We love our sport here on the EP… and in South Australia… and in Aus….. you know what, sports lovers are everywhere!
But sport, like business, needs to fight to keep people coming back for more and more every week, every month, every year. This is why they put marketing campaigns together, almost always with recognisable, catchy songs.
Among the first, and still greatest, tunes was one which still resonates to this day, for World Series Cricket.
While Up There Cazaly is synonymous with the AFL, it’s actually about the game, and C’mon Aussie was tailored for World Series Cricket, so it isn’t quite what I’m thinking of.
I’m thinking about using popular music, whether it’s pop, rap, country, rock or something else, to cash in on increased following.
Soccer had a really solid effort a few years ago when the A-League came on board.
The AFL had had a couple of really good cracks at it.
The first was the centenary spot, which used some of the world’s best known celebrities to draw new fans.
The AFL also had a 2015 effort which didn’t quite hit the mark, but ten years ago, I thought the AFL was on a winner in taking on almost every other sport head on.
I did notice, though, that there were two sports the AFL didn’t take on in their 2009 spot.
The first, rugby union, is only worth mentioning because this is what they considered an advertising campaign for a sport featuring aggression. Yeah, I’m still laughing too…
The other is my game, rugby league.
Since the turn of the century, the NRL has come up with two stunning campaigns.
This Jessica Mauboy spot mirrors a lot of what the AFL did with facing off against other sports, but instead the NRL focused on kids and the community, making them part of the game. It still gives me a rush seeing it.
Earlier, in 2003, the Hoodoo Gurus got on board with a focus on the fans and what made the game fun for them (and, ironically, features shoulder charges and punches, which would each earn a six week suspension these days…).
All of these, though, in my mind, pale in comparison with what many believe to be the greatest get in Australian sporting history when it comes to marketing.
Ok, I might be biased, but what other popular charting song, sung by a global sensation, is still so closely associated with a single sport?
It seems Tina Turner, who the NRL is looking at bringing back next year to mark 30 years since her first campaign with What You Get Is What You See, is immediately associated with either rugby league or the Nutbush when people mention her name in Australia. No other sport can claim to basically own a popular rock song.
So what would you put up as your sport’s next big song? How would you market netball, or hockey, or Aussie Rules, or soccer?