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Genius and third-time No. 1 in L2’s Digital IQ Index:Sportswear, Nike has dominated YouTube. The brand created the two most popular YouTube ads of 2014. This year Nike is scoring well with video again, filling two spots in YouTube’s ads leaderboard for April. “Better for It — Inner Thoughts,” which launched a major push for Nike Women, has collected 7.8 million views to reach third place among ads on the platform last month. Also in the April Top 10 is Nike Golf’s “Ripple” (4.3 million views), featuring Rory McIlroy and his hero growing up, Tiger Woods.

Nike’s two heavy-hitter videos for 2014 were both World Cup themed. “Winner Stays” (currently topping 111 million views) and “The Last 
Game” (over 81 million views) anchored the brand’s “Risk Everything” campaign, helping drive a 21 percent increase in revenues for its soccer division. The video campaign links directly to a dedicated microsite, where users are encouraged to download the Nike Soccer app and shop soccer products. Armed with huge marketing budgets, Nike and Adidas combined were responsible for one in every six views garnered by Sportswear brands on their YouTube channels in 2014.

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In general, Sportswear brands perform strongly on YouTube, garnering more average video views per channel in 2014 (9.6 million) than adjacent brand categories including Fashion, Specialty Retail and Auto. While Sportswear brands naturally benefit from consumer interest around sporting events, the leading brands have moved beyond unilateral video ad campaigns and turned to creating interactive, multi-platform digital campaigns that engage fans across social media, mobile apps, brand sites and microsites.

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