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The best claims of sports brands

From "Just do it" by Nike to "Veste gli Dei" by Zeus

The best claims of sports brands From Just do it by Nike to Veste gli Dei by Zeus

The awareness of sports brands depends a lot on the claim, on the idea that in a few words encompasses the attitude, objective and target of a particular brand. Nike, adidas, PUMA and many others base their market power on a slogan that has created so much empathy that it is immediately associated with the brand name. Each has a different story, each has had a different impact on the evolution and awareness of the brand, in a path that has not always been linear. In a market that travels at a crazy pace, many brands have opted for a "seasonal" change of the claim - which over the years has turned into a hashtag - with promotional campaigns that have a life of their own and consequently have dedicated slogans.


Just Do It - Nike  

It was 1988 when Nike launched the most universal claim in the world of sports brands for the first time. In the video that has become legendary, 80-year-old Walt Stack runs shirtless over the Golden Gate in San Francisco, CA. In the background he explains how he manages to have such consistency and at the end of the ironic explanation appears "Just Do It". The real father of the slogan is Dan Wieden, at the time head of the advertising team of the swoosh, who tells how it was born: "I had been sitting for 20 minutes staring into space when I thought for no reason at the Gary Gilmore case (robber and murderer sentenced to 1977, Ed.) I knew Michael, the brother. The thing that shocked me the most about the sentence was Gary's reaction: his last words were 'Let's do it'. I kept asking myself 'How do you deal with death like this ?!'. I didn't like' let's' and changed it to 'Just' ". The choice to never translate the claim is perhaps one of the most incredible examples of successful strategies ever.


Impossibile is nothing - adidas 

From swoosh to three stripes, for another incredible journey. adidas is and will remain (despite the official change in 2013) for everyone "impossible is nothing", one of those phrases that remain inside you. The inspiration is Cassius Marcellus Clay, aka Muhammad Ali, who for the first time gave weight to one of the dogmas of sport: "Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing". In 1974 adidas, also facilitated by a sponsorship contact with Ali, made the concept its own and transformed it into the claim of the brand thanks to a campaign involving the boxer and his daughter Laila. It will be resumed 30 years later with the "Long Run" commercial, a classic morning jog in which a young Cassius Clay, Zidane, Beckham, McGrady, Thorpe, Gebrselassie and Green participate. The rest is history.


Unleash your wild side / Forever faster - PUMA

Bridging the gap with Nike and adidas is a feat, but PUMA is one of the brands that is catching up very quickly in terms of marketing. PUMA is one of those realities that is finding itself after a period of decline, and is doing it in a modern way, without neglecting the origins, without losing contact with the present and always looking towards the future. This strategy is also perceived in terms of the claim. While in this resounding relaunch season the slogan "Unleash your wild side" dominates (playing on the wild side of North American pumas), PUMA has for years been associated with "Forever faster" which enhances the division dedicated to athletics. light, hands down the most prolific during Usain Bolt's years of rule. The collaboration with Jay-Z - formally "only" the creative director of PUMA Hoops - is leaving a cultural imprint that perhaps goes beyond the production of sports material.


I WILL - Under Armour

From the historicity of brands like Nike, adidas and PUMA to the light-heartedness of Under Armor, a brand born "just" 24 years ago. Kevin Plank's idea is to develop a brand that can provide athletes with solutions that technologically offer real benefits in terms of performance. Product engineering goes hand in hand with a marketing division that is able to speak to precise interlocutors. Back in 2013, UA launched its largest global campaign ever in New York, titled "I WILL". From that moment on, that title became the brand's identifying claim. The two simple words come as a response to "Protect this House", a previous commercial campaign. With the iconic "I will" athletes demonstrate commitment and inspire everyone who takes part in the Baltimore brand world.

Brands that implement different strategies, that attack different markets and that enjoy a different type of visibility also boast high-level claims. New Balance's "Fearlessly independent since 1906" tells the historicity of the Boston-based company, a historicity that Kelme also wants to underline with its "Leave the mark". Macron makes his slogan an ode to the willpower of sportsmen: "Work hard, play harder" is the message of the first Italian sports brand. From Denmark come Hummel's "protagonists since 1923" (literally "Character since 1923"), while from Japan comes the search for perfection with Mizuno's "Reach beyond". Kappa and his "People on the move" try to connect all sports, just like UHLSport with "Never stop. Play on". Other Italian brands are Zeus - which has been "Veste gli Dei" since 1999 -, Givova with "Your sporty side" and Acerbis, technical sponsor of Spezia, with "Soul and passion".