The struggle for racial equality continues. Sports brands are being put under pressure and increasingly scrutinised for their diversity and inclusion capabilities and resources. Most companies are navigating their way through strategic business transformations, such as investing within local communities and identifying internal bias.
While athletes take the knee, athletic brands are utilising the power of social media to speak up. The Black Lives Matter movement, in particular, has influenced pioneering brands to welcome and embrace change, including Nike, Adidas, and Patagonia, but will change be more than skin-deep?
The Power of Social Media:
Social media is used to engage audiences and generate brand presence. But, is having a social media presence simply enough? Sprout Social found that 70% of consumers want brands to take a stand on social and political issues, therefore adopting diversity and inclusion within social media strategies is essential. Consumers are now expecting brands to represent their values. We live in a multicultural society, with a stronger focus on a willingness to embrace and include diverse ideas and perspectives. Brand giant Nike is one-step-ahead, amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities to over 100 million followers.
Social media also brings new opportunities for sports brands, enabling them to better connect with multicultural audiences, bringing people together from across the globe.
Representation in marketing matters:
PR and marketing teams should be prioritising diverse representation. Get it right and it will lead to better, more educated campaigns that will identify with brand attitudes and values. Representation is about bringing people of different backgrounds, skill sets and ideas together to work and collaborate. Building brand trust and brand growth can happen through inclusion.
PR in crisis, some can be diminished in advance, whilst others are unavoidable. By adopting broad representation, not only can the problem be solved faster, but brand reputation is strengthened.
Women in Sport:
This girl can. The campaign that champions women and smashes gender stereotypes. According to Sport England, the campaign inspired 3 million women to get fit, attracting women to sports that weren’t necessarily available to them. Brands are changing the way they market towards women, and despite inequality in sport still existing, numerous brand campaigns have been starring female sports stars.
Attract the best:
Brands that adopt diversity and inclusion as part of their company culture will typically attract better talent, whilst improving employee retention. Diversity and inclusion fosters a hub of creativity and innovation, promoting new perspectives and attracting diverse customers.