In the summer of 2018 for the first time ever FOX would broadcast the FIFA World Cup – the world's biggest sporting event and an undisputed pop culture phenomenon – taking place in Russia.
The FOX Sports Marketing Team faced a number of challenges in the development of the campaign:
--The U.S. Men's National Team didn't qualify for the tournament for the first time in 28 years. The inability to depend on viewership of the "fringe" fans who would come to watch the USMNT, FOX Sports had to rely on the power and draw of international players and can't-miss super teams.
--Games were played in Russia, which meant they were scheduled for 8:00 AM ET, 11:00 AM ET and 2:00 PM ET in the U.S. This created viewership challenges on weekdays and for early matchups.
But, the team embraced the transformative power of the tournament with it key positioning: The World Becomes The World Cup.
This phrase became the driving force behind the campaign with the objective to drive awareness, intent and tune-in for the FIFA World Cup's new home on FOX (after decades with a competitor), and prevent an anticipated drop in viewership as a result of losing the USMNT from the tournament. Additionally, FOX Sports aimed to capture viewership across ALL platforms.
This also meant attracting a particular demographic: Generated from a general sports fan, core soccer and English-speaking Hispanic audience pool, we targeted young, cosmopolitan, bi-coastal, multi-cultural, communal sports fan with major FOMO across all digital platforms.
"The World Becomes The World Cup" came to life through a month-long mix of marketing. The media buy was a fully integrated, multi-platform and took a highly-targeted approach, using custom digital executions to make up the biggest digital media buy in FOX Sports history.
FOX Sports launched the campaign 100 days out from the tournament kickoff. It began with early awareness messaging to test creative and audience reaction, which lead to a pre-tournament phase generating anticipation. Finally, in-tournament efforts drove linear tune-in AND engagement.
Digital Paid Media – A multi-platform and highly targeted approach
SOCIAL MEDIA was purchased across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. FOX Sports boosted awareness of the tournament / key matchups and elevated engagement using promos and highlights which were promoted in real time around can't miss moments.
--We developed Brand Studies with Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat around awareness and watch intent.
--We unlocked Partner Marketing with Twitter - a "Like to Subscribe" auto-response initiative. As the first sports property to participate, FOX Sports turned a :60 video into a tournament-long tune-in reminder.
--FOX Sports launched Snapchat's first-ever combined gyroscope world lens PLUS tilt-to-choose, multi-option selfie lens that ran alongside snap ads. The custom Lens turned a Snap Ad video into an interactive, sharable VR experience.
Our PROGRAMMATIC / OLV strategy helped efficiently target core audiences with awareness and tune-in video content.
DIRECT MEDIA buys with partners like Bleacher Report, SB Nation and Roku drove awareness with high-impact placements surrounding key dates.
SEARCH MARKETING captured hand raisers searching for interest in the World Cup and drive them to FOXSports.com, increasing linear and online viewership
Digital Partnerships – FOX Sports amplified paid media efforts and extended reach with digital partnerships that aligned with audiences
EA Sports– A first-to-market FOX Sports World Cup daily matchup game launched on FIFA Mobile for users to develop daily habit of choosing match winners.
Thrillist– 23 DMA-specific "Where to Watch" guides were developed / distributed on Thrillist and FOX Affiliate platforms.
USA Today– Provided scale by with video high-impact units and an add to calendar functionality. We also developed custom content - 58 editorial article series, 27 editorial videos and a Facebook Live.
Wall Street Journal– Working with WSJ. Custom Studios we developed "Winning Wealth," a data-driven program that delivered engaging content alongside games. The program included an infographic article, daily quiz, and interactive ad units.
Mitu– Drove excitement with the English-speaking Hispanic audience using custom illustrated content developed around Hispanic professional players plus humorous memes amplified via programmatic and social with paid media.
Influencer Program – FOX Sports activated influencers to generate engagement surrounding the World Cup
Tier 1: A top tier social commentator / outlet created a relatable 2-video series to showcase ways to prepare for the tournament.
Tier 2: General sports fan influencers became World Cup evangelists competing in the World Cup Bracket Challenge on FOX Sports.com throughout the tournament.
Tier 3: Avid sports fan influencers amplified buzz in real-time posting reactions during games to drive tune-in
Paid Media drove 514 MM impressions, 100 MM video views.
SOCIAL over delivered by 73% (over $1 MM in value) and promoted in-game highlights drove extremely high engagement
--Twitter ads performed 42% above average ER and "Like to Subscribe" generated over 15,000 subscribers
--Snap Lens generated a ~2.5% average share rate and 12 second play time – both above benchmarks while Snap ads performed 38% above average 'Swipe Up Rate'
--Snap Brand study showed a +20 pt increase in Intent
PROGRAMMATIC / OLV hit 125% delivery providing over $700k in value.
--Videos resulted in 53% VCR!
SEARCH drove half a million uniques to FOXSports.com!
Digital Partnerships exceeded commitments by +30MM impressions delivering incremental value
EA SPORTS Game generated over 3.3 MM engagements and brand study showed a 54% increase in intent.
THRILLIST brand study showed program resonated with males, increasing awareness 15% and view intent by 35%
USA TODAY Team Capsules content generated 3.5 MM impressions – the most for any USAT sponsored program. High impact units received 101k 'add to calendar' requests.
WALL STREET JOURNAL generated 152% of page view goal and 2.6x the WSJ benchmark for average time spent. We received 10k quiz answers driving an ER over 7X the WSJ benchmark.
MITU custom Hispanic content series generated 136% delivery
The Influencer Program delivered 26 MM impressions, 280k engagements
Influencer content vastly surpassed Twitter paid media industry benchmarks, averaging an ER of 18%
Influencers delivered 40% more content due to the interest from influencers and their fan bases.