Entertainment Lions For Sport > Sport-led Brand Experience


BETC, Paris / LACOSTE / 2022


Bronze Cannes Lions
CampaignCampaign(opens in a new tab)
Case Film
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Why is this work relevant for Sport Entertainment?

Tokyo. August 1st, 2021, at 3:30am. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the final of the 50m freestyle brought together nine participants - eight Olympic swimmers and one Paralympic swimmer.

As an official partner of the French Olympic and Paralympic teams, Lacoste is committed to supporting ONE united French team. The 9th Lane is a unique race which brought together Olympic and Paralympic athletes for the first time, in a truly exceptional setting.


Lacoste has been an official partner of the French Olympic and Paralympic teams since 2014. Born on the tennis courts with René Lacoste in the 1930s, the brand has always promoted values such as tenacity, elegance of style and of attitude.

Our objective was mainly an image one, as the summer Games are a key event to promote Lacoste and increase its visibility among a wide target. Businesswise, the campaign had to support the dedicated collection.

Describe the creative idea

For many administrative and logistic reasons, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are two separate events. Media coverage and brand investments are still much higher during the Olympics than during the Paralympics.

We believe all these athletes deserve the same attention and admiration.

This is why we decided that one of the most popular finals of the Olympic Games, the 50m freestyle, should also be open to our best Paralympian swimmer: Laurent Chardard.

Laurent lost his right arm and leg in a shark attack in 2016. Resilient and tenacious, he has since become the European champion and won two medals at the world championships.

Describe the strategy

Lacoste defined its brand purpose as “elevating elegance to a value that transcends differences”, with equal chances at the heart of its engagement.

This is what inspired us to twist the traditional way brands communicate on the Games, and to focus on a Paralympic athlete, giving him a never seen before opportunity to swim along the Olympic swimmers.

This sporting and technological prowess was a way for Lacoste to convey a message of inclusiveness and equality.

Describe the execution

On the 1st August at 3.30am (GMT+2), while the 8 Olympians were in Tokyo, Chardard was in a pool dedicated to his 9th lane, to compete against the world’s best swimmers. The eight finalists’ progress through the water was tracked by beams of light in real time.

To cover this world premiere, a live broadcast of the exceptional race was streamed on Lacoste’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Sports journalist France Pierron and Chardard’s coach Tugdual Guéguin did commentary.

A video of the event, as well as a portrait of Laurent Chardard and his preparations for competition with the world’s best swimmers, was also available afterwards.

Describe the outcome

11 million impressions, 2,6 million video views 100%.

Very strong engagement & interactions, positive comments and support for Laurent Chardard.

Lots of PR in France and a debate around inclusiveness for athletes with disability.

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