Sporting events are lucrative opportunities for marketers to get their brands in front of a mass audience. Marketing during big events, though, has been evolving quickly and often comes with a high price tag. Marketers can make effective use of their promotion budget and engage consumers in unique ways if they are aware of the unique dynamics of marketing their brand during these events.


Sports marketing focuses on promoting a product, service or brand by aligning it with a sporting event or sports team. The element promoted can be a physical product or a brand name. Major sporting events include occasions such as The Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup or The Super Bowl.

Key Insights

1. Not being an official advertiser at Super Bowl can still reap rewards

Advertising during Super Bowl is hugely expensive. Skittles, the Mars confectionary brand, developed a highly successful approach which in effect was based on an ad that just one person - an ardent Skittles fan - saw. As the brand decided not to be an official advertiser, this meant it would not be listed in the official pre-announcement of brands, ahead of the game. So, the brand made its own announcement on social channels using four teaser videos starring David Schwimmer in a range of bizarre roles and asking viewers to guess which scene was taken from a Super Bowl ad, which they had never seen. On Super Bowl day, fans could tune into Facebook and watch the Skittle fan watch his exclusive Skittle Super Bowl spot in a live video. This approach drove a 7% uplift in sales against a backdrop of a category in decline by 4%.