TECHNOLOGY & TELECOMS
HEYHUMAN, TWITTER, SNAPPYTV
PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW SONY SPONSORED THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
With SONY competing in an increasingly fragmented smartphone category, their sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, the most popular club football competition in the world, represented a powerful opportunity to differentiate their Xperia brand from other smartphones.
However, awareness of their association was low compared to other headline sponsors. So we needed to think outside of the box to cut through in a busy market.
With other sponsors outspending us to promote their associations, we had to build better connections with the huge community of European football fans.
WE DID SOMETHING NO ONE HAS DONE BEFORE, TURNING THE SPOTLIGHT ONTO THE FANS
We already knew that second screen behaviour was particularly prevalent during matches as fans seek out additional match content and engage in real-time banter, with video content and opinions of other fans receiving the highest levels of engagement. It came as no surprise that the periods during and after matches saw the greatest volume of activity, but our research revealed just how crucial immediacy was when it came to connecting fans with the content they love. Just five minutes after a match highlight, the retweet potential of any associated content starts to decline rapidly, with almost half of it being lost within 25 minutes.
If we were to capture the attention of our content-hungry football fans, we needed to get our message in front of them in the moments, rather than the minutes, after a match highlight.
With other brands producing content focusing on players, as well as the match itself, we decided to take a different approach and turn the spotlight on the fans. Throughout any game, the spontaneous reactions of fans to things such as match-deciding goals, dubious referee decisions and nail-biting penalty shoot outs is often just as entertaining as the game itself.
So our strategy was to create and distribute content which captured the true emotion of football through the spontaneous reactions of fans, their families and their friends from the comfort of their own home. We recruited five groups from UK, Germany and Spain and, using Xperia handsets, filmed them watching the match on their sofas. This enabled us to capture every authentic reaction and turn it into a piece of real-time short-form video content to share within the community.
FANS’ REACTIONS TO KEY IN-GAME MOMENTS WENT LIVE WITHIN MOMENTS
To seize the opportunity of sharing content immediately after a match highlight, we needed a completely new approach to how we created and distributed it.
We selected Twitter as our lead platform, given this was where a large volume of fan discussions were taking place. However, reducing the time it took to get our content live required us to tap into the company’s SnappyTV technology – usually reserved for broadcasters to capture and post live TV content – to allow us to post these reactions within four minutes.
Managed live from an all-agency newsroom and using real-time data analysis, we selected and targeted our content at the fans who were talking about the game, as well as other users who followed teams, players and pundits.
SONY BECAME ONE OF THE STARS OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Xperia’s Twitter share of voice increased significantly from match to match, culminating in mentions of our handle hitting 79% in the semi-finals and 44% in the final!
Our #ChampionsSofa activity reached 5.6 million engaged football fans on Twitter and 2.7 million on Facebook across UK, Spain, Germany and France with content performance smashing our benchmarks. Our cost-per-view was 42% cheaper vs. benchmark and completed view rates were at a fantastic 32%,
eight times better than anticipated. Content engagement rates also eclipsed industry benchmarks by 150%, proving that this is the content Champions League fans were keen to see and engage with.
Organic results were equally impressive with a 1000% increase in organic video performance on YouTube compared to SONY’s global channel average and organic Facebook views reached over 1 million.