2 Very Blatant Displays of Product Placement in Sports


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Your Logo In Front of the World

Ahh product placement -- the art of getting your logo plastered on the screen in front of people. You've seen it before. That Gatorade bottle that’s perfectly in the corner of the screen when a sports reporter is interviewing Lebron James after his win, or that Hershey’s chocolate bar resting on the table of a family scene while they are watching TV. 

In most cases, product placement is rather discrete and tastefully done, which you may be surprised to know, is our agency's preference.  You don't want something to stand out so much that it is painful for the audience. Instead you are seeking that perfect advertising moment of either brand exposure, or brand usage, done in a realistic way.  Though that is not always the case. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explores two hilariously blatant displays of product placement in sports that may have been just a little over the top.

Copy of 8 Ways Brands Leverage Product Placement Exposure For Sales

What Is Product Placement?

In very formal terms, product placement is “an advertising technique used by companies to subtly promote their products through a non-traditional advertising technique, usually through appearances in film, television, or other media.”

In simpler terms, product placement is when a brand tries to get their product and/or logo to show up on screen during some form of entertainment. Product placement is a great medium for brands to organically promote their products to a highly engaged audience. The strategy has been around for decades, and in fact, is what Hollywood Branded was founded upon nearly 12 years ago. We like to call product placement our bread and butter.

From movies to sports events, product placement can be found in all different forms of entertainment. Sports in particular are a great arena for product placement because they are home to some of the most highly engaged viewer bases of any form of entertainment. This explains why the brands mentioned below chose sports as their realm of choice. And you may say, well... isn't that sponsorship? And it is. Because product placement and sponsorship really are very much so aligned.

product placement guide

Display #1

With college football, brands have a great opportunity to engage with a very tuned in audience. And it’s only right that we talk about a very blatant display of product placement first.

This partnership includes two of the most recognizable brands in sports, the University of Georgia (Go Bulldogs!) and the widely popular refreshment, Coca-Cola. For the 2018-2019 season, the head football coach for University of Georgia, Kirby Smart, has had a Coca-Cola bottle plastered in front of him at seven of this season’s press conferences. The reason that it will only be at seven press conferences and not the full fourteen games is because this partnership will only take place at home games.



Other universities will have their own partnerships in place for the season, making it untouchable territory for UGA. According to UGA associate Alan Thomas, the school and Coca-Cola have had a relationship for over half a century and were looking for a way to add to that partnership. Coca-Cola is from Atlanta, a neighboring city less than an hour away.  Why not support a local team.

Naturally this led to expand that relationship and get Coca-Cola’s iconic red and white logo front and center for all cameras to see. The partnership kicked off at Kirby Smart’s first press conference of the season and you can see in the image below just how blatant this display of product placement really was. The only approach less subtle would be an arrow pointing directly to the bottle saying, “look at this!”. Coca-Cola will surely never go missed at any home games for Georgia this season

product placement infographic - free download

Display #2

The second blatant display of product placement in sports that we want to highlight took place in the home of our friendly neighbors down south, Mexico. This placement deal (part of the sponsorship partnership as well) included professional Mexican football team (or soccer as we know it in the United States) C.D. Guadalajara, also known as Chivas, and multiple refreshment companies, one of which being Coca-Cola. Now, before we continue on about this, take a look at the photo and see the placement for yourself.


It looks like someone ran out of room in their pantry and decided to use the press conference stand as a second storage place for snackers (hehe). Supposedly the Chivas are going through a bit of financial crisis right now, so the owners are looking for different ways to increase their bottom line. And guess what? One of the best ways to do this is through product placement! For an organization so widely known like C.D. Guadalajara, brands will gladly pay big bucks to have their product or logo displayed prominently in front of the club’s highly engaged fan base.

Keep in mind, this is not representative of typical examples of product placement. The goal of product placement is to get a brand’s product, message or service
organically integrated into the content. The point is not to have your brand screaming to the consumer, but rather whispering ever so calmly to the customer. You don't want the customer to scream back.  Nonetheless, this display still accomplished the ultimate goal which is to get the brand’s product, message or service seen by the masses. And definitely talked about.

How Do I Secure Product Placement For My Brand?

Product Placement is a marketing strategy that can be very effective when tastefully done. As experts in product placement, we’ve been able to produce great results for several different brands by getting their product, message or service in a variety of different forms of entertainment content. And talked about positively.

Check out some of our partnership campaigns here:

And make sure you read our Product Placement 101 guide on how to create stand out product placement partnerships for your brand!

Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide