Best Brand Activation Involving Football 2017
Betsafe and Manchester City FC
Betsafe, an online betting company and challenger brand in the UK market, needed to optimise their official betting partnership with Manchester City FC during the 2016/17 season to demonstrate tangible return on their investment.
Objectives focused on:
- Increasing brand awareness and engagement amongst Manchester City fans and wider sporting audiences
- Using content as cost-effective tool to drive direct commercial value and acquisition of new customers
- Delivering activity that represented Betsafe’s brand heritage of experience
With a strategic activation theme of ‘True Players’ designed to differentiate & guide all Betsafe City activation consistently throughout the season – Betsafe used a unique insight led approach to content creation and deployment. The model and approach was a company first for the Betsafe business, addressing the priority objectives of brand and acquisition simultaneously. Activity initially focused on maximising reach and awareness with highly engaging content, followed by a data-driven, strategically-segmented and targeted new customer acquisition campaign offers.
Through a series of content campaigns featuring Man City players, legends, social influencers and creative innovations all aligned to relevant moments in the sporting calendar – Betsafe achieved their aim of generating mass awareness and customer acquisition through compelling and authentic content.
Betstars and Leicester City FC
In August 2016, BetStars became the Official Betting Partner of Premier League champions Leicester City – a deal negotiated, planned and activated by SportQuake. Through the partnership, BetStars wanted to make a mark in the crowded sports betting market, creating content that gains them a foothold both on and offline.
BetStars tasked SportQuake with creating a season-long mini-series with Leicester City where the first team were used in the most effective and creative way possible.
SportPesa and Everton FC
In May 2017, SportPesa were announced as Everton’s new main sponsor in a multi-year sponsorship agreement. SportPesa quickly outlined their commitment to use the partnership to cement their market share in key markets of Africa, while also using it to increase growth in the UK and Europe.
Soon after the deal was struck SportPesa announced ambitious plans to take the Club to East Africa, with the first team squad travelling to Tanzania as part of their preseason preparation. The visit would be the first time a Premier League football club ever played in the region, a market that was known to be crazy about English football.
SportPesa launched #EvertoninTZ to create a centrepiece for this compelling story, driving conversation, engagement and giving them an umbrella campaign with which to achieve multiple objectives.
#EvertoninTZ was a demonstration of SportPesa’s ambition. It created unparalleled levels of exposure and engagement for both SportPesa and Everton, including incredible return on investment figures. The campaign worked so well because it had clearly defined objectives that drew down from one overarching goal, to give East Africa their first taste of Premier League football and tell the story to generate global interest.
On the 27th February 2017, Hull City hosted the SportPesa All Stars, a team of footballers from the Kenyan Premier League that travelled to England to compete in an international friendly match as part of SportPesa’s three-year sponsorship of Hull City.
It was the showpiece occasion of a project that spanned four months, with Hull City sending coaches out to Kenya on two occasions. The first visit took place in November 2016 with the objective of scouting all Kenyan talent across their Premier League. After compiling their scouting reports, the coaches selected the best fifty players to go through to a two-week coaching camp, held in Kenya in January. From this project, the All Stars were born.
The All Stars travelled to Hull in February 2017 and spent a week in the city, acclimatising to the wintery conditions. On Monday 27th February, the SportPesa All Stars took on a Hull City XI at the KCOM Stadium, with the hosts narrowly defeating their Kenyan counterparts 2-1 in a closely fought game.
The project was about more than just the result, as the All Stars were able to enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity whilst putting Kenyan football on the map.
Manning Gottlieb OMD for Virgin Media
Football is now a multi-billion-pound industry. But at the heart of it all, the game is the same. It’s about two teams taking on each other for the enjoyment of the fans.
Yet somewhere along the way, everyday fans have become the ones hit the hardest, facing rapidly rising ticket prices year after year.
Virgin Media are heavily involved in football and position themselves as on the side of fans. They wanted to make a difference, to raise awareness of an initiative that seeks to cap away Premiership ticket prices: ‘£20’s Plenty’. So at the end of April, as the season was reaching its climax, they offered every premiership away fan a refund, to ensure that no-one paid more than £20 for their away ticket. They literally gave money away!
It was a huge success, over 10,000 fans redeemed, enough to fill most away stands twice over. The campaign delivered too: a 1,140% uplift in search volume, 93% positive sentiment, 111 pieces of coverage in print (including national newspapers) and an unprecedented 7-point leap in awareness that Virgin Media has all the football (the key sport brand metric).
But most importantly, Virgin Media championed a cause close to fans’ hearts.
NIVEA MEN and Liverpool FC
In March 2017, NIVEA MEN partnered with the LFC Legends Charity Match against Real Madrid Leyendas at Anfield. The game, which featured an all-star cast including Steven Gerrard, Robbie Fowler, Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo was played in front of a record breaking Anfield crowd. Supporting the LFC Foundation, NIVEA MEN generated a wide range of exclusive innovative content which captured the imagination of fans. As part of their sponsorship NIVEA MEN broadcast the game exclusively to a UK audience via their Facebook page with millions of fans tuning in to watch their heroes play. Following the game, NIVEA MEN released an Anfield first 360 degree highlights package which included behind the scenes Anfield dressing room team talk. The campaign was a huge success for NIVEA MEN, meeting all marketing objectives and helping the LFC Foundation to raise £1 Million pounds from the event, with 100% of the funds going towards charitable causes.
Reflect Digital is a digital marketing agency. We pride ourselves on our creativity and have a design team that are football crazy.
The design team came up with an idea to create the world’s hardest football quiz – an image with 50 hidden clubs (some European!) – a quiz that truly ‘separates the armchair fans from the diehard supporters. It was created with the aim of showing that it’s possible to produce engaging, fun and shareable football related content from scratch, launch it on a national scale and successfully build a large, engaged audience.
The quiz was designed with commercial appeal in mind, by considering, social and site engagement, brand exposure, data capture, increased social following, links and media coverage, site traffic and longevity.
We devised an outreach strategy with the aim to get the game to go viral. By forming relationships with leading football editors, we achieved coverage on several major publications such as SportBible, Whoatallthepies.tv, Planetfootball, Buzzfeed, Reddit, Moneysavingexpert, many fan forums and other football related sites.
In two weeks we’ve achieved; 63,172 sessions, 41,804 unique users, 3,890 account sign ups, only 2.9% of users have completed the game it’s been played in over 155 countries.
WallJAM is an interactive challenge rebound wall designed to promote fan engagement It provides an environment for competition, entertainment and skills training As a sporting experience it is fresh, cool, socially inclusive, and seriously addictive WallJAM is one of the first technologies of its kind to allow the “GAMIFICATION” of traditional ball sports for mass use and participation Users can upload, share and compare results on a global leader-board through the primary social media platforms The walls web based technology interacts with an array of LED activated target sensors designed to measure power, speed and accuracy of a ball strike Games are played against the clock The game changer for our customers, be that sponsors rights holders or leisure operators, is the branding opportunity and spin off data that emanates from every activations This, alongside the quality of the overall user experience, is what delivers the WallJAM point of difference As a fan experience, WallJAM has been working with some heavy hitters in the football world including new EFL Cup sponsor Carabao (at Wembley) Gatorade and Puma. It has also featured for the LTA at Wimbledon and for Nissan at Lords demonstrating its appeal across all mainstream sports.