Special Olympics is an organization that provides sports training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities. They strongly believe in social inclusion through unified sports. To accomplish this, Special Olympics receives funds by private partners. They don’t get any governmental support and don’t work with membership fees. That’s why it’s crucial for them to get new partners and funds.
This year Special Olympics decided to attract new sponsors through a direct B2B-campaign. The main objective? Finding new leads and get potential sponsors to commit to a long-term partnership.
How do you convince companies to sponsor athletes with an intellectual disability instead of the big sports heroes? By turning the roles upside down: we didn’t just show what they could do for us, but what our special athletes could do for them. And showing them as a good investment. Because they work just as hard as the other athletes and are just as capable of playing the lead in a commercial or a print ad.
So, we created ‘#daretosponsor’, in which we dared companies to sponsor a special athlete instead of a famous sports hero. The idea? Copying existing sponsorship campaigns. For example: we put their picture on a can, like our Belgium Red Devils on a can of Coca Cola. We made them shave as if for a Gillette commercial. And put their face on a billboard holding a product.
The idea was translated in a fully integrated approach. First of all, we’ve launched an online film, daring our primary prospects to sponsor. On the same day, we placed a billboard in front of P&G’s headquarters (Gillette), featuring a special athlete shaving himself. Moreover, we’ve also sent e-mails and a follow up direct mail containing a can featuring a special athlete.
We bought online banners on marketing websites and Instagram ads, and pushed our content on LinkedIn, challenging brands to #daretosponsor.
Influencer athletes supported the campaign on social media, encouraging companies to accept the challenge. Multiple companies were charmed by the challenges, some even responding on social with a video featuring the CEO who accepted the challenge.
After each new sponsor, a new campaign boost followed, highlighting the result of that brand’s new campaign.
Film advertisement created by LDV United, Belgium for Special Olympics, within the category: Public Interest, NGO.
Creative Directors: Kristof Snels, Dries De Bruyn, Dennis Vandewalle
Creatives: Thomas Thysens, Olaf Meuleman
Photographer: Evert Thiry
Account Team: Innie Tran, Dimitri Mundorff
Strategy: Tomas Sweertvaegher, Lorien Verachtert
Design: Jeffrey Uten
Developer: Yawuar Serna Delgado
Film Production Company: Caviar
Director: Norman Bates
Producers: Lauranne Crahay, Ilse Joye, Eva Van Riet
DOP: Bjorn Charpentier
Post Production Producer: Leslie Verbist
Image Post-Production Company: PIXMIX Studios
Editor: Maarten Verlinden
Grader: Veerle Zeelmaekers
Sound: Gregory Caron
Music: Pieter Van Dessel