Interview: What Lucozade Sport Looks For In Its Brand Ambassadors (Part 2)

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In a previous post I spoke in depth with James Young, Strategic Partnership Lead at Lucozade Sport regarding the brand’s excellent campaign with IBF Heavyweight Champion of the world Anthony Joshua ahead of his unforgettable fight against Wladimir Klitschko.

In Part 2 of this interview, BusinessOfSport.Net spoke specifically to Young about what the brand looks for in particular from brand ambassadors, how its “Made To Move” campaign has really taken off and what future sports it may look to jump into from a sponsorship angle.

Firstly, I asked if there was a singular type of brand ambassador that really fit the bill for the brand. Young said: “It is a difficult question to answer as  it can depend on an objective at a certain time.”

“There might be a campaign for someone with a higher profile, if you have cardboard cutouts in the supermarket you want people walking past knowing who they are. But if you’re doing digital content and you’re tapping into that person’s existing enormous community, they know who the person is.”

“I think athletes and influencers bring credibility, authenticity and they bring an audience.”

However, there is one critical thing the brand is looking for with its brand ambassadors.

He said: “The big thing I would say is shared goals.”

“The people we work with believe in us and our mission, they share the goal of wanting to get the world moving more so they buy into the whole exercise thing and partnerships work best when they are coming from the same place. First and foremost, to answer your question, we ask  can the athlete help us to get people moving more and do they buy into that themselves?”

Regarding your “Made to Move” campaign, Lucozade Sport has committed to the impressive target of getting one million people in the UK moving more with regular exercise by 2020.

The campaign, launched last year, has been supported by a wide variety of eye catching activities including a flash mob activity with Anthony Joshua in north London, the digital Made To Move sessions with the brand’s ambassadors and of course the recent Joshua TV advert which gave the fighter’s journey to where he is now.

“We’re delighted with how it has gone so far,” Young said.

“I think we’re really tapping into the insight that people are more on a journey of personal improvement nowadays.”

A key part of this campaign has been an attempt to reposition Lucozade Sport as a brand not just for elite athletes but also for regular people simply seeking to improve their fitness levels according to Young.

He said: “We feel  we’ve found a way to reconnect with those that have lapsed from the sports drink category or have never understood the roles of sports drinks.  We’ve broadened the appeal of the brand by recognising people move in different ways and for different reasons.  It’s less now about striving to win at sports and more about the personal quest for improvement.”

The brand has really sought to tap into a wider trend of people looking to stay fit and this is borne out by statistics too. Last year, The State of the UK Fitness Industry Report revealed that for the first time ever, gym member numbers exceeded nine million and that one in every seven people in the UK is a member of a gym.

He said: “I think we’re really tapping into the insight that people are more on a journey of personal improvement nowadays. So a brand that can help them, give them the tools, the encouragement or inspiration to get up and move more, in whatever shape this activity takes, is going to resonate.”

“That’s shown through in the results.”

In addition to this, the campaign has also been supported by an app. “We’ve recently launched a promotion  where we are encouraging people to download our Made To Move app. The simple premise is that the more you move, the more you can win. Every day you can enter into a prize draw by completing 5,000 steps. If you do 15 thousand steps you get three bites of the cherry.  So far we’ve exceeded our targets for number of downloads and it is continuing to go from strength to strength,” Young said.

When asked how brand ambassadors fit into the strategy to make more people exercise, Young felt that they “play a key part.”

“I think athletes and influencers bring credibility, authenticity and they bring an audience.”

Emily Skye who we work with, has nearly 11 million followers on Facebook alone. If Emily is going to work with us to get people moving more, they’re going to listen to her in a way they wouldn’t possible listen to any brand.”

“There are very few brands in the world, that can build that type of audience in the fitness world. Our athletes are an incredibly important part of what we do as  it’s no secret that content is king and getting stuff that people will engage with is largely through influencers nowadays.”

Partnership with events has also been another key plank of the overall goal to get one million people fitter by 2020 and recently Lucozade Sport partnered with Tough Mudder. This is an endurance event where people face an obstacle course of roughly attempt 10–12 miles that has really taken off since its first event in 2010.

Of the new partnership Young said: “It is about broadening our appeal. Tough Mudder is a great example of something that has been building strongly for the past five years. Their events are highly reliant on teamwork, they bring a lot more women into moving more and for us they are an ideal partner for our mission to get one million people moving more in the next three years.”

Finally, regarding who, or what other events or sports Lucozade Sport could jump into next, he kept his cards close to his chest but admitted that “I’ve never been more open-minded about partnerships and athletes than I am right now.”

“We are broadening our appeal and continually looking out for the new up and coming sports or athletes that will help us engage with people. It all comes down to one simple thing really.”

“Can they help us to get people moving more?”