How does a niche sports brand life SKINS compete in a market dominated by vast marketing budgets and high profile celebrity endorsements?
Our answer was to challenge the category: to inspire sportspeople to join us out of shared values rather than bought media attention…
It was 2013 – following the London Olympics, drugs in sports hit the headlines as legends such as Lance Armstrong, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell were exposed as cheats. So we started a movement to mobilise those who believe in our purpose to ‘fuel the true spirit of competition’. We launched #ChooseTheRightTrack, a campaign against doping in sports, or more specifically, to lobby the IOC to support athletes ‘make the right choice’ when faced doping and to increase funding for anti-doping.
To bring the issue to the world’s attention, we enlisted Ben Johnson, the world’s most famous drugs cheat, on the 25th anniversary of his infamous Seoul 1988 Olympics 100m final. We took Ben on a global tour to spread the message, share his life experience, garner support and deliver a petition to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The tour generated over £50m of global earned media. But more importantly, 12 weeks after the tour and delivery of the petition, IOC president, Thomas Bach announceda $10m increase in funding to the World Anti-Doping Agency and a further $10m fund “to protect the clean athlete from any kind of manipulation or related corruption”.