Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsIn England alone, around 16 million people aged 16 and over play sport at least once a week. These people all benefit from Chemistry - from the equipment, clothing and footwear used, through to the surfaces laid in sports venues. However, it is probably fair to say that the important role of modern synthetic materials in sport is not necessarily recognised and appreciated by those who play it. For example, how many football players realise they are kicking a football with a covering of polyurethane, rather than leather, as leather has a tendency to absorb water causing the ball to become heavy? This activity is an opportunity for us to champion this cause by promoting the positive impact of high-performing polymers in an advertising campaign.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 secondsPick a piece of sports equipment, clothing or footwear of your choice and make a poster to advertise the chemistry behind it. Keep it simple by focusing on the impact of just one modern material, noting the beneficial properties it provides - for example, it may provide lightness, durability, strength and/or flexibility. You could pick cycling, and advertise modern carbon fibre bike frames, or athletics and the modern hard wearing and bouncier polyurethane all-weather tracks, or perhaps the polyamide fluffy outer covering of tennis balls that reduce aerodynamic drag, whilst providing resistance to wear and abrasion. Alternatively, you could focus on how polycarbonate is often used in riding and biking helmets, helping protect riders competing in equestrian and cycling competitions. The choice is yours.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 secondsBe creative and use an eye-catching image and distinctive clear and concise lettering - perhaps a promotional poster for one of your favourite films will inspire you? Make a pdf of your poster, and share with our learning community - it will be interesting to see what you pick! Don't forget to add your reason for picking your 'star material'. Let's show the sports world that Madonna was right when she said that 'we are living in a material world, a material, a material, a material world.'

Advertising polymers

Almost every day you will see a commercial or product placement of some sort. Many companies invest heavily in their marketing and advertising departments in order to promote their products as widely as possible. This holds true for sporting products.

However, even without a budget stretching into the millions of pounds it is possible to create effective and eye-catching advertisements for all sorts of sporting items. Therefore, you are going to have a go at making your own advert for a product of your choice:

The following items will be required:

  • Paper, pens and other stationary for a hand-drawn poster.
  • Computer with a word processor or similar software.

You can choose a product that you use or simply one that you are interested in. Highlight the benefits of your chosen product over competitors and try to encourage people to take up your chosen sport and use the product you are advertising. You could also take a picture and demonstrate where different polymers have been used.

hockey advertising

Be as creative as you like, including adding deals, discounts and special offers to interested customers. Remember to upload your advert to see if anyone would want to buy your merchandise. If you’re feeling particularly creative then why not invent a brand new product or company!

Football advertising

When you are done we would love to see your results! Upload a picture of your advert using our open Padlet or the Twitter hashtag #FLchemistry. Alternatively, you could come up with a slogan, or short promotional blurb, advertising your polymer and share this in the comments (below).

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring Everyday Chemistry

University of York