Puma Promo, Case study PUMA WORLD CUP

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Industry Sportswear, Athletic Footwear & Accessories, Sports Teams & Events
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Media Relations
Advertiser: PUMA
Product/Service: PUMA CITY: NY GAMES
Media placement: Press Release - Fox Business - June 3, 2010

Summary of the Campaign
Every four years the world stops for the FIFA World Cup and it has become a major marketing event for many companies. The 2010 tournament in South Africa presented a huge opportunity for the PUMA brand, which sponsors 13 African national teams. These relationships opened the door for PUMA to overshadow a main competitor and 2010 World Cup sponsor Adidas. Plus, with the economy presenting travel obstacles for many media, there was an opportunity to create an alternative U.S. “destination” for experiencing the World Cup.

PUMA took over New York City’s South Street Seaport for a month-long soccer extravaganza that provided the public an unforgettable soccer experience and re-directed the media spotlight from the company’s competitors. Integral to this effort was PUMA City NY, an immersive pop-up soccer experience that consisted of viewing stations, a nightlife venue, gaming area, a mini-pitch, artist stations, gear test-it areas, and retail components. To create a buzz leading up to the tournament, PUMA-sponsored African players also were made available to target media ― reinforcing the African connection to PUMA.
The campaign resulted in 2.6 billion global media impressions. And as a result of the coverage, consumers rated PUMA as number 1 in soccer gear.

The Situation
For Puma, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa represented a great opportunity. The brand had been involved with African soccer for 12 years, having deep roots with Algeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana, Egypt, and Angola and sponsoring 13 African national teams in total.

However, for fans and media living through economic hardships, the tournament’s South African location presented a real obstacle, especially for media with tight travel budgets.

A solution was needed that would reinforce Puma’s connection to African soccer while also demonstrating the brand’s commitment to making the Cup experience more accessible to fans and the media.

The Goal
Campaign objectives were:

1) Elevate the 2010 World Cup conversation in NYC and the U.S. to expand PUMA’s soccer presence.
2) Leverage PUMA’s African teams/players to cement its soccer reputation and facilitate engagement with brand product and assets.
3) Keep momentum high for PUMA’s month-long "PUMA City NY" activation at the South Street Seaport and generate coverage that would match "sponsorship-level" U.S. coverage.

A goal was to bring soccer to all ― allowing them to share the soccer experience with NY’ers and the international community. Target consumers spanned from youth to adult and from casual observer to hard core fan.

The Strategy
An integrated marketing campaign was devised that involved all PUMA North America marketing agencies (media, PR and event partners). The campaign centrepiece was PUMA City NY, an immersive pop-up soccer experience at Manhattan’s South Street Seaport that was designed to create excitement for soccer not typically present in U.S. culture.

Because watching soccer is a social experience, the entire design served to connect consumers with the sport. It also provided an easy, cost-effective coverage backdrop for media who wanted to inject World Cup spirit into their broadcasts/stories.

Key strategies were:
1) Present PUMA City as both a media angle and home base for press from June through July.
a. Elevate media-worthy events (i.e. Human Foosball)
b. Closely link PUMA City coverage to mini-pitch and test-it stations
c. Capitalize on the coverage backdrop provided by PUMA viewing stations
2) Utilize PUMA-sponsored African players to provide unique insight and perspective to media.

PUMA City, an integral part of the execution, consisted of viewing stations, a nightlife venue, gaming area (for foosball and ping pong), a mini-pitch for “human foosball” games and youth soccer clinics, artist stations, gear test-it areas, and retail components. It was positioned as a unique “destination” to experience the World Cup as well as a fun, high-energy atmosphere for on-site, day-long media broadcasts. An out-of-home advertising campaign complemented the initiative. It included wrapped double-decker buses, bus shelters, and local media support.

To legitimize PUMA City as the ultimate source of everything soccer and PUMA as a World Cup media resource, timely alerts with the latest in tournament standings and player performance updates were provided regularly.

Finally, PUMA’s African players were made available for interviews and pre-tournament gear stories/round-ups ― placing the brand at the epicentre of World Cup fashion and sports coverage nationally and creating buzz for PUMA City.

Documented Results
• Secured 2.6 billion global media impressions and 258 positive PUMA/World Cup stories, ranging from local city coverage to a June feature on MensHealth.com, rating PUMA soccer gear as No.1 for fans.

• Placed PUMA Africa player Samuel Eto’o on ESPN Magazine’s cover, solidifying the brand’s larger-than-life World Cup presence. The cover featured Eto’o wearing PUMA’s Africa Unity Kit, which was displayed at PUMA City.
• Secured broadcast segments with all major networks plus coverage from NYTimes.com, Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health, NY Magazine, Vanity Fair, Time, Forbes, Bloomberg, Sports Illustrated, among others ― positioning PUMA City as THE place to enjoy the tournament.