Nike Wins by Playing Like a Girl

By: Caitlin Sullivan

A few weeks ago, Andy Benoit, a Sports Illustrated contributing writer, tweeted that women’s sports in general aren’t worth watching. Millions and millions of viewers, Carli Lloyd’s hat trick and a World Cup championship later, I’m willing to bet Benoit’s googling a remedy for “foot in mouth” syndrome.

Last Sunday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup championship game, a 5-2 U.S. victory over Japan, attracted more than 25.4 million viewers to Fox, making it the most-watched U.S. soccer game in history. Not to mention, its rating surpassed this year’s NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals.

That’s a lot of exposure — more than double the number of people that watched the Women’s World Cup final between the same two countries in 2011. All of those eyeballs meant the game was a prime opportunity for brands to market their products. Official FIFA sponsors such as Visa and Coca-Cola capitalized on the the win, but it was Nike that took home the crown.

According to Amobee, a brand intelligence agency, Nike was the most mentioned brand in tweets leading up to and during the World Cup final match. Between June 6 and July 5, Nike was 121 percent more associated to the World Cup than its competitor Adidas.

In addition to being the U.S team’s official uniform outfitter, Nike used social media to capitalize on the team’s success with its #NoMaybes campaign, which consisted of a video called “American Woman,” featuring star players like Abby Wambach. The content added to Nike’s social success and presence across 600,000 online sites.

What do you think of Nike’s campaign? Let us know by commenting below.

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