BLOG POST BY: The Goat Agency
April 5, 2024

10 of the Best Sports Influencer Marketing Campaigns 

For consumers, sports doesn’t stop after the match ends. It extends to following players and commentators, buying equipment and merchandise of their own, and all-round integrating it into their everyday lives.

At the same time, the number of sports, streaming options, leagues types and associated products has never been higher.

To stand out in this busy vertical, brands are recognising the power of influencers in attracting the uninitiated or capturing the loyalty of die-hard fans.

Here are some of the most effective sports influencer marketing campaigns, and the key takeaways for brands looking to immerse in the sporting world.

Screenshot 2024 04 05 At 11.26.05 - The Goat Agency

1. McLaren

What they did

McLaren invited a whole range of influencers to the Silverstone 2023 F1 race, giving them all-areas access before, during and after the event.

They selected creators from across comedy, health and beauty and fashion, even if they’d never mentioned F1 on their channels before.

The result was an incredible diversity of content, from its_laurensarah revealing her deep-seated passion for the sport to her viewers as she went on a garage tour, to lukevernon doing what he does best and getting silly with rising star drivers like Lando Norris  (not to mention getting an entire hall full of people doing chants). Out of all the content, footage or discussion of actual cars going round a track is pretty minimal.

Why it worked

Team McLaren’s brand thrives on just that – being a highly distinctive team that people can feel a part of. By engaging influencers outside of their typical verticals, they introduced a breadth of new audiences to the sport through the lens of Team McLaren, their distinctive papaya coloured branding, and their drivers.

The influencer content focuses on the consumer experience of attending the event, as well as the personalities behind the brand (and steering wheels), engaging an audience who are likely to be bored to tears by engine analysis.

In creating this brand familiarity, communicated in a fun, organic way, McLaren aren’t just drawing new people into the F1 world – they’re all but guaranteeing that anyone getting into F1 will gravitate towards McLaren as their team of choice.

2. MLB

What they did

Major League Baseball is gaining a strong foothold in the UK, rapidly gaining on the likes of the NHL.

Influencers were the perfect way to hype up their 2023 London Series event and build broader awareness of the sport. With seven influencers – across fashion, music and food, as well as sport – The Goat Agency created an all-new creator class for MLB.

Run-up content opportunities included VIP fan events, hitting up the MLB’s own Home Run House entertainment and food venue. Game day itself provided real-time and aftermath review content, and sending influencers to Lids to customize their MLB merch and promote giveaways kept the irons hot and built hype for the 2024 event.

Why it worked

MLB has a less frequent run of events in the UK compared to its home nation, so it’s crucial to build and sustain hype throughout the year – bridging the gap between flagship events and building a loyal fanbase.

A key element of this was placing a focus on pre- and post-event activities and venues, such as Home Run House, and related shopping opportunities. Through this, audiences are incentivised not to just become a fan of baseball and consider hitting the 2024 London Series, but to head down to the batting cages, for some classic American food, or pick up an MLB baseball cap – contributing to the wider integration and growth of a UK baseball culture.

Of course, at the heart of it all, our influencers gave audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in the London Series experience, following creators through the ticket barriers and into the stands, with hot dogs getting thrown about as much as baseballs.

3. LIVGolf

What they did

LIVGolf is hell-bent on disrupting the sport, shaking things up with shorter courses, fewer courses, and simultaneous tee-offs, to name a few.

Rather than drive these points home through conventional branded content, LIVGolf looked to building awareness of the events and how easy it is to access – hoping their tournaments will do the rest of the talking.

They focused exclusively on golf influencers, looking to draw rival PGA loyalists and other enthusiasts of the sport through a mix of humour and direct advertorial content from a mix of creators.


#Ad check out @livgolf_league app to watch this weekends Tuscon event! #LIVGolf #LIVGolfPlus #comedy #golf #funny

♬ original sound – F0reBr0thers

Why it worked

LIVGolf leaned hard into the belief that once they got their audience watching their tournaments, the fundamental alterations they’ve made to spice up the sport will carry them the rest of the way.

Their chosen influencers delivered skits involving angry spouses and high school sports coaches failing to stem all-hours streaming via the LIVGolf app, as well as direct invitations from the likes of @tealbarber to join him in being glued to the screen all weekend.

While the manner was varied, the message was clear – this league is addictively good and just a button press away.

4. Bundesliga x ESPN

What they did 

ESPN streams the highest football league in Germany, Bundesliga, through its ESPN Plus platform. To engage its completely globalized audience, the businesses engaged influencers from Europe, the Americas and across Asia to promote the league to new entrants and football fans alike.

They sent brand merch packs out to each influencer, providing them with material to run with – whether it’s “get ready with me” style videos involving it, keepy-uppy challenges, or simply wearing the shirt while talking to their viewers.


Feeling the @Bundesliga adrenaline with the start of the second round. #TheatreOfGoals #Footballasitsmeantobe #BL60 #espnplus #ad @ESPN FC

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Why it worked

By using influencers, ESPN x Bundesliga have been able to promote the league without the typical high-octane, on-pitch footage. All of these influencers have their own, loyal followings, and by activating and bringing influencer enthusiasm for Bundesliga to the fore, the league can expand its fanbase in an organic and connected way.

In the same breath, viewers get to know that they can instantly start watching via the ESPN Plus app, providing audiences with an easy way to take action on their new inspiration.

5. Sage x Six Nations Rugby

What they did

Sage has developed a smart rugby ball that collects a vast range of metrics on player performance in real-time.

They engaged influencers ranging from English Rugby Union player Jodie Ounsley, who is deaf, to dedicated content creators like The Rugby Guy, to promote the ball in a completely hands-on, human-first way.

With this range, suffused with humor and sincere storytelling, they showed a diverse audience how the ball is going to revolutionize play from the player perspective, the trainer perspective, and the audience perspective.


AD | As the “smartest” rugby player in the world, let me show you how the Smart Ball, presented by @Sage, will be bringing you ground-breaking insights this Guinness Six Nations! 📊🏉 #SageInsights #TheRugbyGuy #Rugby #GuinnessSixNations #SixNations #awakenanticipation

♬ Funk It Up – Official Sound Studio

Why it worked

A smart ball – ok, pretty neat. A smart ball that lets you see just how far and fast a kick was, while you’re watching the Six Nations game live? That’s cool – and I want one.

By demonstrating just how this product will improve the game, as well as what it can do for consumers if they get one in their own hands, Sage has created a compelling pitch that provides a clear vision for customers to reach for.

The diversity of influencers allows for a multi-market segment campaign, too – sports teams, casual players and couch-enthusiasts all have their own reasons to want a Sage ball of their own, or to see it used in major games.

6. Wimbledon

What they did

Wimbledon is the pinnacle of the tennis season, a hot contest that takes place during the summer, right here in London. People flock from all over the world to see the action unfold, and for some lucky fans, a ticket free of charge.

Over on TikTok, Wimbledon launched #GameSetDuet, a competition inviting tennis fans to duet some of the most iconic Wimbledon match ups for a chance to win tickets to the championships. 

The official Wimbledon TikTok page partnered with influencers Formz and isheverything to get the duet contest underway. 

Why it worked

Hashtag challenges and sporting events go hand in hand. We see this formula adopted a lot by brands ahead of the Super Bowl, Doritos and State Farm activations are notable examples. 

Hashtag challenges leverage user participation, creativity, and social sharing. But with any challenge, we want to see someone else go first, and so Wimbledon enlisted two creators, familiar to the sporting community on TikTok, to start serving up the action. 

7. Sky Sports Tennis

What they did

How can we follow on from Wimdledon’s action packed tennis competition? With more tennis, of course!

Sky Sports announced that it would be launching a new channel for its customers, showing round-the-clock tennis and exclusive live coverage of tournaments from both the ATP and WTA Tours.

To get people excited, Sky partnered with influencers on TikTok and Instagram challenging them to serve up their best tennis themed content. What unfolded were some pretty awesome pranks that saw one half of Woody and Kleiny fill up the other’s car with tennis balls. Over on Instagram Therese Ryan pranked her son by littering her stairway with tennis balls (touching one ball meant he had to cook dinner). But the true ace was Max Fosh who, on TikTok, volunteered his services as a ballboy for the day. 


good boys love the tennis and you can too on Sky Sports Tennis. Play Starts Now. ad @skysports

♬ original sound – Max Fosh – Max Fosh

Why it worked

Pranks are infused into internet culture, I mean, who doesn’t love a good prank. The content in this campaign was all about creating a memorable experience for viewers by making them laugh, and it was a way for Sky to hook in viewers beyond just tennis fans. It’s only in the messaging Sky tie in their new channel launch. What captures your attention more, the announcement of a new tennis channel, or watching someone get set upon by a mountain of tennis balls?

8. Prime Video Sport 

What they did

Premier League football is the most competitive league in the world, not only in terms of the actual kicking of the ball, but in the number of broadcasters looking to get their hands on viewing rights. Prime Video manages to lockdown select fixtures during the year, which unless you’re a Prime customer, you might not be aware of. 

To draw attention to their Premier League matches, Prime Video partnered with Manchester City’s Jack Grealish, and in a separate activation both Ben Foster (The Cycling GK) and Spurs’ James Maddison. 

The content with Grealish involved the football star doing the rounds as an Amazon delivery driver, uniform and all, visiting the houses of different fans and gifting them their packages, as well as an almighty surprise. 

The second piece of content felt a lot more laidback, two footballing brains combining over a game of pool, discussing the latest in the world of sport. Shorter clips were posted to James Maddison’s TikTok page, where Ben Foster had the full interview posted to his YouTube channel. 


Great laugh with @Ben Foster The Cycling GK doing this interview! He needs a few more hours on the pool table! You can watch the Premier League on Prime Video this week and the full interview on @Prime Video Sport YouTube channel #ad

♬ original sound – James Maddison

Why it worked

Did you ever expect to see Jack Grealish shuttling around in an Amazon delivery van, kitted out in the full uniform, handing out parcels? Neither did we. But that’s exactly why it works. Prime Video weren’t afraid to think outside the box, and deliver something truly unexpected to raise awareness for their Premier League package. 

Their second activation worked for a whole number of different reasons. While an ex and current professional footballer having an interview is nothing new, the content felt like a breath of fresh air. It was simplistic, yet it ticked the boxes for a lot of viewers, plus it was incredibly relevant due to the appearance of a (then injured) James Maddison, whose team were hot in the race for top four over the festive period. 

Both Jack and James are current players known for having larger than life personalities, and were perhaps the best to bring these activations to life. Prime Video knew their stuff, putting one straight in the back of the net with these campaigns. 

9. Winter Olympics 

What they did

In 2022, Beijing became the first city to have hosted both the summer (2008) and winter Olympic Games. Being the first winter games since the lifting of pandemic restrictions across the globe, its fair to say that a little promotional material was in order to first remind audiences of the Winter Olympics in China, and second get them excited about it. 

The Winter Olympics committee looked to a variety of influencers to ramp up the excitement across social media. Among those creators were the UK’s Chunkz, and Swedish arctic influencer Cecelia Blomdahl. 

The content, uploaded to TikTok, featured Chunkz trying his hand at curling, albeit using a sweeping brush, football, and on artificial grass instead of ice. Over in Sweden, Cecelia took on the icy tundra in a bobsled. Both creators showing how they were getting in the #OlympicSpirit


#ad #OlympicSpirit here in the arctic to celebrate the awe-inspiring sports happening at the Olympic Winter Games! @olympics #StrongerTogether

♬ original sound – Cecilia Blomdahl

Why it worked

The influencer partnerships combined with the relevancy of the content provided viewers with the insight into 1) the return of the Winter Olympics following the pandemic, and 2) the kind of sports you could tune in to watch, which shows a desire to hook new viewers outside of the traditional fanbase. Both creators have huge followings, which is great, but that doesn’t always translate to effective engagement. In the case of Chunkz, large portions of his audience tune in for sport related content. With Cecelia, she’s made a name for herself for her content based around Svalbard, an icy subarctic region in Sweden, which could not be more relevant to the Winter Olympics. 

10. Sky Sports Scenes

What they did

We recently hosted an in person event. At that event we heard the thoughts and opinions from key speakers at different brands and agencies on the next era of influencer marketing. Among the panelists, Sky’s Head of Influencer Katie Nelson. “A brand for dads” is how Nelson described historic viewer perceptions of Sky Sports. To win over the next generation, Sky Sports launched Scenes, a YouTube series combining influencer talent with Premier League football. 

Since the start of the 2023/2024 Premier League season Scenes has released 12 episodes, racking up a cumulative 2.2M+ views on YouTube alone. The series has witnessed influencers like Specs Gonzalez racing former pro and Sky pundit Jamie Carragher, Danny Aarons and Harry Pinero pitchside at Old Trafford, and WillNE watching his beloved Newcastle lose at home to Liverpool. 


WillNE & Stephen Tries take over Newcastle vs Liverpool this week on SCENES! 👀 Watch the full episode on the Sky Sports PL YouTube channel!

♬ original sound – Sky Sports – Sky Sports

Why it worked

In its traditional form (television) Sky Sports typically features the likes of Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Roy Keane, and other former pros across its media. While influential, thee figures aren’t always going to hook the attention of younger viewers who don’t remember their playing days. 

Sky has identified the creators that do speak to the next generation, and have influence in the sporting vertical, immersing them in the current Premier League campaign to prove a valuable point. The point is that young Sky viewers are interested in content surrounding a match, after the final whistle blows. 


Concluding thoughts

At the end of the day, there are about as many tactics for marketing as there are football.

The crucial thing is to always be honing your plays, out-thinking the competition, and strengthening your team play. In that sense, influencers are like players on loan, bringing that something extra you need to pull ahead.

Focus on the consumer experience

You need to shine the spotlight on what customers will experience by engaging with your sport. Rather than professional videos of great plays, show someone having a great time in the stands. Instead of listing all the events that they can watch, show them how easy it is to download the app and watch them.

This is especially crucial for campaigns that are looking to cast a wider net and draw in new viewers from outside the existing fanbase. They aren’t currently interested in your sport and its nuances – make it worth their while to get interested.

Make it a game

When you boil it right down, people love sports because they love games. They love competition. They love tension, uncertainty, and reward.

In that spirit, look for ways to turn your campaigns into games that audiences can partake in or spectate. Bring the essence of sports into the core of your marketing.

That might look like subjecting F1 drivers to tongue twisters or press-up competitions, sponsored batting cages where people can experience baseball for the first time, or prize giveaways through your influencer marketers.

Choose influencers based on your campaign objectives

While it might seem logical to only target sports influencers for sports campaigns, you could be missing out on huge engagement possibilities as a result.

Are you selling premium sporting equipment, or trying to draw viewership away from an established brand in your space? Then yes, sports influencers are the way to go.

Are you looking to expand your general audience and build the overall profile of your sport or brand? Getting beauty, fashion, gaming, or more or less any other type of influencer to talk about you can land your brand in an untapped, low-competition demographic.

It provides a chance for you to be the first team or brand that a new fan ever interacts with – and that’s powerful.

Start scoring more points with your sports influencer marketing

Need help with your sports marketing? Find out how we helped events like MLB and others outpace the competition and score home run after home run.

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Written by: The Goat Agency