Rewriting the Rules for Sports at Cannes

Cannes Lions SportsOf all the blood, sweat and tears being shed for creativity at Cannes this year, a lot will be coming from a single source: sports. From Olympic glory to Super Bowl action to soccer, soccer and more soccer, sports campaigns are dominating this year’s entries. This is no surprise, as this year’s festival starts in parallel with one of the world’s largest sporting events: the FIFA World Cup, hosted by Brazil.

As a Cannes Lions jury member, I’ve been reminded of this a hundred times over, with many award entries featuring the home of samba, beach soccer and Carnaval. Brazil – such a dominant force in past years’ Lions ceremonies – continues to showcase the best of what that country has to offer, creatively and culturally.

Sports have always been a great inspiration for communication, but times have changed: In the era of user-generated content and crowdsourcing, it is no longer the multibillion-earning-athlete or the chiseled sports celebrity who makes brands shine. The new hero in sports communication is you. Modern sports campaigns throw their light on all of us: moms (especially those of athletes); superfans who create their own stadium choreography; and even those of us at home, cheering just to be a small part of the global sports family.

And so, though I don’t know which of these sports campaigns will win, I am sure that, whichever one it is, all of us will also win a little bit. Because that’s who it’s about nowadays: you and me.

Whether your sport is soccer or creativity, there’s excitement building for everyone this summer. See you at Cannes!

Stay up-to-date with the scene at Cannes by subscribing to our “Scene @ Cannes” blog feed here.

Petra Sammer is Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Germany, where she promotes brand storytelling and delivers award-winning campaigns for the likes of Burger King, Bosch, BMW, Kodak, IBM, Mattel, Merck, Pixar, Starbucks and Sennheiser. Stating “we [as individuals and global brands] are all journalists now,” Petra employs a 5-step model for turning brands into storytellers to help them “break through” and connect with their customers. Based in Munich, Petra is a Cannes PR Lions jury member, and recently served on the Eurobest jury. @petrasammer