Best Brand Activation Involving Football
Arsenal FC / ExtraMarks
The ExtraMarks Youth Football Championship is an inter-school 5-aside football tournament for U15s (girls and boys), created in partnership with Arsenal Football Club. The project, which launched for the first time in September 2022, scales across the entirety of India, giving youngsters the chance to participate in football and have the opportunity to reach the final, which will take place at Emirates Stadium, London, in May 2023.
A free for all competition, there are no restrictions on which schools could enter, including both ExtraMarks affiliated and non-affiliated schools. By signing-up, schools received access to not only the competition, but free travel, accommodation, even F&B, included as part of the entry benefits, making it accessible and inclusive for all.
Created to promote the importance of sport in the holistic development of children and highlight the value of learning beyond the classroom to both pupils and teachers, the tournament created new opportunities for kids of all genders, backgrounds and locations in India to participate and learn valuable lessons along the way
EA SPORTS FIFA x PUMA x CALM
125 lives are lost each week to suicide, 75% of those are male – a statistic that needs changing and talking about. Teaming up with the Campaign Against Living Miserably, PUMA UK athlete Kyle Walker designed a physical and virtual kit inspired by his own mental health journey to help make suicide and mental health an inescapable conversation. Partnering with PUMA UK and EA SPORTS FIFA, the kits sold out within a week and appeared in over 25 million games on FIFA 22. Hero content featuring Kyle was viewed by 6.7 million people, sharing the message that life is always worth living.
EE’s Connected Club Cup (CCC) shows the power of its partnership with The FA to reach new audiences in innovative ways.
We set out to bring the grassroots football community together around their love of the game as part of our promotion of EE’s new digital connectivity – EE Full Fibre broadband.
Nothing needs a great connection more than gaming, so with The FA and Excel esports team, we created a one-of-a-kind FIFA tournament that got grassroots gamers across the country practicing their skills.
The tournament allowed anyone, anywhere to play. Nationwide, competitors across the country battled it out online. For the semi-finals EE took all players to an ‘EE Connected Club’ (an FA affiliated grassroots club, supercharged with EE technology) where they competed for a place in the final at Wembley Stadium.
Hundreds of players, one lucky winner and a perfect example of three partners using their assets to create an original entertainment experience.
LEGO & Wasserman
People think LEGO play means following instructions.
People think Football means following rules.
But at their heart, LEGO play and Football are about creativity. When you are kicking a ball, or playing with bricks, there are no rules, no instructions. Instead, there’s invention, imagination, and fantasy.
Fantastical Football was a key component of the LEGO Group’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 “Play Makes Anything Possible” campaign. A platform that removed the gender-based rules and expectations around football, injecting LEGO fun and creativity into the era defining tournament.
Fantastical Football was live at the tournament’s record-breaking opening game at Old Trafford, LEGOLAND® Windsor, tournament fan-zone at Trafalgar Square. Fantastical Football was housed in a gender inclusive space with 6 highly engaging football themed LEGO activities for children to get involved with. Fantastical Football also included an
impactful digital game, allowing children who couldn’t attend to get involved in the tournament’s incredible atmosphere.
As the lead sponsor of Chelsea and having the UK’s fastest 5G network, Three transformed Stamford Bridge into the first live 5G Premier League stadium.
5G creates vast capacity, so thousands can utilise their phone all at the same time, allowing them to engage with the game as much as they want digitally.
Football fans in particular often use their phones to ‘second screen’ – following other scores, gaining insight to the game they are watching or interacting on social media. 5G enables the ultimate fan experience.
Although this announcement had news potential as the first Premiership stadium to fully install 5G, Stamford Bridge wasn’t the first 5G sporting stadium in the UK. However, Three wanted to ensure this became the national news story it deserved to be and drove awareness that underlined Three’s leadership in the 5G space.
A further challenge was that tech media are saturated with this kind of story, and simultaneously the technical messaging around the benefits of installing 5G in stadia would have little resonance with consumer and national press.
We needed to go bold in order to get the cut through that grabbed the attention of national, tech and sports journalists alike.
The Football Association
As part of a partnership between the England National Football Team and Marks & Spencer, “Lions’ Den with M&S Food,” broadcast exclusively from the heart of the England camp throughout the 2022 Men’s World Cup, across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & TikTok.
Hosted by Josh Denzel, each daily episode of “Lions’ Den with M&S Food,” was tailored to a different member of the England squad and featured surprise guests from sport, grassroots football, and music; gave fans the opportunity to call in directly to the England camp and ended with the highly competitive and entertaining ‘Sharp Shooters’ darts challenge.
Triple S Communications
In 2022, Triple S Communications (TSC) was challenged by their long-standing client, STATSports to create innovative and impactful media coverage all year round – in both the UK and United States – using the football calendar and major male and female tournaments as key “energy moments” for the company.
STATSports has a significant media profile in the UK but was looking to cement their status in the USA. With strategic PR planning, the agency delivered high-profile and specialist PR coverage throughout the year in both countries.
Highlights included a media pitch-activation day at Arsenal FC’s Emirates stadium showcasing the company’s partnership with the club. TSC also placed numerous data-driven sports tech stories around the UEFA Women’s Euros and national teams’ use of technology.
The FIFA Men’s World Cup saw a perfect PR storm as England drew USA in the Group Stages enabling the agency to activate both team’s captains Harry Kane and Tyler Adams in the week of the crucial game.
The date of the match coincided with Thanksgiving in the States and Black Friday which the agency used to promote the product on Fox Sports in the USA and generate record sales of STATSports.
York City FC
In 2022 York City Football Club would celebrate 100 years of existence.
To mark this special occasion, York City F.C. worked with renowned football brand designer Christopher Payne to create the football club’s special edition centenary crest and centenary kits.
Christopher Payne collaborated Dan Simmonite the football club’s media Manager, together hosting various focus groups with the club’s passionate supporters.
Payne designed a modern crest that took inspiration from past, and popular York City F.C. crests.
Payne also designed a custom kit – unique to York City. The kit design took inspiration from Yorks’s most famous landmark – York Minster Cathedral. The kit design had a gothic feel using shapes from the cathedral’s famed architecture to form a stylish pattern to be used on the kits.
The one-season-only brand activation was a huge success; York City F.C. saw a 300% increase in social media attention on the day of the launch and completely sold out of the club’s kits just six days after launching.
In addition, the club made headlines worldwide, with many international football fans and kit collectors worldwide scrambling to buy this special edition York City kit.