Dick’s Sporting Goods is hardly known for their creativity. But their sports advertisements are pretty slick. And it’s right on time as sports digital marketing is a crucial component for the success of sports brands. The first, released in mid-July, depicts the moments in between one play in a football game. The second depicts the moments before a full count in an inning.
The director is Derek Cianfrance, best known for his gritty realism portrayed in his two films “Blue Valentine” and “The Place Beyond the Pines”. This ties into the most interesting part of the advertisements – there are no advertisements for Dick’s outside of the final few seconds.
Instead, what Cianfrance is so good at capturing, and what these two commercials capture, are the little details that make up the moments before the big play. Everyone sees the payoff pitch, or the play the offense runs on a 4th down conversion. But the real interesting parts come in the lead up to the play, the little adjustments, the communication, the emotions of the players. Are they tired? Are they excited? Are they focused? Are they cracking under pressure?
After all, to paraphrase Sun Tzu, battles are won before they’re fought. And they are won in those moments of communication, when the cameras aren’t paying attention. This is marketing as immersion.