Budweiser Promo, Case study FOOTBALL ON FACEBOOK by Mischief PR

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FOOTBALL ON FACEBOOK

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Industry Beers and Ciders
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Mischief PR
Creative Director Daniel Glover-James
Released August 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media
Advertiser: BUDWEISER
Product/Service: THE FA CUP
Agency: MISCHIEF PR
Creative Director: Daniel Glover (Mischief PR)
Account Director: Seb Dilleyston (Mischief PR)
Account Manager: Matt Pynn (Mischief PR)
Account Manager: Neil Broderick (Mischief PR)
Media placement: Consumer PR - N/a - 19 August 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - N/a - 19 August 2011
Media placement: Social Media - N/a - 19 August 2011

Summary of the Campaign
In June 2011 Budweiser became sponsors of The FA Cup, the UK’s oldest and most prestigious football tournament. The announcement resulted in a barrage of media criticism amid concerns of the US beer brand commercialising a very traditional competition.

The challenge was to overcome this media scepticism and quickly change negative sentiment into positive through demonstrating Budweiser’s commitment to taking the magic of The FA Cup closer to football fans.

Success was defined as a shift from negative to positive sentiment across traditional and online media as well as a substantial increase in brand fans on Budweiser Facebook pages.

Realising that no media organisation held the broadcasting rights for the first match of The FA Cup 2011 tournament, an extra-preliminary round fixture between non-league Ascot United and Wembley FC, we convinced The Football Association to allow Budweiser to make broadcasting history by showing the first ever competitive football match live on Facebook.

The initiative gave two footballing minnows a chance to perform to a potential global audience of over 700m people, perfectly demonstrating the brand’s commitment to taking the magic of The FA Cup closer to football fans.

Over 300 national and international media outlets covered the ‘Football on Facebook’ initiative with the news syndicated across the world.

The publicity, generated solely through the PR campaign, resulted in 150,000 new people becoming Budweiser fans and hundreds of thousands more watching the ‘first kick’ of The FA Cup 2011 tournament through the brand’s Facebook pages.

The Situation
In June 2011 Budweiser entered the cluttered football sponsorship market announcing a three-year deal to be the lead partner of The FA Cup, the UK’s oldest and most prestigious football tournament. The announcement resulted in a barrage of media and football fan criticism amid concerns of the US beer brand commercialising a very traditional competition.

The immediate challenge was to overcome this media scepticism and quickly change negative sentiment into positive through demonstrating Budweiser’s commitment to taking the magic of The FA Cup closer to domestic and global football fans.

The Goal
To address the negative media coverage following the announcement of Budweiser becoming the lead sponsor of The FA Cup and turn influential media and football fan sceptics into brand advocates as quickly as possible.

Success was defined as a shift from negative to positive sentiment across traditional and online media as well as a substantial increase in brand fans on Budweiser Facebook pages.

The target audience was domestic and international sports media - especially those who were identified as the most influential online and offline football commentators, and football fans both in the UK and around the world.

The Strategy
The negative media coverage around the initial sponsorship announcement, which raised concerns about a US beer sponsoring the UK’s most prestigious football tournament, made it clear that the PR campaign could not simply rely on telling corporate brand messages. Instead it had to demonstrate the brand’s commitment to taking the magic of The FA Cup closer to fans.

Realising that no media organisation held the broadcasting rights for the first match of The FA Cup 2011 tournament, an extra-preliminary round fixture between non-league Ascot United and Wembley FC, we convinced The Football Association to allow Budweiser to make broadcasting history by showing the first ever competitive football match live on Facebook.

The initiative gave two footballing minnows a chance to perform to a potential global audience of over 700m people, perfectly demonstrating the brand’s commitment to taking the magic of The FA Cup closer to fans.

Execution
With only 10 days from creative brief to execution (and working with a limited budget) a broadcasting deal was negotiated with The Football Association, permissions sought from both clubs, a technical team assembled, and a live streaming function developed on multiple Budweiser Facebook pages.

A news story announcing the world’s first competitive football match live on Facebook was released to relevant national and international media outlets. Key football commentators from traditional and social media were given interview access to the chairmen and managers of Ascot United and Wembley FC to find out first hand how much the Budweiser initiative meant to the two grassroots clubs.

On the day of the event the technical team fed a single live feed into every Budweiser Facebook page around the world.

A press release was issued post-event updating media on the success of the unique broadcast.

Documented Results
Over 300 national and international media outlets covered the ‘Football on Facebook’ initiative with the news syndicated across the world. Every UK national newspaper, TV and radio station featured the announcement with highlights including a page three lead in the Metro, a 20-minute feature on Sky News and a highlights package on ESPN.

Media and football commentators who initially expressed concern about a US beer brand sponsoring the world’s oldest domestic tournament now applauded the brand for demonstrating its commitment to bringing the magic of The FA Cup closer to fans. This positive Budweiser sentiment was replicated in over 20,000 Tweets, thousands of Facebook posts and hundreds of blog mentions.

The publicity, generated solely through the PR campaign, resulted in 150,000 new people becoming Budweiser fans and hundreds of thousands more watching the ‘first kick’ of The FA Cup 2011 tournament through the brand’s Facebook pages.