Monday February 15th, 2020 - Bern, Switzerland. INTERSPORT, the world's leading sports retailer, launches a new campaign titled “You Never Sport Alone.” created by We Are Pi.
The campaign, which focuses on the Running & Training categories, is both a celebration of the role of community at the heart of sport, and a declaration from INTERSPORT on their undying commitment to provide those communities the support, motivation and gear they need to thrive.
INTERSPORT have long been aware of the role communities play at the heart of sport. The company was built neighbourhood by neighbourhood. It’s team around the globe, numbering in the tens of thousands, are deeply embedded in the communities they serve.
It’s this proximity to local sporting communities that allowed them to see the fundamental shifts happening in running and training. Traditionally seen as solo sports, running & training have experienced a revolution fuelled by crews, teams and gyms. They’ve effectively become team sports at the grassroots level.
In running, crews have become the beating heart of sport in any city. These crews organize races, design merch, host community events, and share local knowledge. In training, INTERSPORT has seen the role of Crossfit boxes expand from places to get stronger, to a social hub for the community. Studio classes are offering a similar sense of camaraderie.
Communities in both sports are endless sources of support and inspiration for their members - through the wins and the tougher times. These close bonds, along with the brands role in supporting these communities was what the brand wanted to highlight with this campaign.
And support these communities they do. INTERSPORT’s staff run with local crews, and attend races. They recommend classes for those looking to get back into sport and have relationships with local gyms. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, INTERSPORT stores from Germany to China had organized regular running meet-ups and charity runs.
A celebration of local sporting communities today would be incomplete without a mention of the digital tools and spaces they utilize. Digital spaces like Strava, Instagram, and WhatsApp are playing an increasingly important role in keeping sporting communities connected, motivated and up to date on the latest training techniques and gear.
INTERSPORT knew to stay current, it was important to celebrate the roles of these digital spaces in the lives of sport enthusiasts around the globe. Agency We Are Pi were able to bring the digital and physical worlds together in this campaign with a totally new approach for the brand.
TRAINING FILM - YOUTUBE LINK
In the Training film titled “One Last Rep”, we follow the story of a training community consisting of 4 sets of training buddies who train ‘together’ - not physically, but connected by technology - to support and push each other through their various sessions and make it through that ‘last rep’ that they refuse to left defeat them.
RUNNING FILM - YOUTUBE LINK AVAILABLE W.C 8TH FEBRUARY – YOUTUBE LINK
Similarly for the Running film, we follow the story of 4 sets of runners competing together whilst apart in a virtual race in various locations, styles and terrains - from trail to treadmill. Through a shared connection via their digital community and enabled by Intersport products, they’re able to overcome “the wall” moment of their respective races.
The design and production of both films sees a morphing of real-life scenes and a digital/social aesthetic of INTERSPORT bespoke emoji’s created for a modern yet familiar look and feel - sped along through animation techniques including rotoscoping, social media language overlays, and integrating social messaging gifs into the action sequences.
The “You Never Sport Alone” campaign further builds on the brand’s platform “The Heart of Sport.” “The Heart of Sport” is the result of INTERSPORT’s most comprehensive piece of international consumer research to date, with over 1,600 customers in the UK, Germany, and France. The key finding: Everyone needs a place in sport. The research reveals an unfortunate truth; 66% of people say they still haven’t found their place in sport, with 88% saying that they don’t see themselves as athletes.
This campaign comes after the successful #WorkINs activation last year, that helped sporting enthusiasts around the world stay active and connected during the pandemic.
As the pandemic took away the places running and training communities could come together in-person, digital spaces became a lifeline for many, connecting them to those they rely on for inspiration and support. Acting fast, Intersport created #WorkINs, a set of live community workouts hosted on Instagram Live by INTERSPORT & their sports brand partners. Thousands tuned in to sweat together, staying safe at home, but tapping into some of those community benefits they were missing.
As the pandemic progressed throughout 2020 and changed the ways local communities connected through sport, INTERSPORT too changed their tact, partnering with adidas to create a virtual racing app in Germany, in which runners were able to race each other virtually over a specified period of time for the reward of Intersport prizes and discounts. This initiative will continue and expand throughout 2021 in conjunction with the You Never Sport Alone campaign.
INTERSPORT International C.E.O Steve Evers is proud of the way the campaign focuses on one of the brands brightest differentiators, it’s connection to community, and had this to say:
“Local sporting communities play a crucial role in helping people find their place at the heart of sport. For their members, they provide invaluable support and motivation. The INTERSPORT staff in every store around the globe don’t just serve these communities, but in many cases are a part of them, too.
This campaign is a celebration of what these communities can achieve together, and the role we at INTERSPORT play in making sure they have the product, advice and enthusiasm they need.”
This campaign is rolling out on a global scale in all markets where INTERSPORT has a presence, with the Training campaign live since 18th January, 2021, and the Running campaign going live globally from Monday 15th February, 2021.