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AJ Hewish, November 10 2021

The King of Product Placement

How Sports Can Learn a Thing or Two from 007

photo courtesy of mgm pictures - casino royale

No time to die. If you haven’t seen it yet, you may be living under a rock. It’s the latest movie to be added to the James Bond franchise, as actor Daniel Craig caps off his tenure as 007 in style. With another action-packed 3 hour movie in the books, one thing that we have come to know with the Bond franchise is that there will always be some type of perfect product placement.

Here’s what we can take away and potentially add to the world of sports.

1. The right fit. Daniel Craig and producers of the movie have turned down large sums of money for product placements to ensure they maintain Bond’s reputation of only using the best. I commend them for that, as that’s hard to do. We constantly see professional teams leaving quality kit makers in order to chase the bag of a lower tear manufacturer. Something I’d like to see one day is a historic franchise like the Montreal Canadiens partnering with an established top-tier designer. Imagine them partnering with a brand like Mackage, a Canadian fashion brand, and having their players and/ or coaches being outfitted with down jackets, clothing, etc., and really doing something different. Not only do the two brands fit but so does the audience.

photo courtesy of mackage

2. Thinking outside the box. Something we have come to expect with Bond movies is amazing car chases, top-notch action scenes, and the latest forms of technology. Within these scenes we’ve seen brands like Sony and Aston Martin, push their limits and showcase concept or rare products in order to fit the mold. Why can’t we do the same in sports? Throw away the orange cone from practice and let’s make a deal. This past summer I was analyzing data from a hockey academy’s social media posts when they posted drills with athletes, amazing numbers. When they posted a graphic sent by one of their hockey equipment partners, abysmal! I was shocked that they, and the partner, allowed these posts to continue. This is why I think sports should listen to their audience and combine both of these posts into one. If Warrior is going to be your equipment sponsor, showcase them whenever possible. Cones < gloves. Stickhandling triangles < hockey sticks.

3. Create FOMO (fear of missing out). When I see James Bond at these lavish casinos, parties around the world, or driving these unreal cars, I instantly feel like I should’ve gone to school to be a spy and not a marketer. With that, I’m on a revenge tour. The objective is to create experiences for fans that leave them asking how can that be me. The perfect example in sports would be relying on cars. Every team has a car present somewhere in their stadium, simply on a platform, or they drive it around at intermission. That’s fine, I get it. But why not make fans ask themselves how can that be me… in that car. Why not have a car drift onto the ice and reach the center for a ceremonial puck drop? A little wild, I’m aware. What about partnering with a dealership and parking their cars in the best parking spaces or highest traffic areas? Actually, this is pretty feasible. Or, back to ole reliable, create content with the athletes. Day in the life, showcasing how great it is to be a part of your organization, their love for the city, and what it’s like being a professional athlete. Within that video, there’s only one thing that is attainable for them to live out their dream as a professional athlete, and that’s to drive the same car as them.

Published: October 29, 2021 - Issue 12 of The Sport Marketeer

Written by

AJ Hewish


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