The huge number of postponed sporting events and annual championships taken off the pitches during the pandemic filled our first summer of freedom with excited frenzy. Largely unrestricted Euro 2020 and Wimbledon matches paired with open pub doors and outdoor screenings provided brands and agencies the opportunity to reconnect with consumers through experiential activations and events that took place throughout the summer. 

In February we watched the Australian Open, followed by the Six Nations, and World Snooker Championships – and we still have the London Marathon and 61 matches of the Rugby League Cup to enjoy in 2021!

Marble’s experiential team even got involved with Summer Social LDN, in which teams compete across rugby, netball, hockey and throwdown whilst also getting to enjoy a brilliant traditional festival atmosphere. 

Join Marketing Assistant, Hattie, to look at all the sporting experiences which kept us busy this summer, as well as those we kept a close eye on from our industry peers and clients, taking us to the forefront of the excitement.

2021’s Golden Summer of Sport

#1 Euros 2020

The Marble Music team headed to the VIP Lounge at the Euros final at Wembley Stadium in July, where a series of our grassroot artists performed live music to keep the football fans hyped throughout the incredibly tense game. 

And what a project for the team – we loved being able to play a musical part in English football history, supporting the fans from the sidelines. This was a great project to work on and a fine example of how our music and booking curation services can compliment a live experience through building human connection and creating a customer journey. It showed us how pivotal music can be in amplifying an experience, whether that be sport or any other type of live event. 

#2 Wimbledon 2021

We also delivered a gloriously British sporting experience to Cannizaro Park in West London, complete with an alfresco champagne dining experience, punnets of strawberries and pimms, and an of course enormous screen to project the Wimbledon finals and Euro 2020 final to eager fans. The atmosphere was electric – despite the lack of sunshine – and branded food trucks and on-site activations also gave visitors the chance to engage with businesses whilst taking part in the action.

It was clear from both the live experiences we were involved in, and that of our industry peers, that brands were playing an instrumental role in getting fans back to the stadiums. For example, American Express used QR codes to provide a companion experience to the Wimbledon matches, in which you could ‘virtually’ meet Andy Murray and get tennis tips through the AI experience. It’s clear that the role brands play goes hand-in-hand with the experience itself, and consumers agree. According to Momentum, 80% of sports fans believe that brands should be focusing on sponsoring a league or team to help support the sports community’s future

#3 Tokyo Olympics & Paralympics 2020

The postponed Olympic games were rightly given a warm welcome from its global audience, despite the fact that fans couldn’t visit Tokyo in person. We were impressed with Adidas’ inclusive swimwear campaign, conceptualised on the fact that only 12% of women in Dubai reported feeling comfortable enough to wear a swimming costume at a public pool or beach. The ‘swimmable billboard’ encouraged passersby to dive in and face their fears, a stunt intended to promote the latest Adidas womenswear collection – which includes a range of burkinis. 

Like Wimbledon and the Euros, brands utilised the buzz around the Olympic Games to connect to consumers through the power of experiential – like Tiktok and Channel 4, who collaborated to bring ‘hubs’ of Paralympic content to their audiences. 1,000 hours of live-streamed events made the Games more accessible to a global audience than ever before. “We hope the hub will not only attract new audiences to the Games but also further improve visibility and understanding of disability, and inspire the next generation of Paralympians”, says Alex Mahon, CEO at Channel 4.

Although the ‘Golden Summer of Sport’ draws to a close this year, we’ve loved witnessing the action unfold through brand activations and experiential events across the nation. Individuals came together like never before, united in excitement for the sheer multitude of sporting events, and creating a community fuelled by human interaction and consumer engagement.