Cannes Lions 2023

Entertainment for Sport Lions: Cannes 2023 Decoded

FCB New York wins the Grand Prix for Entertainment in Sport

By Creative Salon

The Entertainment Lions for Sport honour creative work that embraces fan culture, harnesses the influence of sports and esports and establishes connections between people and brands.

The Grand Prix went to FCB New York and Michelob for its first-of-its-kind tech to enable sports journalist Cameron Black to become the first-ever blind person to commentate a live basketball game on TV.

Ogilvy São Paulo took home one of the three golds awarded for its work with Kimberly-Clark's feminine care brand Intimus Kotex.

'Lea', a captivating 3-minute film directed by Olivia Lang showcased iconic moments from a game day in 1967, focusing on Lea Campos, who was preparing to become one of the pioneering female referees.

The film artfully compressed her long-standing struggle into a powerful dialogue between the protagonist and two male sports directors, effectively portraying the stigmatizing remarks she endured throughout her journey to eventually realize her dream.

Dentsu Creative and Amnesty International collaborated to establish the "Forgotten Team," a tribute to all the victims forgotten by Qatar which won a Cannes Lion Gold.

The campaign aimed to promote awareness of human rights abuses and generate funds for the affected families. The team's jersey, drawing inspiration from workers' vests, featured a vibrant electric yellow colour with reflective bands and the number 4, symbolizing Article 4 of the Human Rights Act.

By incorporating a QR code on the back, the jerseys encouraged donations. They were then distributed at football stadiums, serving as a powerful unifying symbol that stood out amidst the game crowds.

The final Gold went to VMLY&R Mexico for the Telefónica owned telecommunications giant Moviestar's Shout.

In this impactful campaign, they united to confront and tackle homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia within a country that stands as the second most dangerous country for the LGBTQIA+ community.

With a resolute mission to dismantle the deeply ingrained "macho" stereotype and eliminate cyberbullying, the initiative embraced a positive narrative to boldly denounce and address these pressing societal issues.

As for the rest of the Sport's winners, a total of 7 Silver Lions and 9 Bronze Lions were awarded.

The US was the most awarded country in this category, taking home 9 awards - made up of the Grand Prix, 3 Silver Lions and 5 Bronze Lions. This year saw no UK wins.

The Judges said....

Rob Doubal, jury president and co-president and chief creative officer and of McCann UK, said:

"We were looking for work which was inherently entertaining and engaging which led to growth of a fan base or culture and had real business impact.

"There was a lot of great work. From the big players in sports, Nike, Adidas to the smaller challenger brands trying to break through in a world cup year.

"The big themes were Inclusion, AI and Creativity used to challenge.

"Those ideas which rose to the top used Inclusion as a method to create superior sports experiences, rather than simply inclusion as the only ambition.

"Some brands successfully embraced AI to recreate theoretical or otherwise ignored moments in sports history.

"And some embraced comedy and cultural insight to cut through sponsorship status quo.

"As the worlds of entertainment, celebrity, and entrepreneurship collide, sports is a growing global business, and presents many new opportunities. For those wanting to cut through next year, focus on making inclusion the method, not necessarily the only outcome, and embrace all the tension, jeopardy and new partners in the sports space to create ideas which augment the entertainment that fans expect from sport. This is an entertainment category after all."


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