Special Olympics Digital, Case study Suprise Selection by Ldv United

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Suprise Selection

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Industry Sports Teams & Events
Media Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Case study
Market Belgium
Agency Ldv United
Creative Director Kristof Snels
Art Director Dries De Bruyn
Copywriter Dennis Vandewalle
Released April 2016

Awards

Eurobest Awards 2016
PR Practices & Specialisms: Celebrity Endorsement Gold Eurobest

Credits & Description

Agency: Ldv United Antwerp, Belgium
Client: Special Olympics
Product: Play Unified
Entrant: Ldv United Antwerp, Belgium
Title: Suprise Selection
Product/Service: Play Unified
Idea Creation: Ldv United Antwerp, Belgium
Pr: Wavemakers Waasmunster, Belgium
Copywriter: Dennis Vandewalle (LDV United)
Art Director: Dries De Bruyn (LDV United)
Creative Director: Kristof Snels (LDV United)
Account Manager: Jilze Gerritsen (LDV United)
Strategic Director: Tomas Sweertvaegher (LDV United)
Strategic Planner: Eline Goethals (LDV United)
Strategic Planner: Kevin Wittevrongel (LDV United)
Head of Account: Dimitri Mundorff (LDV United)
Co-CEO: Zehra Sayin (Special Olympics Belgium)
Communicatie medewerker: Inge De Roeck (Special Olympics Belgium)
Co-CEO: Catalina Daniëls (Special Olympics Belgium)
Account Executive: Innie Tran (LDV United)
Brand Designer: Jeffrey Uten (LDV United)
Digital Producer: Nick Gorrebeeck (LDV United)
Managing Director: Petra De Roos (LDV United)
Website URL: https://www.playunified.be
The Campaign
What would draw enough attention to introduce, explain and establish Play Unified in one go?
What if we let the Coach of our National Soccer team call up unannounced 8 totally unknown names at the official selection, the names of athletes with a mental disability.
We addressed the national press when they were all ears, at the official selection for the national soccer team. They are always looking for a scoop on new players being selected for the national team. But they weren’t expecting this. 8 unknown names belonging to 8 athletes with a mental disability (special football players). 8 Athletes who would play a unified game with our national football heroes.
There’s no message more empowering than calling up special football players in the same breath as the best football players of the country.
Execution
September 30th: the official press conference for the selection of the national soccer team. National coach Martinez reads the names of the players to the gathered Belgian press. When the selection is over, he surprises everyone by adding unannounced 8 unknown players to the team.
During the following 3 days, the spotlight is on Play Unified. #playunified becomes a hot topic.
3rd of October, the Unified game between our national football players and special athletes takes place under massive media and public attention.
From the official press conference, the spotlight was on #playunified, and we kept it there. During, before and after the game we got coverage in national newspapers, the big television journals and radio stations. #playunified was a hot topic on social media, and everyone could witness the joy of Playing Unified.
We didn’t ask the national football heroes to donate money, we asked them to donate their spotlight. With no media budget and little owned reach, we managed to get and hold the spotlight on Play Unified, leading to a peek in site traffic, huge press coverage (radio, tv, print, online) and social media attention thanks to our 8 football heroes, leading to a total reach of more than 30 million and almost 2 million euro in earned media.
Most importantly, we finally got the attention of national sports Federations (football, bowling, tennis, badminton). Thanks to these partnerships, we changed the course of #playunified in Belgium. Now, hundreds of clubs and thousands of athletes will discover the joy of Playing Unified, achieving our most important victory: creating social inclusion through sports by playing on one team. One press a whole new perspective on players with a mental disability.
The Situation
We hijacked a much anticipated press event to put the spotlight on Play Unified, a concept totally unknown in Belgium.
September 30th: 50 journalists are ready for the official press conference for the selection of the Belgian soccer team. National Coach Martinez reads the names of the players; but then adds unannounced 8 unknown players to the team. Those of athletes with a mental disability.
Result? Immediate massive press and public attention, 4 days long. Launching #playunified with a reach of 30 million, and 2 million earned media. And importantly, a whole new perspective on athletes with a mental disability.
The Strategy
We wanted to reach every sports lover in Belgium with no media budget. We called in the help of our national soccer team. Football is the most popular sport and football players are national heroes, with a lot of social media followers. We didn’t ask them to donate money, we asked them to donate their spotlight: we hijacked the official press conference for the selection of the national team and we organised a Unified game.
This gave us not one influencer but 8, each with thousands of followers amplifying our message to the public.
This gave us the stage to tell our story, but also to show it: the Unified game with special athletes and national football heroes was played under massive public and media attention. Everyone could see and experience the joy of Playing Unified through their eyes.
That's when we activated them to sign up at playunified.be