Two big things are happening this summer that could inspire more kids to get into the pool: The Olympics and a highly anticipated sequel to a film that had the whole world singing, "Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming …"
Wisely, USA Swimming’s SwimToday campaign is leveraging both the quadrennial sporting event and Disney•Pixar’s "Finding Dory," out June 17, to introduce children to what the organization touts as the #funnestsport.
In conjunction with the theatrical release of the animated feature, USA Swimming and Disney are collaborating on Dory-themed SwimToday kits that will include co-branded items such as posters and informational materials. The kits will be sent to nearly 3,000 USA Swimming-registered teams. The alliance also includes cross-promotion through websites and social media. (For example, if you go to SwimToday.org, you’ll be greeted by a certain forgetful blue tang fish.)
Of course, the idea is to get kids hooked on swimming. (Pardon the expression, Dory.)
— #FunnestSport (@SwimToday) January 22, 2015
In addition, U.S. National Team members will be treated to an advanced screening of the film as part of the Arena Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara, which kicks off June 3.
To capitalize on the Summer Olympics, USA Swimming will launch a digital marketing effort in the coming weeks, featuring stunning underwater imagery of U.S. National Team members. The theme: Swim United. The goal is to evoke home team pride with patriotic taglines such as “Let freestyle ring” and “With liberty and flipturns for all,” said Derek Till, group creative director at Colle + McVoy, a Minneapolis-based advertising agency.
Some of that will be seen in SwimToday’s marketing mix, too, Till said, which will incorporate interviews with pro swimmers discussing what the sport means to them, along with footage of them as youths. The idea is to get children and their parents to realize that swimming’s most decorated athletes started out wearing water wings long before they were competing on an international stage.
“We want to be able to connect with swimming at a closer level,” Till said.
SwimToday.org is a collaborative effort led by USA Swimming with the help of industry partners such as the National Swimming Pool Foundation. The goal is to foster more youth involvement in the sport of swimming.