BEST NEW PLAYER / CONTRACT SIGNING REVEAL CAMPAIGN
It’s been a turbulent time for everyone in the midst of a pandemic and football isn’t immune to this. We’ve been fortunate to play matches, but we’ve been missing the essential ingredient that makes our game so special: the fans.
So when our club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was poised to sign a new three-year contract, we wanted to mark the moment with our fans in a special way.
On 15 September 2020, Auba personally shared the news of his new contract on Arsenal’s social media channels from Emirates Stadium to a live audience of more than quarter of a million fans across Instagram Live, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, the Arsenal app and Arsenal.com.
It was crucial to Auba that his vibrant personality and his social media habits were captured authentically. Thanks to his commitment to making this happen, the hard work and creativity from some brilliant people and the support of Instagram, we created a memorable moment of excitement for our fans that we could all share together.
In total, more than 3.2 million people have watched the announcement across live and on-demand platforms.
Borussia Dortmund & SPORTFIVE U.S.
To announce the signing of 17-year-old English talent, Jude Bellingham, Borussia Dortmund’s English Language Twitter account (managed by SPORTFIVE U.S) executed a unique teaser campaign incorporating references to the Beatles.
Given Bellingham’s British nationality and the natural connection between his first name, Jude, and hit Beatles song “Hey Jude”, the team built the campaign around these themes.
Starting with three teaser tweets referencing other iconic Beatles songs, “Yesterday”, “Here Comes the Sun”, and “A Day in the Life” in the caption of the content, a thematic storyline was built that would ultimately conclude with the main “Hey Jude” content piece, a video where team players performed an acoustic rendition of the song to welcome Bellingham.
The campaign achieved its goal of subtlety, with fans coming back to the three previous tweets only then realizing that the scene had been set in advance to culminate with the Beatles-inspired announcement video.
Chelsea Women have become one of the biggest teams in the women’s game with stellar talent from across the world joining the club. Each announcement campaign for these players saw the creative concepts elevated every time with a vivid and unique style for each. But for us, contract extensions for our current stars are also as important as new signings. Captain Magda Eriksson has played an integral role in our recent success. For her contract extension video, we tailored the visual style around her Swedish heritage opting for stark, open, Nordic landscapes mixed with sharp punches of yellow to contrast the monochromatic backgrounds. This is an example of how we can tell a story from a football world, without relying wholly on football imagery.
Complimenting our hero piece was an exclusive interview breaking away from a traditional broadcast style interview and using a relaxed, personal lifestyle look and feel while a motion graphics timeline brought Magda’s key archive moments to life. The final product is a bold, visually engaging, personal and unique take on a contract announcement.
Everton’s signing of James Rodriguez in September 2020 – the 8th biggest social media sports star on earth – presented the Club with an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate its growth across the Americas and worldwide – but it needed to act quickly and decisively across three continents.
Due to the pandemic, the Club led with digital and social, supported by inspiring on-the- ground, headline-grabbing visual activations in New York, Miami, Bogota and Rodriguez’s new home town of Liverpool, linking the territories and telling the story of the Club’s ambition and wider international strategy.
The activity went viral on social media, galvanising Evertonians – old and new – and the wider footballing community to participate in meaningful, memorable and authentic engagement with the Club and each other, illustrating Everton’s identity as The People’s Club. New Spanish-language social media channels were launched and have seen significant growth built on the effective merging of local nuances and Everton values.
The announcement and subsequent ‘blue wave’ on the ground and social media activity resonated on an international scale, surpassing all targets. Just 48 hours after the announcement, the coordinated physical, digital and social media activity had reached more than 500 million people globally.
Manchester United FC
New player signings present us with one of our most powerful and exciting opportunities to build fan engagement. At Manchester United, our new player announcements are bold and enhanced to reach our global audiences. Our objective was clear: announce new players in the most compelling and engaging way possible to a worldwide audience, for both our men’s and women’s teams.
With supporters locked out of grounds heading into the 2020/21 season, clubs were challenged with maintaining the connection between players and fans.
A key pillar of Motherwell FC’s brand strategy is in building those connections between the supporters and the team.
To highlight the intertwined nature of the club and where it resides, every new Motherwell FC signing in the summer of 2020 was announced through taking them out into the town for their announcement photographs.
Placing the new member of our tribe together with local iconography at locations all over Motherwell, we truly took the club out into its community.
Motherwell itself is a town of contrasting socioeconomic profiles, and we made sure we represented every area – no matter the perceptions of them.
To further emphasise the point, we also got our new signings to post their own pictures from being unveiled in the town – but also wearing our iconic blue change kit which is inspired by the original colours of our club.
Tottenham Hotspur FC
In a summer of exciting announcements during Jose Mourinho’s first pre-season transfer window in charge, the Club’s digital team overhauled it’s existing strategy to execute a range of innovative transfer campaigns across our social media channels. We were lead by fan sentiment to take ownership of some contentious topics of discussion and push the boundaries in terms of access to shape our style and tone of voice.
A tongue-in-cheek approach for the signings of Matt Doherty, Carlos Vinicius and Joe Rodon was followed by our cross-platform #BaleIsBack campaign to document the much anticipated return of club legend, Gareth Bale.
West Ham United FC
A new player arriving at a club is more than just a new set of skills, it’s the arrival of a new personality, a new culture, and in the case of Said Benrahma and entirely new audience.
The signing of Said Benrahma prompted West Ham United to look deeper into the player’s fanbase abroad, building the digital launch strategy around his heritage to attract a new audience to the Club’s social media platforms.
This approach saw unprecedented growth of the Club’s social footprint – the fastest growth experienced since the club first joined social media, culminating in an acquisition of almost 300k fans across West Ham’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and almost 7 million users reached online.