Tag Archives: Nike

Why Your Brand Needs a Purpose


This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Tajdar O. Chaudry from the Ford Content Factory in Bangkok.

As individuals, we often struggle to find the purpose in our lives. In its pursuit, we start associating with a set of ideals that form the very foundation of our instinctive identities and we find ourselves most engaged when approaching crossroads that challenge those ideals; most driven, when that convergence leads to their fulfillment.

That’s a simple, comprehensible human truth, yet one that’s often an afterthought in marketing planning in 2017. In the pursuit of tangible justifications, the intangible is too often ignored. We do so at our peril in the digitally prolific present, as the rising tide of consumer distrust is giving way to an immunized audience whose psyches have built up the relevant antibodies to resist traditional (read: ancient) marketing methodologies.

Simply put, they don’t believe (and in some cases, don’t even want to see) what your brand has to offer unless it speaks to their values as individuals.

Richard Branson recently said, “Brands that will thrive in the coming years – both financially and in terms of their impact on the globe – are the ones that have purpose beyond profit.” And, long before him, Henry Ford said, “A business that makes nothing but money, is a poor business.” These visionaries aren’t wrong and these words will continue to be the standard for success for years to come.


In order to build a thriving enterprise, brands have to identify, embrace, embody, and articulate a brand purpose that inspires their audience to connect with them. In order for purpose to make a noticeable impact on a business, brands must prove to consumers that they are committed and transparent in their mission.

Further proof of this can be found in Edelman’s 2016 Earned Brand Study, which concluded that “the modern consumer is looking for more than just tamper-proof bottles and affordable jeans. They want relationships with brands that reflect their values and create positive change in the world. A narrow focus on the classic purchase funnel from Marketing 101 is blinding brands to greater possibilities, when they could be engaging with fans and followers in ways that can enhance both their reputations and their bottom lines.

Brand Purpose isn’t just another marketing buzzword, it’s a strong driver of sales, with examples of Dove’s “Real Beauty” and Always’ #LikeAGirl campaigns coming to mind as resounding wins in recent times. Other notable examples include Apple’s purpose to “empower creative exploration and self-expression”, TOMS’ one-for-one purpose of “improving lives”, and Nike’s purpose “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”. These aren’t just slogans; they’re a representation of the why that keeps these companies relevant to audiences in a world that’s hemorrhaging brand births by the second.


And it’s not just external-facing metrics that get an uplift, but internal as well. A 2015 study by Harvard Business Review and Ernst & Young revealed that there are clear business benefits to having a strong brand purpose. It showed that companies with a strong sense of purpose were able to innovate and transform easily, as well as improve employee satisfaction. Incorporating purpose into a business inspires consumers and stakeholders, and can also play a role in recruitment, helping brands to attract and retain talented individuals.

As a staunch evangelist of purpose-driven marketing, I could wax lyrical for ages on the subject but my editor told me to limit this post to 500 words (I’m already at 574, eek!). If you’d like to discuss this topic in further detail or would like studies that add empirical depth to the subject, feel free to reach out to me over Twitter (@MSTRTjay) or Linkedin (/in/tajdaroc). In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this profound TED talk by Simon Sinek that dives deeper into this psyche and what makes it tick. Enjoy!

Tajdar O. Chaudry

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 


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Brazil 2014 – The Most Digital, Social and Ambushed World Cup Ever

You saw it, I saw it and based upon the statistics coming out of the social stratosphere, almost everyone on the planet saw it. Staff at the FIFA HQ are no doubt patting themselves on the back for having a digital World Cup like no other. The now famous #BRA vs #GER semi-final which resulted in a 7-1 loss for the host nation, received 35.6 million tweets in the duration of the match. This set a new Twitter record, easily surpassing the 30 million tweets recorded during January’s Super Bowl. According to Twitter Data the final itself received 32.1 million tweets, peaking at nearly 619,000 tweets per minute.

Facebook reports that 88 million global users made a record 280 million interactions, including posts, likes, and comments, during the World Cup final. This easily broke the previous record held of 245 million interactions, set by the Super Bowl in 2013. Facebook also said that the top five countries participating in the global buzz were, in order, US, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Indonesia. When you have more tweets than any other sporting event ever, more digital activation than any other sporting event ever and one official media outlet creating ways to stream games faster than any other, you can’t consider this anything but a success for FIFA.

Or can you?

What about all the ambush marketing? From KFC’s TV campaign featuring a football inspired Brazilian family to every local pub having some sort of Brazil World Cup artwork on its premises. It was everywhere and from travelling throughout Asia, Europe and N. America over the last month, I mean everywhere. That’s great for sport but what about protecting the sponsors that paid dearly to be officially involved with the competition? I think the advent of Twitter, Pinterest, Vine and Instagram has cut loose a new form of ambush marketing – #DigitalAmbush. It’s easy, it’s fast, it’s engaging and you don’t need to be an official partner to get involved.

Look at the battle between Nike and Adidas at the World Cup. While Adidas was rightfully proud to have both teams in the final (and the Brazuca ball, I might add), Nike didn’t sit still. They had ambassador LeBron James in attendance and, of course, very socially active from his seat in the stadium. Maybe not the same exposure as being on the pitch with Messi and company but nowhere near the cost either. Despite Nike having a strong presence,even in a non-official capacity, Adobe analysts state that Adidas overall achieved 71% more tournament-related social media buzz.

As leaders in the digital sports revolution, all of us at PRISM are continually educating our clients on what they can and cannot do in the sports social/digital sphere. All the rules are yet to be defined and as this social playground remains distinctly open, the question is who will break the next boundaries in this revolution?


Steve Madincea
Founder & Group Managing Director at PRISM

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The FIFA World Cup is in full flow in Brazil. Which players are commercially the most attractive for sponsors? Who has the most deals? We have researched the players and compiled the most commercially successful 2014 World Cup team.

The absence of Zlatan is painful for Nike and Volvo because he is not at the World Cup. He is paid a princely €14 million net from his club Paris St. Germain and pulls in another €6 million from personal deals but alas Sweden lost in the play-offs against Portugal and was not in the 32 team line-up at the World Cup in Brazil.

Fellow super star Ronaldo who earns €17.7 million salary per year and €19 million from personal deals made it through to the group stages in Brazil. Sadly he is already on his way home.

On the basis of research and information from the WPP network, player’s agents and football publications, we have analysed all the income from players participating in Brazil. Using this data a team has been assembled and not on the basis of football trophies or on pitch performances.

Beckham changed the world

David Beckham signalled the onset of a new era in 1997 when he signed a deal with hair styling brand Brylcreem. Prior to this period footballers were general associated with sport brands and typical male products with the occasional foray into a commercial which could only be considered as a bit of comedy or slap stick entertainment. Thanks to Beckham the perceptions of international footballers began to change and more brands considered them as ambassadors for their products and services. From Breitling watches to H&M clothing, football was no longer a dirty word. The media reach increased exponentially and it was no longer footballer’s boots or cars that were being promoted. Not every category or brand is convinced about the added value of using footballers in their marketing activities. But in recent years the globalisation and commercialization of football has resulted in significant growth for players as brand ambassadors.

Sporting performances are important but the total package makes the difference

Naturally there is a link between the technical performance of a player and his commercial opportunities with brands. But commercially successful players such as Vinnie Jones, Carlos Valderrama and even David Beckham were not the most gifted players of their generation. They were more dependent upon their charisma and behaviour. A good example is the South Korean Ahn Jung-hwan who scored the winning goal at World Cup 2002 that eliminated the Italians. An average player but that goal elevated Ahn to superstar status in Asia with many brands wanting to be associated with his new found cult hero status. It is clearly the total package that is important with football as one of the elements but certainly not the only element that makes a player commercially attractive.

Most noticeable trends

Brands rarely exploit the unique characteristics of a player. They take the well known path; famous player loves my product. It is left to the execution of the idea to create the impact, not the idea itself. An exception is Volvo and Nike where they have created something that is really influenced by Zlatan himself. Sadly Zlatan is not at the World Cup. More attacking players, less defenders. Football revolves around goals, spectacular goals. Everyone remembers the goal by Dennis Bergkamp against the Argentinians at World Cup 1998 in France. In 2014 he is one of the central figures in the Heineken commercial to activate their World Cup 2014 campaign. Which performance is often recalled by a defender? Very few, if any.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are the main suppliers. Real Madrid has followed a clear policy in recent years to attract and secure super stars. For players such as Ronaldo, Zidane and Figo there is one word: Galacticos. Barcelona is more football focussed. But players at these football clubs with millions of fans all over the world simply make them commercially more attractive.

Harold Zwarts
Creative Strategy Director, Trefpunt-PRISM Amsterdam

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Nike – At the nexus of sports entertainment

As anticipation of the FIFA World Cup reaches fever pitch I am struck by how Nike has moved from a brash outsider to an integral part of the game

True they are not an official sponsor and I am sure that someone at FIFA will proclaim that by not paying rights fees they reduce the funds available to distribute to needy federations around the world, but the entertainment value, media spend and pure hype is surely worth far more.

There are now many entry points for global companies wishing to align themselves with football as part of their marketing strategy but I am still surprised at just how many expensive campaigns seem to lack any understanding of what makes football fans tick. I like to think that at PRISM our 22 years of supporting Ford on their UEFA Champions League campaigns such as destinationfootball and Feel Football being on the ground at hundreds of matches throughout Europe at some of the great Stadiums (and some of the not so great!) in all weathers and working with top talent such as Mourinho, Vieira, Keane, Gullit, Zlatan and Iniesta has, like Nike, ingrained in us this insight and understanding of football as sports entertainment and how to connect with fans through the world.

Here is a look at some of our UEFA Champions League work throughout the years: 

Enjoy the show!

Brian Greenwood
Managing Director, PRISM Americas

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