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As distribution becomes easier, across a host of platforms, sports organisations across the world increasingly resemble media houses: teams and leagues are tooling up, investing in creative talent and devoting increasing resource to content production. Brands are doing the same, in order to activate partnerships more effectively and strategic partnerships with platforms and publishers are being formed, to engage existing fans and attract new ones. It is therefore no surprise that the Leaders Sports Awards Content Creation category has been hotly contested, with submissions from all corners of the industry. Ahead of the big night on Tuesday 9 October, these are our judges’ final six.
World basketball governing body FIBA created the #ThisIsMyHouse digital campaign to promote its new World Cup qualification system, following the launch of the FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers. The campaign was designed with national federations, broadcasters, influencers and media partners across 85 nations and took fans on a journey from being ‘aware’ to advocating and sharing. Some 59 partners have collaborated on the campaign to date, while venues are 84% full, over 300,000 attend each window of games and impressions have grown to 1.49 billion. Video views, meanwhile, doubled between last November and February, reaching 60 million.
The European Tour’s social media campaign showcases the characters and cultures on tour and is designed to engage new, younger audiences while delivering significant media value for partners. A dedicated in-house team took eight video concepts from brief through ideation to execution, and aligned them with its global network of golfers, social influencers, broadcasters and key digital media. The content campaign has delivered 40 million views through social platforms alone, resulting in significant social media value for the European Tour and its partners.
AIB is Ireland’s largest retail bank community and has been a partner of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) for 27 years. In 2017, whilst in the midst of fierce competition for share of the online wallet, AIB sought to engage customers on digital by leveraging its GAA sponsorships to create entertaining content fans would want to watch. Amid a post-Ireland bailout restriction on marketing spend, the content, put together with the help of Dublin based PR and communications agency Wilson Hartnell and creative agency Rothco, was designed to appeal both to GAA and non-GAA fans alike.
As part of domain registrar GoDaddy’s partnership with the Toronto Raptors NBA team, a content-based campaign was created around the concept of a Raptors player, seven-foot centre Jonas Valanciunas, becoming a fictitious small business owner looking to grow his company utilising GoDaddy and its New Website Builder tool. The company, given the name IttyBittyBallers, produced and sold minuture figures of Valanciunas, while the campaign was executed by GoDaddy, which built a full-scale marketing plan to build awareness and drive traffic to the ittybittyballers.ca website.
Press Play is a weekly vlog series created by UEFA, European football’s governing body, focusing on the lifestyles of four professional football players – Scotland and Arsenal’s Lisa Evans, FC Basel’s Eunice Beckmann, FFC Turbine Potsdam and Austria’s Sarah Zadrazil and Austria and FFC Frankfurt’s Laura Feiersinger. The players are best friends, despite playing for different clubs in different countries, and the series aims to position them as accessible role models for youngsters across Europe, as part of UEFA’s wider #WePlayStrong effort to transform perceptions of women’s football and encourage participation. The players shot all the footage themselves, providing exclusive behind-the-scenes access to their training and match routines and all aspects of their daily lives.
The signing of Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimović by Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy in March saw Galaxy’s marketing, communications and digital department develop an announcement campaign designed to drive cultural relevance and maximise revenue opportunities for the team, its StubHub Center home venue and parent company AEG. Specific content, distributed across a host of digital platforms, included an announcement video featuring Ibrahimović and a live lion, a full page advert in the LA Times with the words ‘Dear Los Angeles, you’re welcome’ and his signature, plus an out-of-home campaign involving strategically positioned billboards in Hollywood mirroring a movie nominee.