align themselves with the right influencers and do it in a way that is not intrusive to the audience, then it works. But the moment that the influencer’s fan base feels that it is a forced relationship, they will tune it out. They have hundreds of influencers across the globe, all using their products but in ways that connect with the influencers’ culture and lifestyle, and that don’t just make sense but integrate well with the subject matter."
We understand you are a great cycling fan and cycler, and also have done some ad work in that realm. Can you please elaborate?
B.C.: "BOLD has worked with some great cycling clients like R&A Cycles, one of the largest online cycling retailers, to expand their brand not only into social and digital marketing but also to expand their reach internationally. Additionally, BOLD sponsors and manages a New York-based bike racing team and works closely with other partners to support the team. Some of these co-sponsors include KIND Snacks, Catlike, Champion System and enduranceWERX."
What do you like the most about the Hispanic sports marketing landscape/Hispanic sports media?
B.C.:"I believe there is a lot of opportunity for brands to connect with the Hispanic and multicultural sports consumer. It is one of the strongest and fastest growing consumer segments in sports marketing, and if brands can connect authentically to this audience, there’s a large opportunity for growth."
If sports brands can align themselves with the right influencers and do it in a way that is not intrusive to the audience, then it works.
How is technology mostly impacting sports marketing?
B.C.: "Mobile. Period. The trend is clearly moving quickly toward consumption of media on mobile. Brands must connect where the attention is going, and it is without question on mobile. Social apps are where most people are spending their time, and that’s where brands need to be. One out of every five minutes on the Internet is time spent on Facebook, so if brands are not there, they are missing a massive opportunity. Additionally, with the advent of streaming services (Periscope, Meerkat, etc.), brands and sports teams alike need to utilize these as tools to reach the consumer and generate a deeper level of engagement."
Facebook video is turning out to be a phenomenal way to connect with consumers. Not only is it targetable, but the shareability of these videos is easy – easy is what consumers want.
How have you used online video in your campaigns and what has worked the best in terms of high viewability rates?
B.C.: "YouTube is still a great tool for video. However, with the new YouTube Red subscription service and consumers’ lack of attention on pre-roll ads, Facebook video is turning out to be a phenomenal way to connect with consumers. Not only is it targetable, but the shareability of these videos is easy – easy is what consumers want. If they like the video, they will like or share it, gaining you extra viewability outside of your paid media."