Sports and rap have never been so intertwined as it is today but when did sports company’s like Nike and Adidas start promoting their products through people who are no way affiliated with any sports or sports teams?

“Checks over stripes”. The famous lyric by Travis Scott on his hit song Sicko Mode sent rap fans crazy with this line promoting the Nike swoosh over the three stripes of Adidas creating a an almost tribal feel between the brands.

The Jordan brand is a major part of nike which specialises in basketball apparel, with huge stars like Russel Westbrook and Zion Williamson signing deals with Jordan to wear the Jordan brand Basketball sneakers during games, Nike have the opportunity to massively boost sales with fans of the Jordan brand and fans of the players all wanting to purchase the sneakers.

“Nike’s Jordan revenues were $2.8 billion for the fiscal year ending May 2016” (GQ, 2019). With this being a major success Nike have sized on an invaluable asset by signing with rapper Travis Scott. This allows nike the opportunity to expand their target audience to fans of the rap mogul, Travis Scott can be seen as an influencer just as how the sports star Russel Westbrook dons the famous Jordan shoes during an NBA game. The rapper wears his own version of the original Jordan 1 Sneakers during his tours and live performances.

This isn’t the first time Music and sports have collaborated, RUN DMC with their $1 Million Dollar endorsement deal with Adidas was a catalyst for people like Travis Scott, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams to collaborate with the biggest sports brands in the world. “Anastasio realised the power of hip-hop marketing and was quick to sign Run-D.M.C to a $1 million endorsement deal, which also included their own signature line.” (Stop the breaks, 2019).

With Travis Scott, Nike have taken Adidas’s idea and ran with it rebranding themselves particularly with Sneakers, with Travis Scott they can connect to his rap fans Marketing their Products through the artist, as well as making exclusive sneakers such as the Cactus Jack Jordan 4’s tapping into the passion of the fans to increase sales through there promotion of the Sneakers.

Travis Scott’s Partnership with Nike has seen incredible numbers in terms of sales figures, Retailing at $175 a pair with Resale Value soaring to over $1000 Dollars (stockx, 2019), the price can be seen as expensive however it seems to be worth it in the eyes of the fans, Nike used a key element of the marketing mix, Experience. One of the ways Nike promoted this product was through an online raffle with a £5 entry and if selected give you the opportunity to purchase the sneaker, giving the winner a sense of elitism with only 5 out of the hundreds of people entering.

However, is it a case of the cult following that Travis has amassed or is it Nike targeting a huge star in an attempt to rebrand itself and attract a larger audience? Either way it’s a mutually beneficial situation for both the rapper and Nike with increased profitability and increased popularity.


 – resale value  – travis scott Shoe image – Run DMC endorsement deal with nike – Jordan Revenue for the year 2016


Will E-Sports Become The Biggest Sport?

If you don’t know what Esports is, its electronic sports, they are all video games but the rules and techniques of each individual game can be as different as Chess is to Football. Over the past few years Esports has soared in popularity drawing fans from all over the world, the growth of the sports in terms of viewership and the money in the sports is astronomical compared to what it was 5 years ago.


It is a global Phenomenon with tournaments held in the USA, China and Poland, The Counterstrike global offensive final held in Katowice, Poland had 173,000 people attended the event, (Intel, ESL, 2017). By 2020 300 Million people are predicted to watch esports online.


One of the first esports tournaments played on a game called quake had a Ferrari as first place prize put up by the creator of the game John Carmack. This was a huge deal for Esports and the players as this story was put on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. (WSJ,1996) Throughout Esports money is starting to get pumped into companies and players, in 2019 $34,330,069.00 was paid out as one of the largest prize packages in esports history. (EsportsEarnings, 2019)


Some game makers have their own leagues to go alongside the tournaments such as Riot and Blizzard, groups like cloud 9 have multiple teams that they field in each individual game such as PUBG, Rocket League, and counter strike. This would be like Manchester City having a team for rugby, hockey, and tennis alongside the Football team.


Some esports are control by just one company such as riot games which means that they control every aspect of the Sport, this business model is unheard of in other professional sports as they are the ones who organise the sports events and the competitive play of it on the leagues and tournaments, they are then the ones producing the content and then they are broadcasting it out to be consumed by the viewer.


They are the Masters of the of Marketing Mix with the 4 E’s (EPURAN and MICU, 2015), they create an Experience Which is the customers journey from start to finish which could be finding out about the esports team on the website to them actually becoming a consumer of their products. Placement has evolved into everyplace, they aren’t confined to specific locations, they are in everyplace as you can access the content anywhere through streaming services and social media being the two biggest platforms.


The Exchange is not just about the cost of products it’s about the value of the customers attention and engagement through the consumers attending matches and tournaments. Evangelism, fans who feel so strongly about supporting the teams that are competing in the tournaments the teams can utilise this to attract new fans and new customers using social media and word of mouth.


With Esports being the masters of their own universe it is inevitable with the increase of money and fans that esports will be one of if not the biggest sports in the world.









 – esports image – journal article page 80 –81  – Katowice, Poland 173,00 fans – Thresh WSJ – Esports earnings