Coronavirus & Brands
Mike Koeshartanto

Coronavirus: Brands Forced to React

Just like teams and leagues, brands must do their best to remain relevant during the coronavirus health pandemic. We discussed a few of our favorite team-related activities, but on many levels, it’s easier for a team and its players to show personality and be lighthearted and fun during a period of inactivity. The global crisis puts brands in a slightly different financial and public relations position, however.

In these difficult times, a brand’s purpose can be put to the test. If a brand has not shown prior interest in community involvement and aid, a sudden commitment may appear inauthentic. If a brand tries to keep things lighthearted and jovial it may come off as not serious enough. Perceived inauthenticity, whether accurate or not, is a dangerous game for brands.

Brands use their platforms to spread awareness, action

Several brands have illustrated a commitment to doing their part through encouraging people to stay home or through effective, tangible action like donations to first responders. Consumers ultimately look to the brands to whom they’re loyal for effective action. Below are just a few examples illustrating that life continues for brands, including those in soccer. While events and activations may be postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future, there are other ways to remain relevant and lead the way.

Nike uses athletes to reinforce message about staying home

In a campaign launched over the weekend, Nike used its very, very large platform to remind people that the best thing they can do to help stop the spread of the virus is to stay home. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Serena Williams, athletes, teams, schools, etc. around the globe shared the same message.

Anheuser-Busch redirects sports partnership money to help relief efforts

Many brands that activate soccer properties, and sports in general, are largely on hold as the completions and beginnings of seasons remain a huge question mark. Yesterday, Anheuser-Busch announced it would be pulling $5 million from its sports partnerships and earmarking it for first responder support, as well as working with partners to create temporary blood donation centers.

Separate from their sports partnership, the company will also begin producing and distributing hand sanitizer to non-profits who need it most, including the Red Cross.

Guinness makes financial contributions to organizations in need

To support bartenders and bar employees across the country, Guinness U.S. is donating $1 million to organizations, including $250,000 to the United States Bartenders’ Guild.

Uber Eats providing free meals

While the partnership has not yet officially begun, the League 1 sponsor for the 2020/21 season, Uber Eats, is giving away over 300,000 free meals to healthcare workers and first responders in the U.S. and Canada.

Captain Morgan donates to MLS communities

The MLS partner recently announced they are contributing a $500,000 donation to MLS communities affected by COVID-19. The Diageo brand also announced that anyone who nutmegs a roommate or an object and posts the video on Instagram with hashtag #CaptainMorganDonation will trigger an additional $25 donation from Captain Morgan.

Categories: Just For Fun