USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming, has teamed up with Disney and Pixar to promote the June 17 release of "Finding Dory" and the sport of swimming in advance of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"When Dory had the iconic line of 'Just keep swimming,' it led to a natural integration with us because that's what we do every day," said Matt Farrell, chief marketing officer for USA Swimming, referencing a line from the Academy Award-winning film "Finding Nemo."
"The whole campaign itself is very grassroots in nature," Mr. Farrell added. "When you have more sport choices than ever before, we have to do things that stand out from the crowd."
In this new adventure, Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) reunites with the father-son clownfish duo (voiced by Albert Brooks and Hayden Rolence, respectively) while enlisting the help of other sea creatures to explore her past.
In the spirit of Dory's famous line, USA Swimming encourages people to join a swim team through the SwimToday program. Families can search for a team on the SwimToday website, which also has a Dory-themed landing page and downloadable "Finding Dory" activity sheets.
USA Swimming's "Finding Dory" collaboration with Disney and Pixar includes cross promotion on social media and advertising partnerships. Part of the first phase of SwimToday's campaign is to promote swimming as "the funnest sport there is" on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the #funnestsport hashtag. The second phase is to support the Olympic swim team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
In support of the SwimToday campaign, an advance screening of the film was held for U.S. National Team members in conjunction with the Arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara last week.
USA Swimming and Disney worked together to send SwimToday kits to USA Swimming's 3,000 registered teams, encouraging them to organize viewing events for the film and invite prospective swim team members. The kit included materials on the benefits of swimming, the "Finding Dory" movie, information on group sales to see the film, and Disney, SwimToday and co-branded posters.
"The poster kits let them carry out the message in their local communities for both joining a team and for the film," Mr. Farrell said.
SwimToday is an industry-wide effort in promotion of the sport of swimming by USA Swimming and 10 other leading swimming industry partners, including Arena, Speedo USA, TYR, Colle+McVoy, Counsilman-Hunsaker, National Swimming Pool Foundation, Swimming World magazine, TeamUnify and USA Swimming Foundation.